1 tablespoon olive oil
15 g (2 oz) butter
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts. about 650 g (1 lb 6 oz) in total
200 g (7 oz) shallots, halved
1 tablespoon plain flour
300 ml (2 pint) chicken stock
4 tablespoons dry vermouth
2 tarragon sprigs, plus 1 tablespoon chopped
3 tablespoons double cream
2 tablespoons chopped chives
salt and pepper
coarsely mashed potato mixed with peas, to serve


1.Preheat the slow cooker if necessary. Heat the oil and butter in a frying pan, add the chicken and fry over a high heat until golden on both sides but not cooked through.
2.Drain and put into the slow cooker pot in a single layer. Add the shallots to the frying pan and cook, stirring, for 4-5 minutes or until just beginning to turn golden.
3.Stir in the flour, then gradually mix in the stock and vermouth. Add the tarragon sprigs and a little salt and pepper and bring to the boil, stirring.
4.Pour the sauce over the chicken breasts, cover and cook on high for 3-4 hours or until the chicken is tender and cooked through to the centre.
5.Stir the cream into the sauce and sprinkle the chicken with the chopped tarragon and chives. Serve with coarsely mashed potato mixed with peas.
6.FOR CREAMY PESTO CHICKEN, prepare the dish as above, but replace the vermouth with 4 tablespoons white wine and the tarragon with 1 tablespoon pesto.
7.Sprinkle the chicken with some tiny basil leaves and a little freshly grated Parmesan cheese instead of the chives. Serve the chicken sliced, if liked, and mixed with cooked penne and drizzled with the creamy sauce.

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