There is little more satisfying than tender chicken with a creamy tarragon sauce. This rustic version of the classic creates a one-dish meal and fits my definition of comfort food.
2 1/2 to 3 lbs bone-in chicken pieces (I prefer a combination of breasts and thighs so there is an equal choice of white and dark meat)
1 celery root, peeled and sliced into 1/2″ dice (Note: celery root is a much under-appreciated starchy vegetable that lends subtle celery flavor to a braised sauce. I’ve heard them called “moon rocks”, but don’t let that scare you. They don’t taste like rocks! It’s easier to peel them with a knife)
4 large scallions, sliced
3 carrots, peeled and sliced into 1/2″ pieces
2 c. cremini mushrooms, stemmed and sliced thickly
1 (.66 oz clamshell) fresh tarragon
4 T unsalted butter, divided
1 T olive oil
Combination of: 2 parsley sprigs, 1/2 bay leaf and 2 thyme sprigs tied up in cheesecloth square
3 c. chicken broth
1 c. dry white wine
1/2 c. half and half
Bring salted water to boil in medium pot. Boil celery root for 5 minutes. Drain and remove from heat.
Separate 2/3 tarragon sprigs from the bunch, and finely chop the remainder.
Rinse chicken and pat dry. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Heat 3 T butter and oil in heavy large skillet over medium high. Add chicken skin side down, lower heat to medium until browned. Turn chicken with tongs, brown. Remove to plate.
Add wine to skillet and bring to boil, scraping up browned bits. Add broth, herb bouquet, tarragon springs and return chicken to skillet. Simmer covered on low for 25 minutes.
Add celery root and carrots to skillet. Simmer covered for another 10 minutes on low or until chicken is tender and juices run clear.
In the meantime, in a 10″ skillet, heat remaining butter over medium high heat. Sauté mushrooms and scallions until beginning to brown and mushrooms have released their liquid and it has been reabsorbed. Set aside.
Remove chicken from skillet and place on plate, covered. Add mushroom mixture and cream. Bring to light boil, reduce heat and simmer to meld flavors until sauce thickens enough to coat back of spoon. Remove herb bouquet and salt and pepper to taste. Place chicken on individual plates, serving vegetables along side. Spoon sauce over chicken, sprinkling with chopped tarragon. Serve with a warm, crusty bread.
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