Chicken blanquette with roasted shallots and fresh garden peas

Slow poached chicken and tarragon is a magical pairing but James Martin ups the ante by adding a creamy mushroom sauce.


For the poached chicken
  • 1 kg/2lb 4oz chicken, cut into 8 pieces
  • 1 carrot, halved
  • 1 small onion, halved
  • 1 leek, quartered
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 large sprig of thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
For the blanquette sauce
  • 25g/1oz butter, plus extra for frying
  • 25g/1oz plain flour
  • 1 litre/1¾ pints chicken cooking liquor (from above)
  • 110g/4oz baby onions
  • 110g/4oz button mushrooms, quartered
  • 4 free-range egg yolks
  • 110ml/4fl oz double cream
  • 3 tbsp tarragon leaves, picked
For the roasted shallots and fresh garden peas
  • 4 banana shallots, halved
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 400g/14oz fresh garden peas, podded
  • 50g/1¾oz butter
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preparation method

  1. To poach the chicken, place the chicken pieces in a large saucepan and cover with 2 litres/3½ pints of water.

  2. Add the carrot, onion, leek, garlic, thyme and bay leaf. Bring to a gentle boil then turn down to a simmer and cook for 1¼ hours.

  3. When the meat is tender, remove from the heat. Drain the chicken, reserving 1 litre/1¾ pints of the cooking liquor for making the sauce. Set aside.

  4. To make the sauce, heat a heavy based saucepan over a medium heat, add the butter. When melted, add the flour and keep stirring until it is completely absorbed.

  5. Gradually whisk in the reserved poaching liquor, stirring until all the liquor has been incorporated.

  6. Drain the meat again and discard any remaining liquor along with the carrot, onion, bay leaf, clove and thyme.

  7. Place the meat into the sauce.

  8. Heat a frying pan over a medium heat, add a little more of the butter and the baby onions. Cook until slightly coloured then add the mushrooms and cook for a further two minutes.

  9. Tip the onions and mushrooms into the chicken and sauce.

  10. Whisk the egg yolks and cream together in a bowl then gradually add to the pan, whisking as you go.

  11. Remove from the heat and continue to whisk for a couple of minutes.

  12. Stir in the tarragon and season to taste with salt and pepper. Keep warm until ready to serve.

  13. For the roasted shallots and fresh garden peas, preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.

  14. Heat a large griddle pan and drizzle the oil over the cut side of the shallots. Place on the griddle pan cut-side down and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until coloured and charred. Turnover and cook for a few more minutes, then place in the oven for 15-20 minutes.

  15. Meanwhile heat a saucepan of boiling water and season with salt. Once boiling, add the peas and cook for 3-4 minutes then drain.

  16. Heat a frying pan and add the butter and peas, season with salt and pepper and cook gently for a few minutes.

  17. To serve, place a couple of pieces of chicken on each plate and spoon over the sauce. Place the roasted shallots and peas next to the chicken.

James Martin recipes from Saturday Kitchen

Less than 30 mins preparation time

1 to 2 hours cooking time

Serves 4

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