After the last couple of ‘poor wee me’ blogs, here’s something with no complications. A recipe for a really simple but elegant dish that can scale up for a supper party no problem or just be a nice light supper for one.
It always reminds me of a rather lovely, if slightly twattish, boyfriend I had in my early twenties. It was the only dish he could cook but he did do it rather well – unlike most other things. I don’t use as much butter as he did, but it doesn’t really need it.
For value, bone in chicken thighs are the next best to buying a whole chicken. I bought a pack of 8 that were on offer and decanted them into four ziploc bags a couple of weeks ago. I pulled four out of the freezer yesterday planning to make thai curry with two and this dish, but I didn’t get round to the former so I’ll be eating this for a couple of days. But that’s no hardship. Some potatoes tomorrow, and as suggested by @happy_appetite Ross Boyce perhaps some Parisienne gnocchi the next night. That will ring enough changes for me. I’m a creature of habit really.
- 2 chicken thighs
- 1 tsp light oil
- 1 tsp butter
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 1/2 glass Noilly Prat vermouth or white wine
- 100 mi water or chicken stock
- 1 tbsp cream
- a squeeze of lemon to taste
- salt and pepper
- A sprig of tarragon (stalk and about 12 leaves) leaves chopped roughly
- Pre-heat the oven to 180C
- Heat a small caserole or sauteuse that can go in the oven and add the oil and butter
- When the butter foams, add the chicken thighs skin side down and allow to brown. Don’t move them. It’ll take about 5 minutes. Turn and brown on the other sides.
- Remove the chicken to a plate and pour off most of the fat from the pan and return to the heat.
- Add the garlic and stir for a moment.
- Add the Noilly Prat or wine and scrape the bottom of the pan.
- Allow the liquid to bubble for a couple of minutes and add the water or stock.
- Remove the leaves from the tarragon stalk and set aside. Bruise the stalk with the back of a knife and add to the pan.
- Put the chicken back in the pan, skin side up. Cover the pan or caserole and place in the oven for 30-40 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and put the chicken on a clean plate. Discard the tarragon stalk. Add the cream, to the pan and allow to bubble. Taste the liquor now and add lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste.
- At the last minute add chopped tarragon. Place the chicken thighs in deep dish and pour the sauce around the chicken.
- Serve with fork, knife and a spoon.