Tarragon Chicken Crêpes
I think I copied this recipe down from a magazine or newspaper back when I was in college. [Ok, this is just a little too weird – I just went searching for the original name I have in my notebook Crêpes de volaille a l’estragon and I appear to have found the actual recipe in the NY Times from 1982. I know it’s the same one because I have the other recipes mentioned copied down in my notebook even though I never made them.] Over time things have changed a little – here’s my version now.
Tarragon Chicken Sauce
1 lb boneless chicken breasts
1 Tbsp oil or butter
1-2 Tbsp butter
2-3 Tbsp flour
1 cup chicken stock
1 cup light cream
1 Tbsp dried tarragon (more if fresh)
freshly ground pepper
salt to taste
Cook the chicken breasts. I like to saute them in the pan so they get a little brown and crispy on the outside. Technically I think you’re supposed to poach them so they’re all nice and pale in the sauce, but I like the caramelization. Remove the chicken, and cut it up or shred it into small pieces. Melt the tablespoon of butter in the pan and mix in the flour to make a roux. Whisk in the stock and bring to a simmer. Stir until thickened. Add the tarragon, nutmeg and cayenne. Cook for a minute or two, then add the cream. Add salt and pepper to taste.
If you’re going to use it as a filling for crêpes, mix about half the sauce with the chicken, and reserve the rest of the sauce for spooning over the top. If you don’t have crêpes handy, it also goes really well over rice – in that case just mix all the sauce and chicken together.
The recipe for crêpes is really quite basic: eggs, flour and milk. I like this crêpe recipe from Alton Brown because you just mix it all up in a blender.
For a very fancy meal, finish off with Crêpes Suzette. These sound difficult, but really aren’t all that hard to make if you have some crepes already made.
8 crêpes, folded in half
6-8 Tbsp butter
2-3 Tbsp sugar
zest of 1 orange
juice of 1/2 orange
4 Tbsp Grand Marnier (plus an extra spoonful)
In a large skillet melt the butter. When it’s foamy add the sugar and stir for a minute or two. Add the orange zest and the orange juice. Lay each crêpe in the sauce, flip it over to coat, and fold into quarters. Once all the crêpes are in the pan all coated in sauce, add the Grand Marnier. For the full flambé effect, warm an extra spoonful of Grand Marnier, light it and pour over the crêpes to ignite the whole pan. Serve two per person with extra sauce.