Chicken And Broad Beans In A Sherry, Mustard And Tarragon Sauce

Chicken and broad beans

I love chicken, and I love broad beans (fava beans). I use both in this scrumptious chicken and broad beans dish.

This is a casserole which is bursting with flavour, and yet it is low in fat. 

The big flavours come from fresh tarragon, French mustard and dry sherry. I don’t like to drink sherry but I love the taste of it in cooked food. 

If you haven’t got a bottle of dry sherry at home, I recommend buying a bottle for cooking. It is quite inexpensive and it will keep for a long time. The alcohol in the sherry will of course evaporate when cooked but the taste is sensational. 

You can swap the sherry for dry white wine.

Broad beans (fava beans) require a bit of work as you need to remove the tough outer skin of each bean once they are cooked. It is easy to do though - I find the process of removing the skins therapeutic.

I used chicken thighs on the bone last time I cooked this (I personally remove the skin which is the fatty part of the chicken). You can use bone and skinless thighs instead but if you do that, reduce the cooking time to 30 minutes.

Chicken and broad beans in a sherry, mustard and tarragon sauce 

For 4 people:

2 tablespoons olive oil

8 chicken thighs on the bone

2 shallots, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, crushed/minced

A handful of fresh tarragon leaves – roughly chopped – or use 1 heaped teaspoon of dried tarragon leaves

800ml, 1.4 pints, 3.5 cups chicken stock

225ml, 8floz, 1 cup dry sherry

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons half-fat crème fraiche

500g frozen broad (fava) beans

  1. Add the olive oil to a large and deep frying pan over a medium high heat. Once the oil is hot, add 4 of the chicken thighs to the pan and brown for about 1 minute on each side. Remove to a plate and then do the same with the rest of the chicken thighs. 
  2. When all of the chicken thighs have been removed from the pan, reduce the heat and add the chopped shallots, crushed garlic and half of the tarragon leaves to the pan. Keep stirring for about 3 minutes until the onion softens but doesn’t brown.
  3.  Return the chicken thighs to the pan and add the sherry. Turn up the heat to medium high and simmer for about 5 minutes until the sherry has been reduced to about half. Pour in the chicken stock and season with some salt and more generously with black pepper. Bring it back to a simmer, turn down the heat a little and cook without a lid for 50 minutes.
  4. While the chicken is cooking, place the broad (fava) beans in a pan with boiling water. Once the water comes back to a boil, simmer the beans for 4 minutes. Drain and the cool the beans under running cold water to stop them for cooking any further. Once the broad beans are cool, peel of the thin skin of each bean (the skin slips off easily when you pinch the ends).
  5. Once the chicken is cooked, remove the chicken thighs to a dish, cover and keep warm. Turn up the heat and let the sauce simmer for a further 3-4 minutes, then stir in the mustard, crème fraiche and broad beans and continue to cook for another minute. Check the seasoning to see if you need any more salt or pepper.
  6. Pour the sauce over the chicken thighs and scatter the remaining tarragon over the chicken.

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