All content copyright Katrina Hall 2008 through 2014





Friday, November 7, 2008

roast chicken with tarragon sauce (creme a l'estragon)


I was amazed last week when my son asked for this recipe. It's always been one of those quick quasi-fancy classic dishes - but I had no idea he loved it that much.
It's gloomy , rainy, and foggy outside - the perfect day to roast a chicken, don't you think? The sauce takes about three minutes to make, so it isn't difficult - as long as you remember to buy heavy cream and tarragon.
To roast the chicken:
Preheat oven to 400F.
Take any size chicken ( this one was 3 lbs), and rinse it off. Pat it dry with a paper towel. Place it in a roasting pan and squeeze a half a lemon over it, then place the lemon inside the cavity of the chicken. Sprinkle salt and pepper over the chicken, and a few tiny pieces of unsalted butter. Sprinkle the inside of the chicken with a teaspoon of dried tarragon.
Place in oven and reduce oven temperature to 350F.
Roast about an hour, or until chicken is browned and the juices run clear when you tip the pan. Jiggle the leg - if it jiggles freely, it is done. If it seems stiff, roast it another 20 minutes and try again.
To make the sauce:
Pour the juices from the chicken into a skillet. Using a spoon, remove as much of the fat as you can. A little is fine, but too much makes for an oily sauce.
Heat the juices until they're simmering, then add several tablespoons of heavy cream, whisking the juices and the cream together. Add another teaspoon of dried tarragon, whisk again, and taste carefully. Add salt, pepper, and more tarragon if wished.
Either serve pieces of chicken, or slices of chicken bathed in the sauce.
Obviously, the amount of sauce depends on the amount of juices - so if you have a larger chicken, it will take longer to cook, and require more cream and tarragon.
So there you go - a classic French sauce creme a l'estragon!
And featured on Saveur online 9 November, 2009!

16 comments:

Barb said...

Hey Katrina~ All of these posts look so good!! even the rice pudding (I'm not a big fan :(.

The roast chicken, however, looks like something I might like try.

So what are you painting that you were staring at paint chips for? (ooooh that seems like very bad sentence structure, doesn't it?)

katrina said...

Hi Barb!
Your sentence makes complete sense to me , since I'm prone to malaprops and sentence splitters pretty much all the time. Isn't that a sign of a great mind?

As far as the paint chips go, I LOVE painting ( actually, I love COLOR). I could look at paint chips all day, and imagine everything from turquoise to this fabulous pale lime green/pear color I found, in this 1790 house.
Actually choosing a color is so difficult - it depends on mood and season. So it may take a while.

Barb said...

I think I remember you writing that you recently moved from town, so was your 'new' house built in 1790? Am I reading this correctly?

katrina said...

Somewhere in there, Barb - it's an antique Cape similar to the one I grew up in on Cape Cod - which was built around mid to late 1700's.

Martha said...

You had my mouth watering!

Martha

katrina said...

Martha - that's a good thing, yes? Delighted you enjoyed the recipe! Many thanks.......

Casey said...

Thanks Mom. May have to brave my lactardness to make and eat this again....

katrina said...

Oh sweetheart, I thought of that as I typed it out. Why don't you try a thinned out roux? It IS just a few tablespoons of cream, so it wouldn't be as bad as the cream cheese frosting, but still....I'll check around to see if I can find substitutions for milk products.

Barb said...

Hi Katrina~ Wow! 1790-ish! is so cool!! I love old houses (Capes are especially wonderful!) Any chance of a picture of it sometime? I would love to see it. (I do understand about that privacy issue thing, though.)

I live in a house that was built in the early 1920s (just a youngster by your standards) and it has plenty of "character" - we just call all of it's quirks part of its charm! So I can imagine that your house is plenty 'charming' and full of 'character'!!

katrina said...

Hi Barb -
Well, this house has a new kitchen addition - which is nice - but the old part of the house could use some TLC and architectural work - chilly and funny stairs, but for now, it's home. I'm just renting, so I doubt I'll do much in the way of major renovation. Send me your email - I'll send you a photo!

Charles said...

Beautiful site and a wonderfully simple roast chicken recipe. Love the tarragon sauce.

Anonymous said...

Chicken and tarragon have got to be one of my favorite combinations. I think I might sear the whole chicken in a skillet before, pour off the fat and then deglaze with a little white wine for the fruity acidy stuff I like so much - then continue as planned. That way you get all the good crusty bits for the sauce. It definitely wouldn't be as delicate or pretty though.

katrina said...

Thank you, Charles! Of all the foods I most have a passion for, it's the simple, perfectly roasted poulet. Nothing beats it.

Loved your shrimp and crab dish!

katrina said...

Your version also sounds delicious - but there's something about making this roasted chicken the same way I did in the restaurant so long ago, that not only tingles the taste buds, but brings back so many lovely memories. Thanks!

brian said...

thanks for the recipe! i made this last night and it came out pretty well!

katrina said...

That's wonderful, brian! Although I just love this recipe, I'll accept your "pretty ok" :) Thanks so much for letting me know - I love getting feedback.