Written two days ago:
It is time for us to travel to Florida for the Winter. The weather in North Carolina held its warmth and beauty until a few days ago. Now the winds are howling and the leaves are being ripped from the trees in riotous swirls, Tree Removal Service in some areas were badly needed. There are whitecaps on the water and a drifting canoe banged into our dock this afternoon. We were able to find the owner by the registration number, so it will find its way home. There is a chance that we will lose power and there is a possibility of snow. So there is nothing better to do in this chaotic weather than cook and keep the fire going in the fireplace until we have the opportunity to leave.
One of David’s favorite meals is chicken tarragon with rice pilaf. Chicken and tarragon have a natural affinity and when flavored with the addition of wine and cream the dish is subtle and lovely. I have made it so often over the years that I haven’t had the enthusiasm for it lately. But somehow it now felt like an appropriate meal to make to say goodbye to the lake. With it I served my French peas and sauteed red cabbage with apples; all things that needed to be cleared from the refrigerator.
Eating this meal by flickering candles while nature made herself known was like finding shelter, warmth and peace in a violent world. My thoughts and prayers are with everyone in the path of Hurricane Sandy.
I will be gone for a while. We are spending Halloween with the kids in Cary, NC and then traveling to Florida. See you there.
1 4 pound whole chicken, cut into 8 pieces (breasts cut in half). skinned
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 teaspoon dried tarragon, plus additional if needed
salt and pepper to taste
1/3 cup heavy cream or half and half (optional)
Wash and dry chicken pieces. Heat butter and olive oil in large skillet. When butter begins to foam, add chicken pieces and cook until browned on both sides. Add tarragon, salt and pepper and wine and chicken broth. Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat, cover skillet and cook over low heat until chicken is cooked through, about 30 minutes.
Remove chicken to a plate and bring liquid to a boil in the skillet. Cook until reduced slightly. Adjust seasonings adding more tarragon to taste and add cream if you would like. Cook until sauce is heated through. Return chicken to pan and turn to coat with sauce until reheated. Serve chicken with sauce.