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Volaille a la Creme au Chablis et Estragon


Volaille a la Creme au Chablis et Estragon – Chicken cooked in Chablis with Tarragon and Cream [Cooking and preparation time – 30/40 minutes]
This recipe is so simple and adaptable that it can be enjoyed at a BBQ, for lunch or dressed for dinner. It is also a great banquet choice for Weddings and celebrations.


Ingredients for 4:
• 4 plump chicken breasts from your local butcher or supermarket
• 1 large white onion
• 2 cloves of garlic [French is best for this dish of course]
• 1 cup of good French white wine – [you should never use wine you wouldn’t drink yourself, in fact sip a glass whilst you prepare and cook to get you in the mood]
• Handful of fresh tarragon, roughly chopped but save 4 sprigs for garnish – The French variety is best for this dish
• Rape seed oil and a little unsalted butter
• ½ pint of chicken stock [I am a great believer in Knorr cubes also as endorsed by chef Marco Pierre White] Make sure the stock is concentrated to a slightly thickened consistency
• Small tub of single cream
• Freshly milled black pepper


• Wash the chicken breasts under running cold water and pat dry with kitchen paper, set aside
• Finely chop the onion and crush the garlic
• Melt sufficient butter and rape seed oil [50/50] in a thick bottomed sauté or frying pan
• Brown the chicken breasts gently, 7 minutes each side or until just cooked through [do not overcook] and remove, set aside in a cool place.
• In the same pan gently sweat off the onions in the now chicken flavoured oil and butter until soft, do not brown
• Add the garlic and soften
• Add the white wine and reduce by half
• Add the chicken stock and tarragon and season with black pepper – no salt as there will sufficient in the chicken stock
• Simmer now for 5/7 minutes, remove from the heat and add the cream, stirring to avoid separating [Hunters hot tip - If the sauce does separate, remove to a separate pan, slowly add a little more cream over a low heat, thoroughly whisking at the same time. This will restore the consistency]
• Return to the heat and gently simmer until a thickened consistency
• Strain through a fine sieve and return to the cleaned pan. Adjust seasoning with black pepper
• Return the chicken breasts to the sauce and simmer until heated through, but still tender

Remove and serve individually or in a buffet presentation with Hunter Style Potatoes, see below or a crisp fresh mixed leaf salad with rocket and/or watercress for a peppery finish. Home baked bread or rustic breads are a must with this dish especially if served out-doors on a spring, summer or warm autumn evening. If you wish to BBQ then the sauce can be made in-doors with chicken being cooked outside on the BBQ, but always make sure the coals are reduced to hot embers first and the chicken is cooked slowly and completely. Serve with the Chablis of your choice from our recommended list, slightly chilled of course but not too cold as this masks the delicate flavours of the wine. Enjoy at a slow pace and think of the craftsman ship of the wine producer, the natural process of the wines creation and really enjoy the experience. A good wine with the right food is an experience best shared. An Extra Dimension: Hunter Style Potatoes with Peas, Broad Beans and Chives: Try this simple vegetable dish which will complement your Tarragon Chicken, it is so easy to prepare. Boil enough Charlotte potatoes or the new seasons Jersey Mids in salted water until slightly over cooked, gently crush and add some virgin olive oil and a little unsalted butter to soften, to your taste. At the same time cover some petits-pois style peas and young broad beans with boiling lightly salted water, cook until tender, drain and add to the hot potatoes. Season with cracked black pepper and chopped fresh chives. If you wish you can serve this as a separate course another time by eliminating the chives and using chopped red onion lightly sautéed in olive oil. Then add some diced cooked pancetta, smoked bacon or chorizo sausage for a great lunch time dish, serve on fresh rocket drizzled with balsamic vinegar and a light olive oil, season with freshly milled black pepper. Real country style cooking!
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