Monday, November 14, 2011

Creamy Mushroom and Tarragon Chicken

Today was just not my day. Tired and cranky I drug myself to the grocery store. I decided that I deserved a Starbucks so I went out of my way to the store that had the walk up Starbucks. Proud of myself for going that extra mile to treat myself, I walked up to the counter.
Me: "Vente Iced Sugar Free Vanilla Latte Please!"
Starbucks Man: "Sorry Ma'am, our espresso machine is broken".
Really? I mean I never, maybe once a month, buy a Starbucks. I feel like it all the time, but I never go do it. Being somewhat of a hermit I just wish for it, but I know I won't remove myself from my kitchen long enough to go get it. My husband treats me with it on a Saturday morning, but I never treat myself.

So sadly I walked away and continued to shop for the produce I needed. I despise this store because every single time I reach for something I get shocked. I don't know what it is about this store, it never happens anywhere else. Taylor can vouch for me, because it happens to her to, so we never go there. They must have some hyper magnetic field or something. How is that for a cranky rant?

Defeated I came home and spent an hour unloading and putting away groceries, which always entails throwing out food that the kids have left reheated and half eaten. Taylor sat eagerly on the couch while I made her her "Linner" because she has to work at 4pm. Husband is gone, Boy is on a "I only want junk food kick" so here I am making a gourmet meal. I guess I really do have a cooking addiction. Oh well, there are worse things. At least I got to restock my herbs.
I know it looks like a lot of herbs, but I go through all of them within a week. I love to cook with fresh herbs. I would plant a garden, but I use too many and end up killing the plant within a week because I have picked all of the leaves anyway.
Having the fresh herbs, I decided to go for a meal that called for a lot of them:

Creamy Mushroom and Tarragon Chicken
adapted from Snippets Of Thyme

2 TBSP butter
2 TBSP olive oil
2 lbs free-range chicken
10 ounces washed and sliced baby bella mushrooms
2 carrots, chopped
1/2 cup sweet onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 sprig of thyme
3 sprigs parsley
4 sprigs tararagon, divided
2 tablespoons crème fraîche or sour cream
coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups cooked rice

Melt the butter and oil in a large sauté pan with a lid. Add the chicken pieces and cook for about 5 minutes, until brown. Put the browned chicken pieces on a paper towel lined plate and season well with salt and pepper.

Add mushrooms to the pan you cooked the chicken in and cook until browned. Remove set aside.
Add the carrots, onion, and garlic to the pan

and cook, stirring for 1-2 minutes.

Return the chicken and mushrooms to the pan and add water to cover half-way. Add the thyme, parsley, and  a sprig tarragon.
Cover and simmer gently for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, strip the leaves from the remaining tarragon, chop them finely, and set aside. Add the stems to the cooking chicken and vegetable mixture.

Remove the chicken and mushrooms from the pan and set aside. It is ok if you have a little of the veggies with the Chicken. This won't happen if you use bigger chicken pieces, but I wanted smaller ones and it turned out very tasty.

Increase the heat and cook the sauce until it has reduced by half. Strain
and return the sauce to the pan. Stir in the crème fraîche and the chopped tarragon. Heat briefly (do not let it reach a boil, the cream will split)
 and pour over the chicken mushrooms and serve with rice. Serve immediately

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