Chicken and tarragon in the slow cooker

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Recently I adopted what can only be described as a deliciously retro slow cooker from a relative.  With its orange plastic exterior and its Dow Corning cookware heating and serving dish, it’s a real blast from the past. Today’s recipe uses some cheap chicken portions on special offer at Sainsbury, and turns them into something really tasty for supper. The slow cooker is a wonderful tool for busy parents, as you can brown a bit of meat in the morning, add some stock and vegetables, and leave it bubbling away all day so you come home to a restaurant standard meal without much effort at all. Serve this recipe with rice and some steamed spring greens. Remove chicken from the bone and add 100g pearl barley an hour before the end of cooking, if you would like it to become a one-pot meal (it will resemble a fabulously unusual risotto). You can also stick it in a pie dish and put a pastry lid on it, to make a quick pie, or alternatively it would make a savoury crumble if you rubbed flour and sunflower margarine together, added a few oats, and seasoned it with salt and pepper before sprinkling over the stew and baking in the oven for 20 minutes,

Slow Cooker Chicken and Tarragon

Chicken portions are browned in a mixture of 50% sunflower oil and 50% butter (about 25g of each)
Chicken portions are browned in a mixture of 50% sunflower oil and 50% butter (about 25g of each). Add salt and freshly ground peppers if you want.
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Here are some of the browned chicken portions in the casserole dish. I pre-warmed the casserole dish on HIGH for 30 minutes. This recipe works with any kind of poultry.
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I’ve chopped two small carrots and a small onion to add to the recipe. You can use any type of root vegetable, as well as things like leeks, broccoli stalks and peppers.
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For this recipe, I will also be using about 100ml leftover white wine, 200ml of chicken stock, and a sprinkle of dried tarragon. For an alcohol free recipe, just use extra stock.


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Here I am frying the chopped carrots and onion in the oil/butter mixture left over from browning the chicken portions. This extracts maximum flavour.
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Use the white wine/stock mixture to deglaze the frying pan. This cleans the pan and also maximises flavour once again, adding to the recipe.
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Pour the vegetables, onion and white wine/stock mixture over the chicken portions, and add a sprinkle of dried tarragon. Season to taste.
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Cook on LOW for four hours or so. To finish off, drain off the liquid and pour into a frying pan, then boil furiously to reduce the liquid to a rich sauce, or add chicken gravy granules.



One thought on “Chicken and tarragon in the slow cooker

    Janette said:
    10 November, 2014 at 6:46 pm

    Just had this for dinner absolutely lovely served it with rice and green veg and my family loved it thanks.

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