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Sautéed Chicken with Tarragon Sauce and Skinny Fr...

Sauteed Chicken with Tarragon Sauce and Skinny Fries

 

I usually work on Saturday but fortunately I don’t start until the afternoon. That means I have just enough time to watch Saturday Morning Kitchen and the lovely James Martin. A few weeks ago he prepared this dish. Instantly I knew what we would be having for dinner that night. In fact we love this so much we have had it every week since. It is warm and comforting – perfect for these cold, blustery winter nights. It also has a few of my favourite ingredients in it: Mushrooms, Chicken, Cream, and Tarragon! What’s not to like?

It’s probably for the best that we are not in possession of a deep fat fryer. The combination of my desire to attempt to deep fry every chocolate bar known to mankind and my accident-proneness make the idea of owning such a device more than a little scary. Using oven chips makes this an even easier, but no less tasty, dish to prepare.

In fact this is exactly what I am making for dinner tonight – my mouth is already watering! Oh, while watching the show the addition of the egg yolks was explained as adding richness to the dish and helping to slightly thicken the sauce. In fact the sauce is so good I guarantee you’ll be tempted to lick the plate!

Sautéed Chicken with Tarragon Sauce and Skinny Fries courtesy of James Martin and the BBC Food website

Ingredients

For the chicken

1 Tbsp vegetable oil (I used olive oil)

50g butter

4 chicken breasts, boneless and skinless, cut into chunks

2 shallots, finely sliced

125g pearl or baby onions

125g baby button mushrooms (I used chestnut mushrooms which I cut into thirds)

200ml white wine (plus an extra glass to drink while cooking 🙂 )

300ml chicken stock

150ml double cream

2 free-range egg yolks

salt and freshly ground black pepper

4 tsp fresh tarragon finely chopped (I used dried tarragon and kept the measurements about the same – but taste as you add it as it does have a strong flavour)

 

For the Fries

4 large chipping potatoes, peeled and cut into fine chips

vegetable oil, for deep frying

sea salt to taste

OR

you can used oven ready chips and just pop them in the oven and cook according to package directions

 

Directions

For the chicken: heat a frying pan until medium-hot. Add the oil, half the butter and the chicken and fry until golden-brown and nearly cooked through (approx 3-4 minutes)

Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside. Add the shallots to the pan and gently fry for 2-3 minutes until translucent

Increase the heat and add the remaining butter, pearl/baby onions and mushrooms. Cook for 2-3 minutes until golden-brown

Add the white wine and cook until reduced in volume by half, then add the chicken stock and bring to the boil

Cook for a couple of minutes, then add the chicken and return to the boil

Cook for 2 more minutes or until the chicken is cooked through

In a bowl, whisk the cream and egg yolks together. Add to the pan and stir through. Remove from the heat and season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper

Finally, stir the tarragon through the sauce and keep warm until ready to serve

 

For the skinny fries:

Heat a deep fat fryer to 180C / 350F (Caution: hot oil can be dangerous. Don’t leave unattended)

Add the chips amd fry for 4-5 minutes until golden-brown and cooked through

Drain on kitchen paper then sprinkle with sea salt

 

To serve: spoon the chicken onto the plate then pile the fries alongside

Enjoy!

 

The Sunday Roast: Not Just for Sundays...

There is nothing quite like a home made roast dinner, especially when the nights are drawing in and the weather has turned damp and cold. They remind me of cosy Sundays spent with my family watching All Creatures Great And Small while delicious smells wafted from the kitchen into the front room. Of course traditionally the Sunday roast is served on Sunday but this week we threw caution to the wind and decided to have a midweek roast.

It did take a little bit more preparation then usual as this time I was determined to make Yorkshire Puddings from scratch. I do feel guilty that I never attempted this before – relying instead on a ready mix where all you need to add is some water and an egg.

Thinking about it, it all seemed a bit ambitious for a midweek meal but I was willing to give it a try. When I started researching recipes I went immediately to one of my favourite chefs; James Martin. If anyone was going to have a delicious and easy to follow Yorkshire Pudding recipe it would be him, and I was right! The recipe I found is for Yorkshire Pudding With Onion Gravy (hurrah an additional treat!). However I was wondering what I was getting myself into! I tried making onion gravy once before which ended badly. Not only was it time consuming but after all that effort it ended up being horribly bitter (I am still not sure what I did wrong).

The main issue with the Yorkshire batter is that it needs to rest – preferably overnight. We had only decided on this meal the night before so after my husband went to work the next day I set about making the batter so it would have at least 10 hours to rest. As I went to get the ingredients I realized that I didn’t have the plain flour, whole milk or beef dripping that the recipe called for. It was a really wet blustery day and the thought of a one hour round trip walk to the shops did not appeal to me. So I did what any kitchen witch would do – I went with what I had, which was self raising flour, olive oil and semi skimmed milk.

Once the batter was in the fridge, I really didn’t have that much to prepare until later on. I took the organic beef joint out the fridge about an hour before we were going to start cooking it so that it could come up to room temperature. I peeled some potatoes and got them ready for parboiling and sliced 2 red onions in preparation for the gravy. I opened a bottle of red wine and had a glass – just to make sure it was ok to use in the gravy (it was).

When we were ready to start cooking my husband rubbed a mixture of olive oil, sea salt and English mustard over the joint. He then seared it on all sides in a hot pan. We added it to our roasting dish with a few cloves of garlic and some fresh lemon thyme. While that was cooking we poured some olive oil in some muffin tins and when it began to smoke we added the Yorkshire batter. After the beef had cooked for 15 minutes we added the parboiled potatoes and a knob of butter to coat them (this is NOT fat free cooking!).

We like our beef medium rare and as the joint was small it didn’t take too long to cook. We took it out to let it rest, placed the roast potatoes in a warmed dish in the oven and used the roasting pan to prepare the onion gravy. I added butter (told you this isn’t fat free!) and then red onions and some minced garlic. While allowing them to soften I had another glass of wine just to make sure it was still ok (it was) and then added a good glug of it to the pan. It helped me scrape up all the lovely browned bits from the beef and potatoes that were still on the pan. Once I added the beef stock to the gravy, my husband began to serve up.

The Yorkshires were golden, fluffy and thanks to the self raising flour, some of the biggest I have ever seen. The beef was done perfectly and the roast potatoes were crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside. I spooned the onion gravy liberally over the plate; after tasting it first of course! It wasn’t bitter at all. It was rich, tangy and complimented everything beautifully. As for the Yorkshires – WOW – from this day forward I will always make them from scratch. They were exactly like the ones I remember my Mum making. Light, fluffy and unmistakeably made with love and care! You really can taste the difference between home made and pre-prepared.

The midweek roast dinner was a huge success and something we will do again. If you have never tried making your own Yorkshire puddings then do give it a try – it is absolutely worth it. As for the onion gravy, this is a great recipe for lovely deep rich gravy that will have you mopping up your plate!

Enjoy!

To see this wonderful James Martin’s recipe on the BBC Food website please click here.

Roast Beef, Home made Yorkshire Puddings and Onion Gravy

Roast Beef, Homemade Yorkshire Puddings and Onion Gravy