Chicken in Creamy Tarragon Sauce



1 medium chicken, using the breasts and legs cut into 6 pieces

100 ml cognac

200 ml (0.8 cups) dry white wine

200 ml (0.8 cups) brown chicken stock

200 ml (0.8 cups) heavy whipping cream

1 carrot cut into medium sized cubes

1 stalk celery cut into medium sized cubes

1 large shallot cut into medium sized cubes

1 good bunch tarragon

Salt and pepper to season

2 tbs plain flour (to dust the chicken)

2 tbs oil (to sear the chicken)

1 tbsp butter (to cook the garnish)


Season chicken with salt and pepper and dust with flour.

Remove leaves from the tarragon stalks, wash and reserve. Retain the stalks and tie them together.

Heat the oil in a pot on a medium heat and brown the chicken pieces (skin side first). Brown each side for up to 4-5 minutes to get a good colour, and then remove from the pot.

Add shallots, carrot and celery to the pot with a little butter (or oil if preferred) and sweat vegetables on a low heat for about 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Pour in cognac and deglaze and then reduce to a syrupy consistency. Add white wine and reduce again (for about 3 minutes), and then check to ensure that acidity has been removed. If necessary, continue reducing until that has occurred.

Gently return chicken pieces to the pot together with the stock which should come to halfway up the chicken. Add tarragon stalks, submerging them. Add some black pepper.

Cover pot and gently simmer for 10-15 minutes and then remove breast pieces. Leave the leg pieces to simmer a further 10 minutes until properly cooked.

Whilst the chicken is simmering, heat the cream in a saucepan and add half of the tarragon leaves. Reduce the cream for about 5 minutes on a low heat, and then strain the cream to remove the tarragon.

Remove the chicken legs from the pot and reserve them with the breasts on a tray, and cover with foil.Discard the tarragon stalks and then increase the heat to high for some 3-5 minutes to further reduce the stock.

Once reduced, add the strained cream and further reduce on a medium heat until a spoon coating consistency is reached. Stir occasionally to avoid burning.

Chop the remaining tarragon leaves and stir into the stock (but reserve a little to garnish the dish). Reduce heat to low and place the chicken pieces back into the pot and heat for 5 minutes with the sauce. Correct seasoning if necessary.

Serve chicken on a warmed platter, doused with the sauce and garnish with the remaining chopped tarragon.