Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Tarragon Chicken with Mushroom Cream Sauce

I love the taste of tarragon in a sauce with chicken.  

So when I saw this recipe on Facebook today, I had to tweak it and share.   This is going on next week's meal plan.  Chicken thighs go on sale often, so grab a few packs and toss them in the freezer when they do. I bought skin-on, bone-in, and got 8 big ones for $3.  I just rip the skin off and trim myself to save some cash.  I wrote out some instructions for how I'd do it as an oven freezer meal, and also a slow cooker freezer meal, and I also included the original slow cooker instructions.

Sauce note:  I went ahead and used my gravy separator to get rid of some of the fat in the juices, and then I used my stick blender to puree the veggies with the juices - my kids are picker-outers, so they would have just left behind all of that roasted veggie goodness.  It looked so pretty, I had to take a picture!  I'm a dork, I know...

Tarragon Chicken with Mushroom Cream Sauce

6 bone-in thighs, skin removed (or boneless, skinless thighs)
1 c. green bell pepper, finely diced
2 c. baby bella mushrooms, finely diced (or white button mushrooms)
1 small onion, diced (I used 2 shallots instead)
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried tarragon leaves
2 tsp minced garlic
Salt and Pepper
2 bay leaves
1/2 c. chicken broth
1 Tbsp soy sauce
4 Tbsp butter (not margarine)
4 Tbsp flour
6 Tbsp heavy cream (or half and half or milk to make it healthier)

My tweaked freezer meal instructions:
Pour chicken broth and soy sauce into a foil pan, and add the bay leaves and chicken thighs, seasoned with salt & pepper (go easy on the salt).  Add peppers, mushrooms, onions and garlic over top of chicken, then add herbs.  Drizzle with EVOO.  Cover with foil, and freeze.  Note: I roasted the veggies while I was babysitting another dish in the kitchen, and it was no biggie, but if you REALLY don't want to, then skip it.  I like it roasted.

To prepare: thaw in fridge, bake in preheated 400 degree oven about 30 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.  While it's cooking, prepare to make up the sauce.  Remove the chicken from the pan and loosely tent with foil.  Melt butter over medium heat, and whisk in flour. Cook 1-2 minutes to remove raw flour taste, add 1/4 tsp. each thyme and tarragon if you like, then stir in some pan juices, about 1 cup total.  Pull out the bay leaves - don't want to eat those.  Whisk in the half & half (cream, milk), and season to taste with salt & pepper.  Serve chicken with sauce spooned over top.

My tweaked freezer meal/slow cooker instructions:
Roast the veggies, as she does below, or skip it if you don't feel like it, and then toss everything except the butter, flour and cream into a freezer bag.  Freeze.

To prepare: Thaw in fridge, and then toss in the slow cooker for 4-6 hours on low. Make the sauce as listed above.  Serve, and eat!

Slow cooker instructions from the post:
lace chicken in bottom of 3-5 quart slow cooker.  Salt and pepper.  Place peppers, mushrooms, onions and garlic on a cookie sheet.  Salt and pepper.  Drizzle with oil.  Sprinkle with thyme and tarragon.  Stir until veggies are coated with the seasonings and oil.  Place pan in a 400 degree preheated oven.  Cook for about 15-20 minutes.  Scrape the veggies off the sheet and place onto the top of the chicken.  Pour chicken broth into the slow cooker and slip the bay leaves into the bottom of the slow cooker.  Drizzle  the chicken with soy sauce.  Cover and cook on LOW for 4-6 hours until chicken is tender.  Remove chicken from slow cooker and place on a plate.  Loosely tent it with foil. In a pan melt the butter over low heat (it should be frothy).  Slowly whisk in one tablespoon of flour at a time to form a roux.  After all the flour is added the mixture will be really thick.  Slowly add in the juices from the slow cooker (1/4 cup at a time).  Whisk until the mixture is nice and thick and creamy.  Then slowly add in 1 tablespoon of cream at a time.  Season with extra tarragon and thyme, if needed.  Salt and pepper to taste.  If you're ready to eat, place chicken on individual serving plates and top generously with the creamy sauce.

1 comment:

  1. that mushroom cream sauce is making me smile already :)