Tarragon Roasted Chicken

Tarragon is growing by leaps and bounds and the delicate, fresh anise-like flavor pairs beautifully with salads, eggs, fish and chicken. Today we made a simple roast chicken stuffed with tarragon. I picked a small handful of tarragon shoots cutting to the soil line to encourage new growth. As mentioned in earlier posts I grow tarragon in a container.

To infuse the tarragon flavor throughout the chicken I gently lifted the skin and pressed tarragon under it on as much of the chicken as possible. I placed the stems in the cavity along with several more sprigs. Notice the pattern tarragon makes under the skin.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

1 large fryer/roasting chicken
10 to 12 shoots fresh tarragon
1 tablespoon Dijon type mustard
1 tablespoon cooking oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated pepper

Remove giblets and any excess fat that can be trimmed away. Work the tarragon under the skin. Mix oil, mustard, salt and pepper together and rub over chicken. Place additional tarragon inside cavity, reserving one tablespoon leaves. Place chicken in a small roasting pan and place in oven. I started with the breast down for 45 minutes. Every 15 minutes or so I give the pan a little shake to keep the breast from sticking. When back has browned carefully turn the chicken and continue cooking until breast is browned in approximately 45 minutes. An instant thermometer placed in the thigh or breast will read 170 degrees when done. When thigh and leg move easily and juices no longer run pink chicken is done. Thermometer test is easier.
Strain and defat juices, salt to taste and add one tablespoon minced tarragon. Use juices as a sauce. Heat and add a little white wine, white vermouth or apple juice until right consistency. A couple teaspoons of cream smooth the flavors if you desire a little extra richness. Let rest 15 to 20 minutes before carving and serving.

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Easy Gardening Tip – Water

Plan now for summer water conservation. Choices include drip tape, porous leaky pipe, and drip emitter kits. Combine any of these with timers and you are delivering proper amounts of water to each area of the garden. Avoiding overhead watering reduces disease and increases yields. Less time spent on weeding is a significant advantage. Obviously, a bed of mesclun, a row of tomatoes, and a container garden all have differing needs and there’s a proper setup for all. Garden supply stores are better stocked in spring than midsummer when the water crunch hits. Take a look around now to determine which is best for you.

Porous leaky pipe made of recycled tires can clog if your water has a high sediment content. If they are only going to be in place for a year and soon end up in a landfill you may want to select a different system.

Drip Irrigation for Every Landscape and All Climates by Robert Kourik is considered the bible on this topic.