Chicken savoyarde

From Tamasin Day-Lewis, a comforting dish of chicken in a mustard and tarragon sauce, topped with breadcrumbs and Parmesan
By Tamasin Day-Lewis
Chicken savoyarde
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 6
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
  • Prep Time: 50 minutes
  • Effort: medium



  • 2 kg chicken
  • 2 onions
  • 2 cloves
  • 2 carrots, halved lengthways
  • 3 stick celery
  • 2 leeks, trimmed
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • 2 sprig thyme
  • salt
  • 50 g breadcrumbs
  • 25 g parmesan, grated

For the sauce:

  • 60 g butter
  • 50 g plain flour
  • 400 ml chicken, hot stock from the poached
  • 300 ml dry white wine
  • 225 ml double cream
  • 100 g gruyère cheese, grated
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 50 g tarragon, chopped
  • butter, for greasing
  • black pepper

To serve:

  • buttered new potatoes
  • green salad


1. Put the chicken in a stockpot or large saucepan and cover with water. Stud one of the onions with the cloves and add to the pot along with the remaining vegetables, the herbs and salt to taste.

2. Bring slowly to the boil, skimming off any scum that comes to the surface. Reduce the heat to the merest simmer and poach very gently for about 1 1/2 hours. Once cooked, lift out the bird and allow to cool.

3. Strain the stock through a muslin-lined fine sieve and discard all solids. Leave to settle, then blot off any surface fat using several sheets of paper towel.

4. Strip the meat from the chicken carcass, discarding the skin and removing all sinews from the drumsticks.

5. Cut the meat into large bite-sized pieces.

6. To make the sauce, melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes without browning.

7. Gradually stir in the hot chicken stock, the white wine and cream. Keep stirring until thickened.

8. Stir in the cheese, mustard, tarragon. Check the seasoning then simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes until smooth and thickened.

9. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 230°C/gas 8. Butter a gratin dish.

10. Put the chicken pieces in the gratin dish and pour over the sauce. Sprinkle with the breadcrumbs and Parmesan. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown and bubbling around the edges.

11. Serve with buttered new potatoes and a crisp green salad.

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