I love tarragon. It brings a savory, flavorful element to a dish. Some say almost licorice, but I disagree. Shake it up with your oil and vinegar for a salad dressing; mince it, along with parsley, basil (and goat cheese, too, why not?) in your morning scrambled eggs and you've got an omelette aux fines herbes.
We are particularly fond of this recipe, which the French have been cooking forever, and which I've adapted from Craig Claibourne's.
I think it's simpler if you choose either 4 chicken legs or breasts. In either case, season with salt and pepper then coat lightly with flour.
Melt a tablespoon of butter in a skillet. Lightly brown the chicken, a few minutes each side for white meat, 5-10 minutes a side for dark. (Always remember: skin side first!) Remove.
Add and saute a tablespoon or so of shallots. Or green onions. Or onions. The French really aren't as fussy as you might think, at least for daily cooking. Cook until wilted. Add half a cup of white wine, cook down by half, scraping the browned bits off of the bottom. Shake in three tablespoons flour, and stir it in. Now sprinkle the paste with a teaspoon dried tarragon. Slowly add one cup chicken broth, blend well. Add the chicken, cover your skillet or saute pan and cook gently, 15 minutes for white meat, 25 or so for dark. Off of the heat pour in 1/4 cup heavy cream, season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve.
The other night we ate this with baked potatoes and creamed spinach. Very, very nice.
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