A confession – this dish is not my creation but have no idea where the recipe comes from… I found it some place lost in The Internets, made the dish and forgot to bookmark it. By the time I wanted to cook it again, was not able to find it and the details had washed away. So, I kind of have to recreate it from memory. After all, it is a good Summer dish. The white wine and tarragon flavors combine for a light and fragrant sauce, which compliments the chicken perfectly. Caramelising the onions with the star anise makes them feel meatier, a trick I have learnt from George Calombaris during one of his Masterchef Australia’s Masterclass. I found it had to believe, but it works and slightly aniseed flavor is also a bonus.
Pan fried chicken with a white wine, mushroom and tarragon sauce.
- 2 Chicken thighs
- Flour (I used Maizena)
- 4 Medium size yellow onions, sliced in half-moons
- 3 Star anise
- 1 Clove of garlic
- 500g Button mushrooms, cut in 2cm slices
- Tarragon to taste finely chopped (I used about 4 bunches)
- 100mL dry white wine
- 200mL chicken or vegetable stock
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 4-5 tablespoons of olive oil.
Dip each chicken drumstick in the flour, salt and pepper to coat them lightly. In a sauté pan, put the equivalent of 2 tablespoons of oliver oil over medium-high heat. When it is shimmer, add the chicken thighs, and cook them for about 3 minutes on each side, until they get a little golden. Take them out from the heat and reserve.
In the same pan, put the sliced onions and the star anise, salt and pepper. Let it caramelise for about 15min, or until they are soft and translucent. Once they are ready, take them out from the heat and reserve.
While the onions are cooking, heat the equivalent of 2 olive oil tablespoons in another sauté pan. When the olive oil starts to shimmer, fold in the sliced mushrooms. Cook, stirring often, until lightly browned (about 15min). Take them out from the heat and reserve.
In the same sauté pan you cooked the chicken thighs and the onions, put the 100mL of wine to deglaze. Let the wine reduce on a medium heat, and then put in the mushrooms and onions . Mix well to combine and let them absorb the wine for 5min. Put the chicken thighs in, and add enough stock to cover them. Once the stock is bubbling, fold in the tarragon. Let it is simmer for about 30min or until the stock is almost totally evaporated
Mafalda, a 6-year-old Argentinian girl, who is deeply concerned about humanity and world peace, loves The Beatles and rebels against the current state of the world, hated soup. Totally and vehemently. And, her dislike of soup appears to have been transmitted to her fans, including myself. Not until recently I have started to appreciate soup. I might eat a mean gazpacho in the peak of Summer, but I used to welcome soup with the same enthusiasm than a double root-canal. Even away from my parent’s home, I could hear my Mother said “Oh, but is so healthy, it has so many vitamins and minerals…”. Probably today, she would have said something around the lines of “it has loads of antioxidants…” But, over the years my culinary tastes have changed, and I came to appreciate it. In Winter, a rich soup a rich soup nourish the soul and comfort the body. In Summer, it can be cooling and refreshing. At the end, it seemed to be our parents were right about it.
Before Summer is over, I decided to give it a go to this chicken and buttermilk soup I saw on The Guardian. Dishes by Yotam Ottolenghi very-very-rarely goes wrong, and this Summer soup looked refreshing, velvety and packed with different flavors and textures. I was not disappointed. In fact, I might even start to serve in Winter, to remind me of the long lost Summer.
Chicken and buttermilk cold soup
- 3 tbsp olive oil, plus extra to finish
- 1 large onion, chopped into 2cm dice
- 3 small whole garlic cloves, peeled
- 4 free-range chicken drumsticks or thighs, skinned
- 2 small potatoes, peeled and cut into 2cm chunks
- Zest of 1 lemon, half of it shaved into strips, the rest grated
- Salt and white pepper
- About 800ml chicken stock
- 250ml buttermilk (or whole milk)
- 15g each fresh basil, coriander and mint leaves, roughly shredded
- ½ tbsp sumac
Heat two tablespoons of oil in a large saucepan and sauté the onion and garlic on a low heat for five to 10 minutes, until soft but not coloured. Add the chicken, potatoes, lemon strips, a teaspoon of salt and half a teaspoon of white pepper. Pour in stock just to cover and simmer gently for 30 minutes, until the potatoes are soft and the chicken is cooked.
