Kicking Carbs, More Tarragon

I'm taking the no-carb plunge and am spending 21 days (hello day 4!) eating under 40 grams of carbs daily. This isPoulet_al_Estragon the diet that L has done, which helped lead him to a 50-lb loss, and has helped with his Iron Man training. And while I don't have such ambitious end goals, I thought it wouldn't hurt to commit to a way of eating that tends to provide more energy, and a burning of body fat. To learn more about this, check out Diet Doctor, L's diet guru for the past year. BUT I have also re-discovered my love for cooking, I have had to balance these two often polar notions, as I am pretty sure that everything delicious has carbs. For this recipe, I just didn't make the rice, and I swapped in almond flour for the regular flour. Also, tarragon. This may be my very favorite herb. Anyway, after skipping the rice, the beans were the side to go with this already delicious dish. My grocery store didn't have yellow beans, but green were just lovely. However, Lynne Rossetto Kasper came through this past weekend on my favorite NPR show (The Splendid Table) with this recipe, adapted from Chef Daniel Boulard:

Ingredients
  • Salt 
  • 15 golf ball-size tomatoes 
  • 1 tablespoon butter 
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil 
  • 2 (2- to 3-pound) farm-raised chickens, each cut into 8 pieces 
  • Freshly ground white pepper 
  • 4 large shallots, sliced 
  • 10 ounces pearl onions 
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste 
  • 3 tablespoons flour 
  • 1/2 cup tarragon vinegar 
  • 2 cups Chicken Stock 
  • 1/2 bunch tarragon
Rice Pilaf 
  • 1 1/2 cups basmati rice 
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil 
  • 1 shallot, minced 
  • 2 tablespoons butter 
  • 2 1/2 cups Chicken Stock 
  • 1 teaspoon salt 
  • 1 bay leaf 
  • 2 sprigs thyme 
  • 2 sprigs tarragon
Yellow Wax Bean Fricassée 
  • Salt 
  • 1 pound yellow wax beans, trimmed 
  • 2 tablespoons butter 
  • Freshly ground white pepper 
  • 1/2 bunch tarragon, leaves chopped
Directions for the Poulet à l'Estragon 
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and set a bowl of ice water on the side. Score an X on the bottoms of the tomatoes. 
  • Boil them for 5 seconds, or until the skins loosen on the bottoms. Strain and peel under cold running water; set aside. 
  • In a 5-quart braising pan over medium high heat, melt the butter with the oil. 
  • Season the chicken on all sides with salt and pepper. 
  • Add the chicken to the pan skin side down and sear until golden brown on both sides, about 10 minutes total. 
  • Transfer the chicken to a platter, set aside, and strain all but 1 tablespoon fat from the pan. 
  • Reduce the heat to medium and add the shallots and onions to the pan. 
  • Cook, stirring, until the shallots are soft. 
  • Add the tomato paste and flour and cook, stirring, for another minute. 
  • Add the vinegar, bring to a simmer, then stir in the chicken stock. 
  • Bring to a simmer, making sure to scrape the bottom of the pan. 
  • Return the chicken to the pan with half of the tomatoes and the tarragon. 
  • Cover and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
  • Add the remaining tomatoes, cover, and simmer for another 20 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through.
Directions for the Rice Pilaf 
  • Rinse the rice with cold water until it runs clear. 
  • Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. 
  • Add the shallot and cook, stirring, until translucent. 
  • Add the rice and stir to coat. 
  • Add the butter, chicken stock, salt, bay leaf, thyme, and tarragon and bring to a simmer. 
  • Cover and cook undisturbed over low heat for 10 to 15 minutes. 
  • Turn off the heat and rest, covered, for 5 minutes. 
  • Remove the lid and fluff the rice with a fork.
Directions for the Yellow Wax Bean Fricassée 
  • Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. 
  • Add the beans and boil for 4 minutes, or until tender. 
  • Strain, return the beans to the pan over medium-low heat, and toss with the butter. 
  • Season with salt and pepper and toss in the tarragon leaves just before serving. 

Poulet A l'Estragon recipe from Daniel: My French Cuisine. Copyright © 2013 by Daniel Boulud. Used with permission by Grand Central Publishing. All rights reserved.