This meal started out very differently… it wasn’t meant to be with chicken at all. It was meant to be with kidneys.
I pride myself on eating everything at least once, but I failed miserably this time. I cleaned the kidneys impeccably but when it came to cooking them I started to retch. The smell, like frying a urinal cake, became too much. I had to stop the cooking and get rid of the kidneys (I hate waste) and put the rubbish out straight away.
It didn’t stop there… the smell lingered in my tiny kitchen/living room… I ‘Shake & Vac’ed’ the carpet, wiped the walls down and scrubbed my chopping board to an inch of its existence. It wasn’t how I saw my night going…
I swear with an ill wind I can still smell them.
So when all else fails, resort to chicken thighs and for this dish they work exceptionally well. You’ll want to serve these with potatoes (or fried polenta) so you can mop up as much of the tangy sauce as possible. If you can’t get the tarragon mustard, use an extra dessert spoon of dijon and a heaped tablespoon of chopped fresh tarragon. This will serve two.
Music to listen to while preparing this dish: ‘Ballroom Blitz’ by Sweet
- 6 Chicken thighs (skinless/boneless)
- 2tbsp dried mixed herbs
- Juice of 1 lemon diluted with a good splash of water
- 200ml Crème fraîche
- 1dstspn Dijon Mustard
- 1dstspn Wholegrain Mustard
- 1dstspn Tarragon Mustard
- Salt and pepper
- Fry the chicken thighs on a medium-high heat, season with salt and pepper and sprinkle over half your mixed herbs. Fry for about 8 minutes to get a good colour on them.
- Once golden, turn the thighs and sprinkle over the remaining herbs. Once the underside has a good colour return them to their normal position. Gently pour in the lemon/water mix and gently shake the thighs to deglaze the pan a little.
- Cover and simmer in the lemon mix for about 20 minutes, reducing the heat if need be.
- After about 20 minutes your thighs will be cooked and you should have a thick syrupy sauce. Remove the pan from the heat and put the thighs to one side to rest, covered, while you whip up the sauce.
- In your still-warm pan add the mustards and the crème fraîche and mix well over a medium-low heat. I used a pan-friendly whisk but a wooden spoon will do.
- Once the sauce is combined and warmed through, decant into a sauce boat… it’s now ready to pour over your chicken once it’s plated.
This is quite tangy so splash out on a full-bodied white to balance it out… a Clos Saint Michel, Châteauneuf-du-Pape should do the trick.