23 October 2009
poulet à l'estragon
I had a remaining chicken from this summer's slaughter in the freezer and a whole pot of tarragon that may not survive many more frosts. Logical conclusion: make poulet à l'estragon (chicken with tarragon). I followed Julia Child's Poulet poêlé à l'estragon (after a summer of telling myself I'd make the cold aspic version, Poulet en gelée à l'estragon, and now it's too cold for that).
The chicken is seasoned, stuffed with tarragon and butter, trussed and seared on all sided in a dutch oven. It then gets roasted — covered — until done. I had worried that the chicken would steam, and the skin wouldn't have that great roasted texture. I was wrong. The skin was great. A sauce of more tarragon, the drippings and some beef stock made this sublime.
This was easily one of the best ways that I have ever had chicken. This was also a larger cockerel (four-and-a-half pounds!), so it benefited from this tenderizing preparation. I served this with roasted sunchokes and brussels sprouts.
Tiffiniy declared that she had never known she could like white meat. It was that good. That was how I felt when I cooked the first one.