Last week I decided to go through my cookbooks to determine what to have for dinner this past week. I was frankly tired of the usual winter options and wanted to bring a couple of new dishes to the table, as it were. Coupled with it being the first week of Lent ( which means two meatless nights that week) I was eager to find something that didn’t involve pasta or fish. I came upon a recipe for Chicken in Tarragon Sauce. The title intrigued me so I took a look at the ingredient list. It seemed easy enough for a week night dinner that could go on the table when we were ready to eat.
I read through the steps of the recipe – combine the chicken breasts, onions, aromatics and stock in a sauce pan and bring to a boil. WAIT – Boil the boneless skinless chicken breasts? Nope, not happening. I was about to give up on the recipe, when I decided adapting it to use my sous vide machine made more sense. After all, once having tasted sous vide boneless skinless chicken breasts the words boiling chicken don’t go together in this house.
So here is my sous vide take on the Chicken in Tarragon Sauce. The original recipe calls for almost all the same ingredients. So if you don’t have a sous vide machine just boil the chicken, onions, stock and aromatics instead.
Chicken in Tarragon Sauce Serves 2
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 7 oz each – I had a large 13 oz breast that I used)
- 1/2 medium onion, chopped
- 3/4 cup chicken broth
- 1/4 cup dry white vermouth (or dry white wine)
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 sprig of fresh thyme
- kosher salt
- fresh ground black pepper
- 2 tbl butter
- 2 tbl flour
- 2 tbl heavy cream
- chopped fresh tarragon to taste
Season the chicken breasts with the salt and pepper. Place the chicken breasts in individual bags. Add the onions, bay leaf and thyme. Note: If you have multiple chicken breasts you will need to increase the amount of thyme and bay leaf to match the number of breasts you are cooking. Each cooking bag should have a breast and herbs. Divide the onions among the bags. Vacuum seal the bags and place in sous vide machine at 146 degrees F. for 1.5 hours.
Just before you are ready to serve, melt the butter in a sauce pan and add the flour. Cook the roux until the flour taste is cooked out. Add the chicken stock and stir to remove any lumps.
Remove the chicken breasts from the water bath and cut open the bags. Remove the chicken from the bags, cover and keep warm . Put all of juice, herbs and onions in the bag into the chicken broth mixture. Add the cream to the broth mixture and stir to blend.
Slice the chicken breasts and plate. Top with the sauce and sprinkle with the fresh tarragon. I served this with fresh asparagus. The chicken breast was juicy and tender. It’s all about adapting!