- Poulet Poele a l'Estragon (Casserole-Roasted Chicken with Tarragon)
For 4 people
3-pound roasting chicken
Pinch of pepper
1/2 teaspoon of dried tarragon
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon oil, more if needed
3 tablespoons butter, if necessary
1/2 cup sliced onions
1/4 cup sliced carrots
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 or 4 sprigs of fresh tarragon or 1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Season the cavity of the chicken with salt, pepper, and 1 tablespoon
of the butter. Insert the tarragon leaves, or sprinkle in dried
tarragon. Truss the chicken. Dry it thoroughly and rub the skin
with the rest of the butter.
Set a casserole over moderately high heat with the butter and oil.
When the butter foam has begun to subside, lay in the chicken,
2 to 3 minutes, making sure to keep the
butter not but not burning. Turn the chicken on another side, using
2 wooden spoons or a towel. Be sure not to break the chicken skin.
Continue browning and turning the chicken until it is a nice golden
color almost all over, particularly on the breast and legs. This
10 to 15 minutes. Add more oil if necessary to keep the
bottom of the casserole filmed.
Remove the chicken. Pour out the browning fat if it has burned, and add fresh butter.
Cook the carrots and onions slowly in the casserole for 5 minutes
without browning. Add the salt and tarragon.
Salt the chicken. Set it breast up over the vegetables and baste
it with the butter in the casserole. Lay a piece of aluminum foil
over the chicken, cover the casserole, and reheat it on top of the
stove until you hear the chicken sizzling. Then place the casserole
on a rack in the middle level of the preheated oven.
1 hour and 10 to 20 minutes, regulating heat so chicken
is always making quiet cooking noises. Baste once or twice with the
butter and juices in the casserole. The chicken is done when its
drumsticks move in their sockets, and when the last drops drained
from its vent run clear yellow.
Remove the chicken to a serving platter and discard trussing strings.
Brown Tarragon Sauce
2 cups brown chicken stock, or 1 cup beef bouillon and 1 cup chicken broth
1 tablespoon cornstarch blended with
2 tablespoons Madeira or port
2 tablespoons fresh minced tarragon or parsley
1 tablespoon softened butter
10 to 12 fresh tarragon leaves blanched for 30 seconds, optional
Add the stock or bouillon and broth to the casserole and simmer for 2 minutes, scraping up coagulated roasting juices. Then skim off
all but a tablespoon of fat. Blend in the cornstarch mixture, simmer
a minute, then raise heat and boil rapidly until sauce is lightly
thickened. Taste carefully for seasoning, adding more tarragon if
you feel it necessary. Strain into a warmed sauceboat. Stir in the
herbs and the enrichment butter.
Pour a spoonful of sauce over the chicken, and decorate the breast
and legs with optional tarragon leaves. Platter may be garnished
with sprigs of fresh parsley or served with sauteed potatoes and broiled tomatoes.