Yield
Serves 4
Time
20 minutes prep, 25 minutes cooking, 45 minutes total
Chef Michel Trama runs one of the French Southwest's culinary treasures, Les Loges de l'Aubergade, a stylish three-star restaurant in the region of the Agen. There he produces ethereal, flawlessly balanced dishes using local products. This deceptively simple recipe includes chicken breasts coated in a sweet nutty flavored sauce made with garlic-infused white wine.

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup Garlic Wine (recipe follows)
  • 4 boneless chicken breast halves, skin on
  • Coarse kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Flour, for dredging
  • 2 tablespoons clarified butter
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons fresh tarragon, plus additional for seasoning
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream

Garlic Wine:

  • 9 garlic cloves
  • 2 sprigs of thyme
  • 2 sprigs of tarragon
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly crushed peppercorns
  • 1 cup dry white wine


Instructions

1. Make the Garlic Wine 1 to 2 days in advance.

2. Trim the chicken breasts and cut away fat and sinews. Remove the thin fillet that looks like a long strip on the boned side (Save these strips in the refrigerator or freezer for use at some other time for a quick sauté.) Place the chicken breasts between sheets of plastic wrap and flatten lightly with a rolling pin. Season with salt and pepper. Dredge the breasts in flour, shaking off the excess.

3. Heat the clarified butter and oil in a large skillet over moderately high heat until sizzling. Add the chicken breasts and sauté on both sides, until lightly browned and just cooked through, about 5 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a platter and cover with foil to keep warm.

4. Discard all but 1 tablespoon fat from the skillet. Add the tarragon and cook over gentle heat for 10 seconds. Deglaze with the garlic wine and 1/3 cup water and bring to a boil. Add the cream and boil to reduce until thick enough to coat a spoon. Adjust the seasoning with salt, pepper, and more tarragon to taste. Pour the sauce over the chicken and serve at once.

Garlic Wine
Makes 1 cup

1. Halve the garlic cloves. If you see any green shoots, remove them. Put the garlic, thyme, tarragon, and crushed peppercorns in a 1-pint canning jar.

2. Bring the wine to a boil in an enameled or stainless steel saucepan. Pour over the garlic and seasonings in the jar. Let cool, then cover and refrigerate for 1 to 2 days.

3. Strain the wine through cheesecloth and return to a clean jar; discard the solids. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

From The Cooking of Southwest France: Recipes from France's Magnificent Rustic Cuisine by Paula Wolfert (Revised Edition, John Wiley and Sons, 2005). © by Paula Wolfert. Used with permission.