30 December 2012,21:28 by

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Serves :

Preparation Time :
45 minutes

Cooking Time :
2 hours

Preparation Method :

  • Rinse the chicken under running cold water, drain and pat dry with kitchen paper towels.
  • Season the body cavity with salt and pepper and insert margarine and halt the tarragon.
  • Truss the bird if necessary. Heat the oil and remaining margarine in a flameproof casserole.
  • Place the chicken breast-down in the dish and adjust the heat so that the chicken browns in 3 to 5 minutes but the fat is not hot enough to dis colour.
  • Turn the chicken at intervals to brown the sides and then the back; this gentle browning process takes a total of 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Lift the chicken on to a plate. Add the onion, carrot and celery to the pan and sauté gently tor 5 minutes.
  • Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper and add the rest of the tarragon. Replace the bird on top of the vegetables and cover with aluminium toil and a lid.
  • Transfer to a preheated moderate oven and cook for 1 hour 20 minutes. Pierce the thickest part of the thigh with a metal skewer and if the juices run clear the bird is cooked.
  • Place the chicken on a hot serving dish, discard any trussing strings and keep hot.
  • Add the stock to the pan and boil for a few minutes, stirring to free any sediment from the base of the pan. Skim off any surface fat.
  • Stir in the corn flour blended with the sherry and bring to the boil. Stir until the sauce thickens slightly.
  • Adjust the seasoning, strain the sauce into a hot sauceboat and stir in the chopped herbs.
  • Immediately before serving, garnish the breast of the bird with a sprig of tarragon and spoon over a little of the sauce.
  • Garnish with watercress and serve with wild rice salad. 


  • 2 kilograms oven-ready chicken 
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 100 grams margarine
  • 15 fresh tarragon sprigs or 1 teaspoon dried tarragon
  • 2 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 4 onion, peeled and sliced
  • 2 carrot, peeled and sliced
  • 2 celery stalk, sliced 
  • 750 ml chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoon corn flour
  • 4 tablespoons medium sherry
  • 4 tablespoons chopped tarragon or parsley
  • Tarragon sprig, to garnish

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