So lately I’ve been obsessed with watching the Food Network channel. I’ve been a fan of the website for some time, but I never paid much attention to the TV version. What a mistake that was!
One of my (new) favorite celebrity chefs is Laura Calder. If anyone is unfamiliar with her, she’s a Canadian chef who specializes in French cooking. Since French is an area I’m not all that great with, I find her ideas to be fascinating.
The fact that she’s a total hottie doesn’t hurt, either.
This is a recipe of Ms. Calder’s that I just made last week. And, as is my usual process, I took some in to work to get some feedback from my guinea pigs. The guinea pigs were in total agreement – this one is a keeper!
I made a few modifications to the original recipe, as I tend to cook with boneless, skinless chicken breasts and thighs exclusively. Ms. Calder suggested using a whole chicken, but Sumo don’t play that.
I also substituted sour cream for the creme fraiche that was called for, as I just didn’t have the time to make creme fraiche myself. I will, however, use the creme fraiche the next time I make this, just to see how it differs from my version. I also used more chicken stock than Ms. Calder recommended, as there did not appear to be enough sauce while I was cooking. All that meant was it took a little longer to reduce. Turned out juuuuuuust fine.;)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into pieces
Salt and pepper
1 cup chicken stock
3/4 cup dry white wine
1 shallot, minced
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup chopped fresh tarragon
Lemon juice to taste
Melt the butter with the oil in a large skillet over quite high heat. Season the chicken pieces and fry in batches until well browned, about 5 minutes per side. Put all the chicken back in the pan, add chicken stock and reduce the heat to medium. Cover and cook until tender, about 30 minutes. Remove the chicken to a plate and keep warm and reduce any leftover juices until sticky. Add the shallot and wine and reduce to a thickish sauce, about 5 minutes. Add the cream and half the tarragon. Boil down again to sauce consistency, 3 to 5 minutes.
Season the sauce with salt, pepper, and lemon juice. Put back the chicken pieces, turning to coat, then transfer to a platter. Pour the sauce over, scatter over the remaining tarragon, and serve.