Chicken with Tarragon


Two 2 1/2 to 3-pound frying chickens, cut in quarters

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter

2 tablespoons oil

Salt and pepper to taste

8 to 10 shallots or 10 to 12 scallions, finely chopped

1 cup white wine

4 tablespoons fresh tarragon, chopped or 2 tablespoons dried

4 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped


Melt butter and oil in a covered skillet large enough to hold all the chicken pieces. When the butter is hot, add the chicken pieces skin side down and brown. Turn them over and brown the other side. This will take about 10 minutes. Salt and pepper them well. If you don’t have a large enough skillet, after browning the pieces place them in a covered Dutch oven or casserole and continue cooking.

Add the shallots or scallions. Lower the heat, cover the pan, and simmer very, very slowly for 15 to 18 minutes, or 20 minutes if the chickens are on the large side.

Remove the cover, increase the heat slightly, and add the white wine, tarragon, and parsley, scraping up any bits that have stuck to the bottom of the pan. Turn the chicken pieces again, and cook briskly for 3 or 4 minutes to reduce the sauce a little.

Serve with tiny new potatoes or James Beard's Brussels sprouts with bacon.