Zuyder Chicken Breasts with Tarragon and Sour Cream

This marvellous combination of succulent chicken breasts cooked with a fragrant sauce is a perfect lunch or supper dish. Serve with mashed potatoes and a well-chilled white wine. Fresh tarragon should be used if it is available if not, // teaspoons of dried tarragon may be substituted.

4 large chicken breasts, skinned and boned

1 teaspoon salt

12 teaspoons black pepper

3 oz. butter

3 tablespoons flour

10 fl. oz. home-made chicken stock

1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon

4 fl. oz. sour cream

3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

Rub the chicken breasts all over with half the salt and half the pepper.

In a large frying-pan, melt 2 ounces of the butter over moderate heat. When the foam subsides, add the chicken breasts and fry, turning occasionally, for 5 to 8 minutes or until they are lightly and evenly browned. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.

Add the remaining butter to the pan. When the foam subsides, remove the pan from the heat and, using a wooden spoon, stir in the flour to form a smooth paste. Gradually add the chicken stock and tarragon, stirring constantly and being careful to avoid lumps. Return the pan to moderate heat and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 to 3 minutes or until the sauce is smooth and thick.

Return the chicken breasts to the pan, reduce the heat to low and simmer the breasts for 20 to 30 minutes or until they are tender when pierced with the point of a sharp knife. Using tongs, transfer the chicken breasts to a warmed serving dish. Set aside and keep warm while you finish oft’ the sauce.

Stir the sour cream and 2 tablespoons of grated cheese into the sauce and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes or until the cream and cheese have been absorbed and the sauce is hot but not boiling.

Remove the pan from the heat and pour the sauce over the chicken breasts. Sprinkle over the remaining grated cheese and serve at once.

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