Date Night with Lena and Tarragon Chicken Casserole:
Gentle Reader, I have to confess I probably go out more than my ‘familiar’ would endorse. Friday night though is usually date night for us both. I stay at home and we sit in front of the fire cuddling and catching up with suitable cat-friendly programmes on the TV. Lena (or as she prefers to be known, Seysiana Evangeline) is a silver tipped Tiffanie – a breed of cat that is a cross between the friendly and sociable Burmese and the somewhat aloof Chinchilla (best known for a starring role in James Bond movies). So, Lena has a somewhat schizophrenic personality – one minute totally loving, the next the most aloof creature you’ve ever met. We’ve been together now for thirteen years and Lena tells me that she still feels like the kitten she was when she first met me.
That’s due, at least in part, to a diet of wholesome food like Whiskas Casserole which Lena believes should be supplemented by helping herself from my plate. Especially when I cook something with cream and chicken. Now, although cats generally love cream, it’s not actually very good for them and Lena has a somewhat delicate constitution. The trick I’ve discovered, on date nights, is to feed her something she loves just as much before I eat my own meal.
Now, Tarragon Chicken made with white wine, cream, tarragon and chunks of chicken breast is a good example of the sort of recipe that Lena tends to think is actually food for her. I’ve shared a recipe for Tarragon Roast Chicken before, but this creamy Tarragon Chicken Casserole is just as much of a favourite for me. It’s an easy recipe to make for one or two humans (or to scale up for more) and one of the benefits for me is that I can make up enough for two helpings and keep one portion in the fridge for a later date, finishing it with cream at that point. Lena thinks that is a foolish idea – and would prefer her own serving. It freezes well too if you make it without adding the cream. Again, something that Lena thinks is really not smart…she’s always waiting to help herself.
The solution is simple though.
If I feed Lena with Whiskas Cat Casseroles before I sit down to eat my own food, she is happy. It looks convincingly like ‘human’ food – with chunks of meat in a light jelly.
The minute the bowl is on the floor, Lena is there – and she eats every scrap of food (other than the parsley!)
Then, she just falls asleep on the sofa and I can get on with eating my own supper
Without more ado here’s my recipe for Tarragon Chicken Casserole with Cream and White Wine
- 2 skinless chicken breasts cut into chunks
- 100 ml white wine
- 1 small onion peeled and finely chopped
- 1 handful fresh tarragon stalks removed and finely chopped
- 50 ml double cream or creme fraiche
- 20 g butter
- 15 ml olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 teaspoon of cornflour dissolved in a little water to make a slurry
Melt the butter in a saute pan with the olive oil and soften the onions for 5-10 minutes till completely translucent and soft. Do not let them caramelise
Add the chicken breast chunks and brown on all sides till the edges just start to go golden
Pour over the wine and bring to a simmer.
Cook until the liquid is reduced by half and the chicken cooked through (about 15 minutes)
Stir through most of the tarragon (reserving a little to garnish) and the cornflour slurry
Cook gently till the sauce thickens.
If you are eating straight away, then add the cream slowly and bring back to just below the boil. Taste and season with salt and pepper
Garnish with some fresh tarragon
To eat at a later date, simply allow the mixture to cool and freeze or refrigerate without the cream. When you are ready to eat, stir in the cream and warm the mixture through before seasoning and garnish with some fresh tarragon
It’s such an easy recipe – but, nothing like as simple as opening a packet of Whiskers Cat Casserole
I’m not sure Lena approves – but I know I do!
This post is in conjunction with WHISKAS® but all thoughts are my own