I have three (opened) pots of dried Tarragon in my spice cupboard. Not very savvy shopping, I agree. I obviously panic bought it at some stage, only to leave it mouldering at the back of the cupboard.
Anyone who’s seen Michael McIntyre’s sketch about the spice cupboard, will totally understand it (if you haven’t, Google it – immediately!) when I say, that Tarragon is the ‘Chinese 5 Spice’ of herbs. The sad, lonely herb that never ventures out of the cupboard!
Chicken & Tarragon are perfect together. It elevates the flavour from a boring midweek chicken dish to something a little bit special. You don’t have to add the mustard if you don’t have it, but it really adds something extra to the flavour. Don’t worry about the recipe calling for milk instead of cream – it tastes great and makes the dish cheaper and healthier.
Ok. Hands up if you have a potato ricer!…..I have the most desperately small collection of kitchen kit. It’s so sad and useless, that my parents, long ago, set up a ‘Kitchen Utensils Outreach Project’, just for me. Whereby, they supply me with necessary kitchen implements to make my life better – oh, and my Dad sharpens my pathetically blunt knives……. Last year, said outreach project supplied me with a potato ricer. Words cannot express how wonderful it is. You can literally make smooth, fluffy, lump free mashed potato in your sleep. I can highly recommend getting one.
Anyway, here it is. Chicken & Tarragon Pie. An easy win,midweek meal that even my youngest, (who has now decided that he no longer wants food with onions, potato or flavour) enjoy
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Feeds 4 (with plenty of lunch leftovers for the next day)
- 500g diced chicken breast (roughly 4 chicken breasts)
- 2 heaped tsp dried Tarragon
- 1 tsp wholegrain mustard
- 450ml milk (whole milk is the best)
- 1 large onion
- 200g green beans
- Chicken stock cube
- 2 tbls flour
- 4 large baking potatoes (Roughly 1.2kg)
- Large knob of butter
- Olive oil for frying
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Peel the potatoes and cut them into equally sized pieces. Place in a saucepan and cover in cold, salted water. Bring the water to the boil and simmer for 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender.
- Using a potato ricer or masher, mash the potatoes until they are lump free. Add a large knob of butter and stir until it’s melted.
- Heat the oven to 180C
- In the meantime, cut the onion in half and then thinly slice it width ways. Place the onion in a large, non-stick frying pan, drizzle in olive oil and fry for 10 minutes on a medium heat until soft.
- Add the diced chicken to the pan and fry for 5 minutes until no longer pink.
- Trim the ends of the green beans (if necessary) and add them to the pan with the tarragon and flour. Fry for 2 minutes, stirring continuously, until you can no longer see the flour.
- Keeping the pan on the heat, slowly add the milk, a little at a time, stirring continuously, bringing it to the boil each time, before adding more milk. This will thicken the sauce.
- When you have used all of the milk, stir in the mustard and a chicken stock cube, season and stir until the stock has dissolved.
- Place in an oven proof dish roughly 22cm x 17cm x 7cm, cover in mashed potato roughing up the top a little with a fork, to get some crispy bits in the oven.
- Bake in the oven for 40 minutes, leave to cool for about 10 minutes before serving with veg.