After all this turkey we’ve been eating, maybe it’s time for a weeknight chicken dish.
This spin on poulet a` l’estragon, or tarragon chicken, comes from Nina Parker, author of “The South of France Cookbook” (Weldon Owen, $35), who says it is most frequently served in a creamy mushroom tarragon sauce.
Although you could certainly add cream to the pan while making this dish, Parker prefers to serve it with an olive oil-based tarragon dressing drizzled on top. You could use chicken breasts, but the dark meat in the thighs is more flavorful, and the mushrooms and chickpeas soak up the juices while they cook, making a one-pot meal worth serving on a weeknight or at a dinner party.
Tarragon Chicken with Mushrooms and Chickpeas
3 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
8 chicken thighs, bone in
Salt and pepper, to taste
3 banana shallots or 8 to 9 regular shallots, thinly sliced
2 cups rinsed and drained canned chickpeas
13 oz. fresh chanterelle mushrooms, halved
2 star anise
3 cloves garlic, sliced
Bunch fresh thyme, leaves picked
For the tarragon dressing:
3/4 tsp. chopped garlic
1/4 cup chopped fresh tarragon leaves
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp. cider vinegar
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. sugar
Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Season the chicken thighs generously with olive oil, salt and pepper and add to the hot pan, skin side down. Cook for about 6 minutes, until the skins are golden brown. Turn them over, add the shallots and stir.
Add the chickpeas, mushrooms and star anise and allow the mushrooms to reduce in volume by half, then turn the thighs back to skin side down. Add the garlic and thyme and let everything infuse for a few moments. The chicken should be cooked through after about 15 minutes in total; the juice should run clear when a thigh is pierced with a knife.
While the chicken finishes, make the tarragon dressing by whisking together the remaining ingredients. Remove the star anise and serve the chicken with the dressing drizzled on top, reserving any extra for another use. Serves 4.
— From “The South of France Cookbook” by Nina Parker (Weldon Owen, $35)]]