Chicken in cream and tarragon

Chicken in cream and tarragon


1 person made this

About this recipe: When I visit my family in France, this is a great signature dish that my Auntie Sophie used to do. And the great thing is, it is really easy to double up ingredients if you have more mouths to feed. It also uses cheap ingredients (so you wont have to spend loads feeding the whole family or your guests) and it tastes absolutely fantastic, with relatively little effort.

Graham_le Glamorgan, Wales, UK

Serves: 4 

  • 25g unsalted butter
  • 4 chicken legs
  • 1/2 glass white wine
  • 1 tablespoon corn flour
  • 1 handful fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 600ml (1 pt) chicken stock
  • 1 handful button mushrooms (about 10 to 20)
  • freshly ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 4 tablespoons creme fraiche
  • 1 teaspoon prepared mustard
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped tarragon
  • 50g to 80g peas (optional)

Prep:25min  ›  Cook:2hr  ›  Ready in:2hr25min 

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 C / Gas 4.
  2. Start by melting the butter over a medium heat in a large, deep frying pan. Once it is foaming, lay your chicken legs in and fry in butter on all sides until the skin is brown and starting to crisp. Approximately 6 to 7 minutes on each side.
  3. Increase the heat and before the butter gets a chance to burn, add your white wine and let the liquid reduce down to about half its original content.
  4. Then transfer everything into a lidded heavy bottomed casserole dish dish. Add in the flour, thyme and bay leaf, pour over the liquid from your frying pan and your chicken stock (just enough to cover the chicken), then cover with a lid.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven for approximately 2 hours. Check it every 20 minutes or so, to make sure that the stock is not drying out (if it is add more wine or stock). Give it all a good stir every time.
  6. About 30 minutes before the end of your cooking time, take your casserole dish out of the oven. Lift out the chicken legs and place them on a baking tray or roasting tin and return them to the oven.
  7. Gently fry your button mushrooms in butter. Be generous with plenty of ground pepper.
  8. While they are browning, add the creme fraiche, mustard and the tarragon to the liquid in the casserole dish and with a wooden spoon, give it all a good stir until all the liquids are combined into one smooth sauce. If you are using a heavy dish like mine (rather than a glass one) best results are achieved if you do this bit over a hob on a low heat, as it thickens the sauce nicely.
  9. Add the mushrooms and the peas into the sauce. Retrieve the chicken legs and put them back in the dish with everything else, season with salt and pepper, cover.
  10. Return to bake in the oven for the final 30 minutes of cooking. Remove from the oven and serve up on a bed of rice and may be some vegetables julienne.


This recipe is to feed 4 but you can easily double up ingredients to feed as many as you like.

See it on my blog

Simple Food Done Well blog

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