My seasonal food clock is somewhat ahead of schedule as I’m already craving foods usually enjoyed after the thermometer drops a few degrees, but I didn’t feel any guilt devouring this dish. This braised chicken defines comfort food for me. This is what I want when the weather outside is not too nice, when there’s earthquakes, hurricanes or godzilla at your front door, and this is what I want sometimes for no reason at all. It’s simple and deeply satisfying French country cooking. This is the kind of dish you can expect to be served on a checkered tablecloth, along with a glass of wine and a loaf of bread, as you travel through the country side in Burgundy and make a pit stop at a local auberge.
Sometimes the word “braised” carries the double-meaning that there is a lot of work involved in a preparation but it’s not true in this case. Sure, it takes a little while to get the chicken to “fall off the bone” but besides patience this recipe requires very little hard work. Make sure to serve it on a bed of tagliatelle or fettuccine to soak up all the delicious sauce and while you’re at it – invite me for dinner. I’ll be right over.
Braised Chicken in White Wine, Mustard and Tarragon
- Serves 4
For the braised chicken:
- 1 whole chicken, quartered (or preferably 6 legs)
- salt and black pepper
- 4 tablespoons grapeseed oil
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 10 shallots, sliced
- 5 cloves garlic, sliced
- 3 cups white wine (Chablis or Meursault)
- 1/4 cup tarragon vinegar
- 4 cups chicken stock
- sage, thyme, bay leaf, parsley and tarragon tied in a bundle
- 6 tablespoons whole grain mustard
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 cups button mushrooms, quartered
- olive oil
- 1 lb Tagliatelle or Fettuccine
- 3 tablespoons tarragon leaves, chopped
Braised Chicken Recipe:
- Preheat oven to 350′F.
- Season the chicken pieces with salt and black pepper. Heat the grapeseed oil in a large round pot, add for 3 tablespoons of the butter, when foamy add the chicken pieces and cook until golden brown, about 4 minutes on each side.
- Remove the chicken pieces to a tray. Discard the oil from the pot and add the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter.
- Add the sliced shallots and garlic to the pot, and cook until soft and translucent, about 7 minutes. Add the vinegar and cook for a minute then add the white wine to the pot and reduce by half. Add the chicken stock, the whole grain mustard, the bouquet garni and chicken pieces and bring to a simmer. Cover the pot and place in the oven to braise for 1 1/2 hour.
- Meanwhile, sautee the mushrooms in olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Cook the pasta, drain and toss with butter.
- Transfer the chicken pieces to a large plate, add the cream to the braising liquid and reduce until it begins to thicken. Add the chopped tarragon before serving. Serve the braised chicken with the sauce and the mushrooms over the cooked pasta.