Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Chicken Tarragon with Lemon Kale, Roasted Parsnips, and Rice

 Chicken Tarragon is a classic. The first time I made it was in my parents' kitchen around age 16. I used the recipe in Delia Smith's cookbook, and it came out amazingly! Today, I came up with my own version, and I think it was up to snuff. I didn't incorporate a few things  from the original recipe, in keeping with my low carb diet, but I made rice (and ate a little bit) because you've got to have something with which to mop up that dazzling sauce.

Ingredients for parsnips:

-4 medium-sized parsnips
-olive oil

Preheat oven to 400F.
Peel your parsnips like you would carrots. Then, slice them in half longways and lay them on a pan covered with tin foil. Drizzle olive oil over them, and rub it all over. Sprinkle them with salt, and rub again, until evenly covered. Place in oven for 20-30 minutes, until deep golden brown. Turn halfway through the cooking time.

Ingredients for kale:

-2 bunches of kale
-1 lemon
-olive oil

Pull the kale leaves off of the thick stalk, Throw those stalks away! Next, chop up the kale in small pieces. This will improve the texture and make it entirely un-slimy. Add the kale to a salad spinner and wash it well. Next, toss it in a bowl with juice from the lemon, 2 tbsp. olive oil, and 1 tsp. salt. Put the kale in a pot and set aside.

Ingredients for chicken:

-2 chicken breasts
-2-3 tsp. dried tarragon (or 1 bunch fresh, leaves picked and chopped)
-2 large garlic cloves
-2 tbsp. butter
-2 tbsp. olive oil
-1/2 cup white wine (something not too sweet, like a Chardonnay or Pinot Grigio)
-1/3 cup heavy cream
-1/4 cup chicken stock

Preheat a pan to medium heat. Sprinkle salt over the top and bottom of each chicken breast. Be sure there is an even dusting--SALT IS FLAVOR!!! Next, add over a sprinkling of tarragon and of pepper on both sides. Peel your garlic cloves.

Add the butter and olive oil to the pan, once bubbling, place in the chicken and garlic. (If you are making rice, now is the time to turn it on).

Flip after about 5-7 minutes, once "half done," and you see white creeping up the sides of the chicken.

On the second side, let the chicken cook for about 4 minutes, then pour in the wine, put a lid on the pan, an turn the heat to low. Simmer for 10 minutes.

After the 10 minutes are up, test the chicken for doneness (prick and if the juices run clear, it's done. You can also use a cooking thermometer to check the temperature has reached 165F). Turn your kale's heat on to medium, and put the lid on.

Remove the chicken breasts from the pan and set aside. Next, mash up the garlic in the pan. It should be buttery and soft. Add in the cream, the rest of the tarragon, and chicken stock. Turn up the heat to a simmer. Taste. Add salt as needed. Simmer until thickened.

Your sauce should be a nice golden color.

Toss the kale after 3 minutes, and continue steaming until softened to your liking.

To plate (the way I did it in this photo), pour a spoon of sauce into the center of a plate. Make a little "nest" shape in the center of a plate out of the kale. Pour in a scoop of rice. lay over some parsnips length- and crosswise. Rest the chicken breast on top. Drizzle sauce over the meat.

To plate the second way, just put the parsnips on top of the chicken instead of under it, and drizzle the sauce around the plate instead of making a pool--I liked the pool better, though. I'm never a sissy with my sauce! Load it up babe!

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