I just love the name of this dish. The first of many of Mary’s recipes copied in to Granny’s recipe book that I decided to try. It’s such a grey rainy day that I thought this would be a good comfort food recipe to post today, with the combination of a creamy chicken sauce and pimento red peppers really appealing to me just now.
The recipe starts with the poaching of the chicken breasts. A method that’s not so popular today – every recipe I normally go to focuses on frying, grilling or roasting chicken – so I was eager to find out how the chicken would taste! As well as being very healthy, without the use of oil or fat in the base of the pan, the heat from the poaching liquid carries the heat in to the meat and sets the stage for a very tender cooking process – it’s gradual and gentle and draws liquid in to the meat, rather than away from it.
The recipe is also interesting as it uses egg yolks, rather than the more common corn flour or plain white flour to thicken the poaching liquid and cream in to a sauce. I’m not sure of the science, but I felt as though the use of the egg yolks added glossiness to the sauce that would be typically flattened or dulled with the use of a flour thickener.
I found the tarragon flavour a bit overwhelming and also preferred the taste of the fresh tarragon, which added some nice colour to the sauce too. I have adapted the recipe to reduce the amount. Start with a little and you can always add more.
I wasn’t quite sure just how this would turn out but was really surprised at just how soft the chicken once and just how warming and cosy the dish was. Plus, just one pan to wash up afterwards!
Granny would eat this casserole with rice and a green salad, but it would be equally as good with a jacket potato or some mashed potato. In the process of testing the recipe I also turned some of the casserole in to a pie filling – just halve the volumes of liquid and be extra sure to thicken the sauce well.
My tummy is actually grumbling writing this and I’m wishing I had the ingredients to make it again for dinner tonight …I’m off to the fridge to see what I can find to satisfy me for dinner!
¾ pint chicken stock
¼ pint white wine
6 chicken breasts cut in to large pieces
1 can pimento peppers or roasted red peppers
1 handful of fresh chopped tarragon
2 egg yolks
5 fl oz double cream
Salt and pepper to season
1. Combine the stock and wine in a large saucepan and add the chicken pieces.
2. Bring the liquid to a gentle simmer and poach chicken for 10-15 minutes.
3. Remove the chicken pieces. Add the tarragon to the poaching liquid and boil to reduce by half. Reduce the heat to low.
4. Beat the egg yolks with the cream and add slowly to the poaching liquid, stirring all the time. Stir until the sauce thickens.
5. Add the sliced peppers to the sauce and then pour the liquid over the chicken.