I can’t tell you how many different titles I considered for this recipe before settling on Creamy Chicken in White Wine Sauce. There’s a lot going on in this dish flavor-wise and I wanted to highlight them all. However, if I had included everything, the title would have been something like Braised Chicken Thighs in Tarragon Parmesan White Wine Sauce with Mushrooms and Carrots. That seemed excessive and impossible to remember.
So, I’ll give you the highlights here.
First, tarragon. I think tarragon and chicken is an underrated combination. If you’ve ever had a good tarragon chicken salad, you know what I mean. Tarragon in a creamy white wine sauce is even better.
Second, Parmesan cheese rinds. Those often discarded rinds from blocks of fresh Parmesan cheese add a lot of flavor to soups and stocks. A Parmesan rind simmered in the braising liquid along with the chicken in this recipe adds a deep richness to the final sauce. You’ll want to serve the braised chicken with a crusty baguette to sop up all that delicious sauce.
I keep a stash of Parmesan rinds in my freezer but if you don’t have any on hand, check the cheese counter at your grocery store. I’m finding that more and more grocers are offering them now.
Lastly, mushrooms and carrots. Granted, there’s nothing insanely novel about mushrooms and carrots but it does let you serve a complete meal (with veggies) in one-pan. One-pan recipes are always note-worthy in my book.
- 8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
- Salt and pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more as needed
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped (about 3/4 cup)
- 5 ounces cremini mushrooms, wiped clean and cut in half
- 4 large carrots (about 12 ounces), cut into 1-inch lengths and halved or quartered if thick
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 large sprigs fresh tarragon
- 1 Parmesan cheese rind, about 4x2 inches
- 2 tablespoons cream
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon leaves
- Pat the chicken dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat until just smoking. Brown half the chicken on both sides, 5-8 minutes per side. Transfer the chicken to a plate and repeat with the remaining chicken and transfer to the plate when browned.
- Pour off all but 1 tablespoon fat from the pan. Add the onions, mushrooms, carrots and a generous pinch of salt. Sauté for a minute and then cover and cook over medium heat until mushrooms release juices, 5-10 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in flour and cook for 1 minute. Whisk in the wine, scraping up any browned bits, and simmer until liquid is slightly thickened, 2-3 minutes. Then stir in the broth, thyme, bay leaf, and tarragon sprigs.
- Return chicken to the pan along with any accumulated juices. Add Parmesan cheese rind and bring mixture to a low simmer. Cover and simmer until chicken is cooked through and tender, 30-45 minutes.
- Transfer chicken to serving dish and tent with foil. Remove and discard the bay leaves, Parmesan rind, and tarragon sprigs.
- Skim off as much fat as possible. Return sauce to a simmer, whisk in cream, and season sauce with salt and pepper to taste. Simmer until sauce is slightly thickened, 4-6 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in chopped tarragon leaves.
- Pour the sauce over the chicken and serve.
Recipe adapted from Cook’s Illustrated.