a.o.k. "trial" gourmet (18 & 19) Just add steamed veggies!

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For an introduction to my "trial" gourmet series, click here.

This week I’m sharing not one, but TWO recipes with you.

The first is for super easy “no hassle” Creamy Tarragon Chicken (House and Home claims that it is one of their readers’ faves)

The second is a “…need to get started more than an hour before you want to eat…” recipe for Baked French Potatoes from my trusty copy of Jamie’s Food Revolution.

I have to start by saying that I am not the type of woman/wife/mom who picks meals that take a lot of time and several steps to prepare. Especially on week nights. Although I’m still off work (for another 2 weeks…eek.) and technically have more time for household tasks, I think that evenings are busy enough to begin with – without adding a complicated (or simply time consuming) supper prep. In short, I like to keep things simple and I like my food to come together quickly.

With that said… the chicken recipe definitely meets my weeknight dinner prep criteria – it’s simple, it’s quick, it’s yummy AND the chicken is cooking in the oven just long enough to steam some veggies and prepare some simple potatoes or rice. If you're going for "quick", I do NOT recommend the baked French potatoes that I’m about to share with you. These potatoes, while simple enough to put together (and yummy for sure), ended up taking more than 90 minutes to make. I don’t care how you want to turn that one, 90 minutes or more is simply not quick enough for a weeknight meal. Not now and definitely not when I’m working until 4:30 p.m. and want to have supper on the table by 5:30 p.m. (!) I’ll just have to save the potatoes for weekend meals. And I will.

They were that good.

If you decide to make both recipes, you’ll see that you have to start with the potatoes. A good 90 minutes (or more) before you want to be sitting down to eat.


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Put 3 ½ cups chicken or vegetable broth in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
  3. Meanwhile: peel and finely slice 1 ¾ lbs of potatoes, 1 lb of medium onions and 3 cloves of garlic. (*I recommend starting with the onions and garlic so that you can do the next step while you’re working on the potatoes) Pick the leaves from small handful of fresh Italian parsley and finely chop.
  4. Pour a couple of lugs of olive oil into a large hot pan. Add onions, garlic and parsley. Slowly fry for 10 minutes or until the onions are soft and lightly golden. Add pinch of salt and pepper.
  5. In large baking dish place a layer of potatoes, a sprinkling of salt and pepper, and a layer of onion mixture. Repeat until you’ve used everything up, but try to finish with a layer of potatoes.
  6. Pour in hot broth to just cover the top of potatoes, break up 2 pats of butter and dot over top.
  7. Rub some aluminum foil with olive oil; place it, oil-side down, over the dish, and seal tight.
  8. Place in preheated oven for 45 minutes, remove the foil, push the potatoes down and return to the oven for 20 – 40 (more like 40 in my experience) minutes until golden and crisp.

…Just after you remove the aluminum foil and put the potatoes back in, it’ll be time to start your chicken (about 30 minutes before you want to eat supper)


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees (if you haven’t already got it going for the potatoes)
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large, wide skillet over medium-high heat.
  3. Pat down 6 bone-in, skin-on chicken supremes (*I used 8 drumsticks… because they were on sale this week and cost me only $2.50) with paper towel; season with salt and pepper.
  4. Add chicken to skillet skin-side-down and cook 3-5 minutes, or until deep golden. Flip and cook another 2 minutes.
  5. Transfer chicken to large baking pan and bake 20-25 minutes (or until cooked through).
  6. Meanwhile: to make tarragon sauce: slice 3 large shallots and mince 1 small clove of garlic. Add them to the skillet and reduce heat to medium, cook for 4 mintues or until shallots have softened.
  7. Add ½ cup dry white wine and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer until reduced by half.
  8. Add 1 cup chicken broth, bring to boil and cook 3 minutes.
  9. Strain, reserving liquids and discarding solids. Return liquids to skillet or small pot, bring to boil and whisk in ½ cup 35% cream and 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard.
  10. In a small bowl, mash 1 tablespoon butter or margarine with 1 tablespoon of flour. Add ¼ cup of hot chicken broth mixture and stir until combined (it will be very thick).
  11. Add mixture to hot chicken broth and stir until combined.
  12. Add 1 tablespoon freshly chopped tarragon and season with salt and pepper.
  13. Spoon sauce over chicken to serve.

*Just so you know... the sauce is also EXCELLENT over the potatoes and steamed veggies, but if you’re counting calories, don’t do it!

And there you go... another 2 "trial" gourmet recipes that I think are worth trying... and might just become a part of your regular meal rotation!




Allison said...

Those BAKED FRENCH POTATOES look very tasty. Yum!

A. said...

They were. I'm amazed at what a little chicken broth (or a lot of chicken broth) and some onions and garlic can do :-)

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