Chicken with Shallots
Photo: Kelly Rossiter
I was reading The New York Times over breakfast a couple of Sundays ago when I came across this recipe for chicken with shallots and I knew instantly that I had to make for dinner. The article was really about what chefs eat at home with their families, but this particular recipe showed the evolution of a recipe from food magazine to family favorite. A chef had offered a recipe that his wife had originally found in a Martha Stewart magazine. She had modified it over the years to suit the tastes of her family and made it her own. Then her husband made it and added what he called "cheffy" sorts of changes. Apparently the kids liked mom's version better.
I know that lots of people don't agree, but I'm a big fan of modifying recipes. I used chicken breasts in this recipe because my husband doesn't like thighs. I ended up using regular onions because I thought I had shallots, but I was mistaken. In this particular case, neither of those changes made a huge difference and it didn't affect the integrity of the recipe. You see comments from people who write into websites and say "I used beef instead of chicken, and I skipped the garlic and I used tarragon instead of oregano and I used soy milk instead of cream and it just wasn't that great." Sometimes the changes made are so off the wall that they just make you laugh. However, if I had been rigid about making the recipe exactly as written, we would have missed out on a really delicious dinner.
This recipe is from the New York Times Magazine, March 23, 2014.

Prep time: 15 minutes 

Total time: 1 1/2 hours  

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Chicken with Shallots
  • 8 chicken thighs
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 12 to 15 whole medium shallots, peeled
  • 2 cups white wine
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 sprigs tarragon
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, cut in half
Cooking directions
  1. Rinse chicken thighs in water, and pat them very dry with paper towels. Sprinkle over them the flour, salt and pepper.
  2. Melt the butter in a large, heavy-bottomed pot or skillet set over medium-high heat. When the butter foams, cook the chicken, in batches if necessary, until well browned and crisp on all sides. Set aside.
  3. Add the whole shallots to the pot and sauté them in the butter and chicken fat until they begin to soften and caramelize, about 10 to 12 minutes. Add the wine to deglaze the pot, stir with a large spoon, and then add the mustard and tarragon, then the chicken thighs. Cover the pot, turn the heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes.
  4. Remove the lid, and allow the sauce to reduce and thicken, 15 to 20 minutes.
  5. Add the cherry tomatoes to the pot, stir lightly to combine and serve immediately..

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