As my mother's condition, sadly, continues to deteriorate, I find that even the simplest daily tasks can be quite overwhelming. While copious lists keep me on track, having a clear, achievable goal is what gets me through the day. Making a tasty and satisfying meal is a goal that I can embrace. The artistry satisfies my creative side, the repetition in the assembling and chopping of ingredients calms, and the heady aromas of my meal-in-the-making soothes.
Tarragon Chicken is one of my “go to” comfort foods, and one of my favorite recipes is Chicken Louisa that I showed you here. Today's version is slightly more sophisticated, is designed for the Crockpot, and found in The Gourmet Slow Cooker cookbook. The end result is a moist and delicious chicken with an earthy, aromatic taste that will send your taste buds on a trip to Paris.
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 chicken, cut I to serving pieces and skinned
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup chicken stock
6 sprigs tarragon
1 cup heavy cream or half-and-half
Combine the 3/4 cup flour and salt in a resealable plastic bag. Add chicken to the bag, several pieces at a time, and shake to coat completely.
Heat a sauté pan over medium-high heat, and add the butter and oil. Add the chicken and cook, turning once, for 8 to 10 minutes, until browned on both sides. Using tongs, transfer chicken to paper towels to drain, then arrange pieces in the slow cooker.
Set the sauté pan over medium-high heat and add the onion and the 2 tablespoons flour. Sauté, stirring frequently, for 10 minutes, or until lightly browned. Gradually add the wine, stirring to scrape up browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add stock and cook, stirring frequently, for 10 to 15 minutes, until sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Pour the sauce over the chicken in the slow cooker and lay 2 sprigs of the tarragon on top.
Cover and cook on low for 3 to 8 hours, until chicken is tender. At 3 to 4 hours, the chicken will still be firm and hold its shape. At 6 to 8 hours, the meat will be falling off the bone. Pour in the cream and stir well. Cover and cook 10 to 15 minutes to heat thoroughly.
While the chicken finishes cooking, strip leaves from remaining 4 tarragon sprigs and coarsely chop. Remove and discard tarragon sprigs from slow cooker and stir in freshly chopped leaves.
Turn off slow cooker. Divide chicken and sauce among plates; serve immediately.
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