Remove and discard the lemon strips, and transfer the chicken to a bowl. Blitz the soup until smooth and leave to cool down. Once cool, stir in the grated lemon zest and buttermilk. Taste, adjust the seasoning, and refrigerate until cold. Take it out of the fridge about 20 minutes before serving, so it’s chilled but not fridge-cold.
Just before serving, shred the chicken off the bones, and fry the shredded meat in the remaining olive oil on a high heat until golden and crispy. Divide the soup among the bowls, add the shredded chicken and herbs, drizzle with oil, sprinkle with sumac and serve.
If you want to serve it as a hot dish, warm it up very gently after stirring in the buttermilk, to avoid curdling
Todpop mentioned on a couple of times this recipe. It-never-fails!, she assured. As always, Todpop was right. The chicken is absolutely delicious, and this dish is highly recommendable for a special occasion roast. You might want to take into consideration that garlic, sage and butter will leave a bit of a stink in the kitchen.
Sara’s Roast Chicken with Sage and Garlic
- 1 chicken
- 1 lemon
- 22 fresh sage leaves
- 3 cloves garlic
- 6 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- Ground black pepper, to taste
- 8 sprigs parsley
- 2 small onions, quartered
- 2 carrots, cut into 5cm pieces
- Fleur de sel
1. Heat oven to 200°C. Rinse the chicken under cold water; pat dry with paper towels. Peel the lemon, avoiding white pith. Finely chop the lemon peel, sage, and garlic together; place in a bowl. Add butter and 1 table spoon of salt. Stir to combine. Quarter the peeled lemon; set aside.
2. Using your fingers and a small, sharp knife, loosen skin of chicken from breasts and thighs. Slip butter mixture between skin and flesh, spreading it evenly. Rub skin with oil; season skin and cavity with salt and pepper to taste. Stuff with quartered lemon, parsley, and 1 quartered onion. Tie legs together with kitchen twine, if you like.
3. Put remaining quartered onion and carrots into center of roasting pan and place chicken on top of them. Roast for 20 minutes, then reduce oven temperature to 180˚. Continue roasting for about 1 hour more. Transfer the chicken to a platter; sprinkle with fleur de sel; let rest for 10 minutes before carving.
Sticky lemon chicken
- 1 large chicken jointed into 8-10 pieces
- Sea salt and black pepper
- 3-4 tbsp olive oil
- 1 head of garlic, halved horizontally
- Few thyme sprigs
- Splash of sherry vinegar
- 2 tbsp dark soy sauce
- 3 tbsp honey
- 1 lemon, finely sliced (ideally with a mandolin)
- Bunch of flat leaf parsley, chopped
Season the chicken with salt and pepper and heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan. Brown the chicken pieces (in batches if necessary) over a high heat with the garlic and thyme for 2–3 minutes on each side until golden brown. Return all the chicken to the pan, add the sherry vinegar and bubble until reduced by half. Drizzle over the soy sauce and honey and shake the pan to mix.
Pour in a good splash of hot water and add the lemon slices. Let the liquid bubble and reduce down until syrupy, which will take about 10 minutes or so. By now the chicken should be cooked through.
- 1 kg floury potatoes peeled
- Sea salt and black pepper
- 30g butter
- Milk as needed
- Bunch of spring onions (about 6-8), trimmed and chopped
- 200g grated Emmental cheese.
Cut the potatoes into similar-sized chunks and boil in salted water for about 10 minutes until tender when pierced with a small sharp knife. Drain well. (Put the potatoes in cold water and start cooking from cold).
Mash the potatoes while still hot, using a potato ricer if you have one, then stir through the butter and chopped spring onions. Add the grated cheese. Put a bit of hot milk if needed. Season generously and serve.