The other day I had found a recipe for quail that I thought I could adapt. I bought spatchock, grapes and tarragon, all set to go. And then I read the recipe (I had only really glanced at the ingredients and looked at the picture) only to find that I didn’t have most of the ingredients (my bottle of verjuice had barely enough for a salad dressing, not enough to marinate chicken in). So I adapted once more and ended up with a dish that’s become a favourite. Not only because its delicious but because its so easy to make.
Brown chicken (marylands or half spatchcocks or even breasts with the skin on) in a frypan or casserole dish (your le creuset is perfect for this) then deglaze the pan with some verjuice and white wine. If you don’t have verjuice, just use white wine – about a cupful. Place thick slices of lemon underneath the chicken, throw in some tarragon and parsley, cover and let it gently cook. This is a dish that you can’t overcook – the chicken just becomes moist and tender.
I’ve served this with Israeli couscous and with roasted potatoes (cooked in duck fat – oh heaven). It lends itself to so many pairing possibilities.
I used some of the leftover tarragon in the mushroom ragu (see previous entry) and yesterday (having bought more verjuice) again used it in the chicken dish. I have only just discovered the joys of this herb. For some reason, I had previously been unable to discern any specific flavour in tarragon – it didn’t really taste of anything and I couldn’t’ understand what all the fuss was about. But now I get it and am a fan. Tarragon has a wonderful subtle aniseed-like flavour and pairs well a range of different herbs and goes particularly well with chicken.