Bon Appétit (May 2010)
We had a surprise this spring.
All of a sudden, herbs that we had planted last year in our window boxes were back in a big way. Rosemary had new growth, our sage and parsley plants were three times the size that they were last summer and there were several new sprigs on our thyme as well.
After all this winter's snow, we assumed we'd be starting fresh this summer. But then again, no one has ever accused us of having green thumbs (though we are trying our hands at growing a small garden in our backyard this summer -- more on that when/if any of our plants come out of the ground!).
But of all these herbs, it was tarragon that's back in the biggest way. Our little plant from last summer is, as they say, all growed up. It's big, it's bushy, it's screaming for us to use some tarragon already.
So we were eager to try a new tarragon chicken recipe from the latest Bon App, which essentially marries those two ideas.
This recipe really feels like a shortcut, and we mean that in the best way. It's like a cheat for a flavorful, oven-roasted chicken, but it can be ready in a quarter of the time it would take you to actually roast a bird.
Another "cheat" here -- one we love, and one we'll definitely be using again many times in the future -- is "quick roasting" the garlic in a pan on the stovetop. Roasting brings out garlic's great sweetness and creamy, buttery texture. But, while roasting a head of garlic certainly isn't labor intensive, it can take a long time in the oven. Doing it on the stovetop is a brilliant shortcut! Just separate the cloves, but leave them peeled. Then sauté them in a dry pan for 10 minutes. Boom -- roasted!
The rest of this dish comes together just as easily. Despite its quick prep time, this dish feels hearty and hefty, like you've been slow-roasting the chicken for hours. Its incredibly flavorful, and the tarragon gives the whole thing a classic French taste.
It's like the perfect, slow Sunday night dinner, but quick and easy enough to throw together midweek. Bon App suggests serving this chicken with a Southwest Rice and Corn Salad with Lemon Dressing. We didn't try it (yet) but it looks amazing.
Have any other ideas for tarragon? Leave them in the comments!
• 3 large unpeeled garlic cloves
• 4 small skinless boneless chicken breast halves or cutlets
• 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
• 1/2 cup dry white wine
• 1/2 cup low-salt chicken broth
• 1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
• 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
Heat small nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add garlic; cover and cook until browned in spots and tender when pierced, turning occasionally, 9 to 10 minutes. Transfer to work surface to cool.
Meanwhile, sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Melt butter in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook until browned and cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer chicken to plate (do not clean skillet).
Peel garlic. Add garlic and wine to same skillet; cook until reduced by about half, mashing garlic finely with fork, about 1 minute. Add broth and tarragon; simmer until liquid is reduced by about half, 1 to 2 minutes. Add cream and simmer to sauce consistency, about 1 minute. Return chicken to skillet with any accumulated juices. Simmer to heat through, turning occasionally, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer chicken to plate; spoon sauce over.