Wednesday, 26 September 2012
Chicken a la Fridge-Clearout
Sometimes you've just got to clear out what's in the fridge.
Here at Transatlantic Towers, there are frequently small amounts of stuff left-over from previous meals - not so much cooked stuff, which tends to be eaten for lunch the following day, but the veggies from a bag that was just too big for two people, the leftover lardons from a previous recipe and various other bits. And rather than throw them out, it's better to use them when you can.
So last night was one of those nights - chuck stuff at a pan and make it work.
It occurred to me afterward that it was similar to Nigella Lawson's 'Coq Au Riesling' recipe, but with the addition of some asparagus I had in the fridge.
I would've taken some photos, but there was no time - it tasted SO good that Gotham Gal and I inhaled it long before I could reach for the camera! Therefore, this isn't so much a recipe as a breakdown of what was lurking in the fridge, and how we used that to make something that turned out very, very good indeed.
Chicken a la Fridge-Clearout
500g chicken thighs and breast, chopped into smallish chunks;
A handful of closed-cup mushrooms
A handful of asparagus spears;
1 largish onion;
4 cloves of garlic;
A big handful of fresh tarragon, finely-chopped;
Salt & pepper (of course).
Pop a large, heavy-based saucepan onto a low heat and pour in a small slug of vegetable oil. Finely chop the onion and garlic and pop them in the pan to sweat down.
After a couple of minutes, once they're starting to sweat, throw in your lardons and let them start to render down a bit.
Take the tips off the garlic spears and set aside. Chop the top half of the stalk into small chunks, and throw them in the pot. Throw away the woody lower part.
Finely slice half a dozen mushrooms and put them in as well. Stir everything around in the bacon fat that's starting to exude.
Once everything's sweated nicely and the onions are translucent, throw in about two-thirds of the chopped tarragon, add the chicken and turn up the heat to medium. You're not trying to fry it off, just colour it a bit. Let it all cook for five or ten minutes, swooshing it around occasionally, until the chicken is white overall.
Turn the heat up to high and after about two minutes, chuck in a glass or so of white wine and stir, then once the alcohol has cooked off turn the heat back down to low and leave it for a minute or two.
Slowly add the single cream, stirring all the time.
Turn up the heat a little, until the sauce is just bubbling occasionally, and cook uncovered until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce reduced to a nice thick consistency.
Five minutes or so before you plan to eat, taste and add seasoning (you probably won't need more salt) and add the asparagus tips, a couple more sliced mushrooms and the last of the tarragon and stir well.
Serve with something mashy to soak up the sauce, and some lightly-cooked green beans to add texture.
Then go and buy some more stuff to refill the fridge for next time!
*note: the cream wasn't 'lurking in the fridge, but bought fresh. Don't mess about with leftover dairy products!