Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Slow cooker French Bistro style Chicken with Tarragon sauce recipe

Oh, this was good. So very, very good! But I had to doctor it at the end, so do read the verdict for how to avoid my mistakes and get it right first time!

If you work whole days away from home, then I would suggest not tackling chicken recipes on work days. I know there are many recipes out there that say "the chicken just fell off the bone" but what you get with an 8 hour chicken recipe tends to be very woolly meat which is a bit like eating chicken-flavoured shredded wheat. Bleuch!

This recipe however will work really well on these timings and would work well for a classy Sunday lunch or elegant but hands-free Saturday evening dinner with friends.

Ingredients for 4:

2 tbsp olive oil
4 chicken quarters or 8 thighs, with skin and bone
500g/1lb 2oz new potatoes, washed and quartered
1 large onion  chopped finely
150 ml / 2/3 cup dry cider
2 large fresh sprigs tarragon
4 tbsp creme fraiche


Brown the chicken in the olive oil in a frying pan. Make sure the chicken is as golden on the outside as you would like it to be on your plate, even though it won't be cooked inside until later.

Put the potatoes in the bottom of the slow cooker. Pop the chicken on top.

Fry the onion for 3-4 minutes in the same frying pan in the chikeny juices. Add the cider, which will bubble furiously, and allow about a third of the cider to boil off. Scrape the bottom of the pan as this happens to make sure all the chickeny goodness ends up in your final dish.Add half the tarragon, chopped - just snip it with the kitchen scissors over your pan.

Tip the cider and onion mixture over your chicken and cook on high for 2 1/2 - 3 hours until the potatoes are done and the chicken juices run clear.

Remove the chicken and potatoes to a hot plate and add the creme fraiche and the rest of the tarragon to the sauce. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve spooned over the chicken.


The sauce was soooo good and the chicken was beautifully cooked. I recommend a dry cider for finesse but it will be good with sweet as well. I executed this quite poorly though which is avoidable. Do make sure your potato pieces are quite small - 2 cm or 3/4 inch pieces are about as big as will cook in this time. I also didn't like how pale my chicken was when it came out so re-browned it in the frying pan. I could have just browned it properly at the beginning. All  in all though, very, very good food.


  1. Great French bistro style chicken recipe. I would just replace olive oil with sunflower oil :)


  2. Thanks for a wonderful recipe! Just tried it for dinner and it was a great hit, even with my picky toddler...I love your blog!

  3. Aw, that's made my day! I have to say this is one of my favourite recipes on the blog (I'm a bit obsessed with tarragon too!). If you liked it, maybe try Apricot chicken, Sausages in cider or Chicken paprikash next. Happy cooking!