A simple, one-pot recipe with golden chicken gently cooked with mushrooms, creme fraiche, plenty of woody herbs and a touch of mustard, this is one of those dishes that really brings warmth and comfort to the table in the cooler months. It comes together quickly, too, making it perfect for a weeknight meal. I like to serve this dish with creamy polenta or mashed potatoes, and some crusty bread to mop up all the sauce never goes amiss.
800g chicken chops*, skin on and bone in
sea salt and black pepper
plain flour, for dusting
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus extra if needed
2 tbsp unsalted butter
250g Swiss brown mushrooms, halved
3 eschalots (French shallots), halved and thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
100ml dry vermouth or dry white wine
200ml chicken stock, plus more if needed
100ml creme fraiche
1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
2 fresh bay leaves
4 sprigs of tarragon, plus extra to serve
4 sprigs of thyme, plus extra to serve
1. Season the chicken thighs with sea salt and pepper. Dust them in the flour, shaking off any excess. Heat the olive oil and butter in a large, deep frypan over a medium heat. Add the chicken to the pan, skin-side down, cooking until golden (5-7 minutes), turning halfway. Remove from the pan and set aside.
2. Reduce heat to low-medium, add the mushrooms and cook until golden (3-4 minutes), stirring occasionally. Add more olive oil to the pan if it's drying out at this point. Add the eschalots to the mushrooms and cook until softened (3-4 minutes), followed by the garlic, cooking for a further minute until fragrant. Increase the heat to high, pour in the vermouth and scrape the base of the pan to deglaze it.
3. Pour in the chicken stock, along with the creme fraiche, mustard and herbs. Season with black pepper. Stir to combine and simmer for a few minutes, until it thickens slightly. Reduce the heat to medium and nestle the chicken back in the pan, skin-side up, and cook until the meat is cooked through and the sauce has thickened (about 30-35 minutes). If the sauce becomes too dry, add a little more chicken stock. Scatter over some extra tarragon and thyme and serve.
Tip: If you can't find chicken thighs with the skin on and bone in, Marylands are a good substitute, though they'll require a little more cooking.