Is tarragon one of those spices gathering dust in your spice cupboard? Or are you one of the brave souls that has ventured out beyond the basil and dared to try tarragon in your cooking? Me? I love tarragon- I got over my fear of new and unusual herbs years ago.
According to my trusty herb manual (The Encyclopedia of Herbs, Spices and Flavorings – a Cook’s Compendium by Elisabeth Lambert Ortiz), tarragon is native to Siberia and became common in Europe in the 1400s. The name is derived from a Latin word meaning “little dragon” because of a medieval belief that it was an antidote for the bites of venomous animals….. hmmmm…. No venomous animals around here.If you are new to the flavor of tarragon, you might be surprised at its taste: it’s slightly peppery and very much like anise. It has a great aroma.
I could tell you my story about when I made Tyler Florence’s Béarnaise Sauce (which is a classic way to use tarragon) and served it over a beautiful piece of salmon. I actually tweeted a photo of my meal to him AND HE TWEETED ME BACK (yes ‘THE’ Tyler Florence) agreeing that it was a nice recipe…. My 30 seconds of fame.
Without further ado, I present an outstanding recipe, very French, very special, uses every pot and pan in the kitchen, creates an enormous mess, will get you lots of ooos and ahhhs, your family will love it, you should serve it at a party, you need all afternoon to make it, it’s worth every step and all the effort: Chicken and Tarragon Crepes!
Here’s what you need:
Some crepes….. I used two different recipes from allrecipes.com. One used melted butter and the other used vegetable oil. You can see that I had a few boo-boos, but it doesn’t matter, they get rolled up and smothered in sauce pretty soon. You can make these ahead of time and stack them up on a plate.
A roast chicken from the deli, shredded and cut in small pieces. I used the entire bird for about 10 crepes.
Two green onions
4 T butter
4 T flour
1 C whole milk
¾ C chicken stock
¼ C dry white wine
1 t tarragon – or to taste- it’s strong and I use a lot
2 egg yolks
2 C diced chicken ( or more )
Here’s what you do:
Make a pile of crepes. I ended up using about 10 today. Plan on one to two crepes per serving and go from there. You can see my feeble attempts at crepes… they did get better as the event progressed I am happy to report.
Mince the green onions and sauté them in the butter until soft. Add the flour and whisk for a few minutes until the butter and flour are well incorporated. Add the milk, slowly, whisking all the while. Continue to cook till thickened. Add the chicken stock, wine, tarragon, some salt and pepper. Cook till thickened.
Add the chicken to sauce. Begin to assemble the crepes by carefully filling them with about 3 heaping tablespoons of the chicken mixture. Continue until everything is used up and the kitchen is a ridiculous mess.
Pour the remaining sauce over the crepes. Bake at 350 for about 20-30 minutes, or until bubbly.
|Super proud of this meal! Major YUM!|