Braised chicken with red wine vinegar & tarragon

Braised chicken with red wine vinegar & tarragon

James Martin's French Adventure
Peter Cassidy

We ate so many lovely braised dishes in France that it was difficult to choose just a few to go in the book, but this one made the cut: tarragon is such a classic French herb and the red wine vinegar really lifts the sauce.


Quantity Ingredient
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
1 x 1.25-1.5kg chicken, jointed into 8 portions
knob butter
1 teaspoon tomato puree
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
50ml red wine vinegar
110ml white wine
500ml chicken stock
2 tomatoes, skinned
1 heaped teaspoon dijon mustard
250ml whipping cream
1 tablespoon chopped tarragon
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

For the mash

Quantity Ingredient
500g potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
125ml double cream
125g unsalted butter, softened


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large ovenproof frying pan or flameproof casserole over medium to high heat. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and fry to a good golden crisp all over.
  3. Remove the chicken from the pan, then tip out the fat, wipe the pan clean, and add the butter. Stir in the tomato purée and cook over medium heat for 2 minutes, then add the garlic and cook for a further minute. Add the vinegar and reduce until it has all but disappeared. Add the wine and reduce by a third. Pour in the chicken stock and bring to a simmer, then return the chicken to the pan, cover with a lid and transfer to the oven. Cook for 20 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.
  4. Meanwhile, quarter the tomatoes and scoop out the seeds. Cut the tomato flesh into small dice and set aside.
  5. To make the mash, cook the potatoes in a saucepan of lightly salted water for 15 minutes until tender. Drain and pass through a potato ricer back into the saucepan and stir over low heat to dry out. Gently warm the cream in a small saucepan until just boiling, then remove from the heat. Gradually beat a little butter and then a little of the cream into the mash. Keep adding and beating until the potato is soft and creamy, then season with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Remove the pan from the oven, lift out the chicken pieces and keep warm while you finish the sauce. Strain the sauce through a sieve into a clean saucepan and bring back to the boil. Whisk in the mustard and cream, then simmer to reduce and thicken slightly. Check the seasoning, then add the diced tomato and tarragon.
  7. Pour the sauce over the chicken and serve with the mash.
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