It is always difficult to find exactly what to say on the very first post of anything. It is no different this time. I have decided to start a food blog because I love to cook, I love to look at food, and, most importantly, I love to eat. The scale in my bathroom can attest to that.
More than anything else in the kitchen, I love to bake and not just sweets but anything. I love to make bread and there is nothing as good as fresh-out-of-the-oven bread; Nothing. Once upon a time, I was scared to make dough and pastry, mainly because it seemed so messy. Somehow I got over that fear and made my first loaf. The clean up wasn’t too bad and the bread was one of the best I’d ever had. I was hooked.
I’ll start with Chicken with Tarragon Sauce. It is a recipe from the Food and Wine 2004 book. I was supposed to pair it up with steamed broccoli but at the last minute I realized the broccoli had gone bad so I had to improvise and paired it up with boiled Maris Piper potatoes instead.
Here is the recipe:
2 tbs unsalted butter, softened
2 bone in chicken breast halves
2 whole chicken legs
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup dry but fruity wine (I used Riesling which is sweetish)
1/2 cup chicken stock, preferably homemade
Bouquet garni made with 2 bay leaves, 2 sprigs of parsley and 2 sprigs of thyme tied in a bundle with kitchen string
1 small onion, halved
1 tbs all purpose flour
1 cup heavy cream
1 tbs minced tarragon
1. In a large skillet, melt 1 tablespoon of butter. Add the chicken, skin side down, and season with salt and pepper. Cook over moderate heat until lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Turn the chicken and pour off all but 2 tablespoons of fat. Add the wine, stock, bouquet garni and onion; bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over low heat, turning the chicken breasts a few times, until the breasts are barely done, about 20 minutes. Transfer the breasts to a plate and cover loosely with foil. Cover and simmer the legs until just cooked through, about 10 minutes longer. Transfer the legs to the plate.
2. Discard the onion and bouquet garni and boil the cooking liquid over moderately high heat until reduced to 3/4 cup, about 4 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, blend the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter with the flour. Whisk the paste into the reduced cooking liquid until smooth and bring to a simmer. Add the cream and simmer the sauce over low heat for 6 minutes, whisking occasionally.
3. Stir in the tarragon. Return the chicken to the pan and turn to coat with sauce. Cover and simmer until heated through, turning a few times, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer chicken to a platter, pour the tarragon sauce on top and serve.
Earlier today, I baked the sponge for a cake I am going to finish and decorate tomorrow. Tomorrow is a special day for me and my mother and it deserves a cake. This is only the base; I will post the finished cake tomorrow, unless it goes horribly wrong!