Slow-cooked Chicken Tarragon

It was 10.30pm one night during the week when I remembered I had five chicken fillets that were about to pass their use-by date. I don’t normally pay too much heed to expiry dates – mostly nonsense in my opinion, especially when they have an end-of-life date for foods such as honey, which by the way, actually never goes off. Random fact for you there with your recipe to boot! Anyway when it comes to chicken I am a little more wary and so I reluctantly got up off my backside to see what I could do with them. Opening cupboards and presses and my little slow-cooker treasure beamed up at me. Excellent.

I have tarragon in the garden which I seldom use despite that it is a perennial and year after year it comes back without me doing anything to it at all. Quite a robust herb and a wonderful match with chicken. Perfect!

A foggy search on the inter-web for some ‘chicken-tarragon’ inspiration and I had a very simple recipe ready to go. The most difficult part of the cooking was determining whether the chicken was actually still fresh, given it was 90 minutes to its so-called expiration. I left them on a plate for about 5 minutes and my razor-sharp nose did the work. Good to go! I ventured out into the garden armed with a torch and scissors to snip some tarragon. I grated some garlic cloves on the microplane, and boiled the kettle for some (shop-bought) stock. I fetched the dijon from the fridge and turned on the slow-cooker. Ready to ‘cook’! I hope you like the recipe!

Ingredients for the slow-cooker

  • 4-6 free-range chicken fillets
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 4 tablespoons of dijon mustard
  • 1 pint of chicken stock
  • A good twist of seasoning (salt and pepper)
  • 2 tablespoons of freshly chopped tarragon

What to do – part 1(Let the slow-cooker do the hard work!)

Rub the dijon, minced garlic and tarragon into the fillets. Season with salt and pepper (looking for about a tsp of salt, and just a few twists of pepper). Transfer to the slow cooker. Switch on to the Low setting for 7-8hours or High, to be ready in 3-4 hours. Add your pint of stock. If you are making this at an ungodly hour like me, go to bed.

Additional Ingredients for the sauce

  • 200ml fresh cream
  • 2 tablespoons of cornflour
  • Juice and zest of a lemon
  • A couple of tablespoons of chopped tarragon

What to do – part 2

Once ready remove the chicken from the pot and keep warm by covering, or placing in a warm oven. Transfer the remaining juices to a saucepan. Add the cream and whisk in two level tablespoons of corn flour, place over a medium heat and stir until thickened. Stir in half the lemon juice at first and taste. Add the rest of the juice if necessary.

Plate up the chicken, spoon over the sauce and add a few bits of chopped tarragon and lemon zest on top. Served best with potatoes and steamed greens such as green beans or even a fresh green salad. The chicken will be falling off the fork and melting-in-the-mouth! Enjoy!

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