It was a busy day, and I was up to my ears in emails. As the afternoon wore on into evening, my husband and I desperately needed to figure out dinner. That's when I reached for a new book, Nourishing Broth, that was recently sent to me for review. I thumbed through it, and landed on a recipe for Pan-Roasted Chicken with Cream Sauce. I showed it to my husband, and he headed to the kitchen to make it. It's wonderfully simple, but also elegant, too - combining cream with sharp Dijon-style mustard and fresh tarragon. My husband tucked the seasoned chicken into the oven, roasted it, and I pulled it from the oven later, finished the sauce and served it over potatoes with a side of steamed broccolini. Simple, and lovely.
The recipe is one of many, including a few contributed by me, to the book Nourishing Broth written by Sally Fallon Morell and my friend Dr. Kaayla Daniels of Naughty Nutritionist fame. Nourishing Broth weaves science, health and nutrition with recipes all focused on homemade broths and stocks. The first several chapters of the book focus on the healing powers of broth, including how and why traditionally prepared, protein-rich bone broths can play a role in skin health, wound healing, digestive disorders, infectious diseases as well as supporting athletes. The science in support of bone broths and stocks, as outlined in Nourishing Broth is extensive - and helps to explain the mechanisms by which a nourishing mug of bone broth can support gorgeous skin, healthy digestion and general health. Once you've worked your way through the science in the book, it's time to try your hand at the recipes - wholesome and nourishing recipes, most of which were contributed by long-time lovers of broth.
Beauty of Broth
Broth has long been one of my favorite foods, and I often begin my mornings with a spiced butter tea or a mug of homemade bone broth sprinkled with salt, chopped garlic and flat-leaf parsley. It's easy enough to make at home and marvelously inexpensive, but for those who have neither the time nor interest in making their own, you can also buy long-simmered bone broth online as well. We always keep a bit tucked away in the freezer or the fridge.
Why We Choose Pasture-Raised Chicken
About twice a year, when the ranchers near our home cull their flock, we order at least a dozen whole chickens. Our farmers process them, and we tuck them into the freezer - pulling one out a week to make an easy roast chicken with olive oil, salt and pepper or roast chicken over potatoes, garlic and preserved lemon. I prefer to slow-roast whole birds, which yields a beautifully tender meat that falls of the bone with a crisp and salty skin. We save the bones, tuck them into the stockpot with herbs and vegetable scraps to make homemade chicken bone broth (you can get my favorite recipe for it in my cookbook here). If we do it right, one bird can last several meals.
The farmers we source our birds from keep them outside, on pasture where the chickens are able to exercise, peck at worms and grubs, and eat fresh forage in addition to supplementary feed. As a result, their meat is richer in fat-soluble vitamins like vitamin A and it also offers a more favorable ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids, compared to birds raised indoors with little room to move. You can often find pasture-raised chicken at your local farmers market, or by reaching out to a farmer near you. If you can't find pasture-raised chicken locally, you can also purchase it online here.
Pan-Roasted Chicken with Tarragon and Mustard Cream Sauce
- Preheat the oven to 400° F.
- Cut up the chicken: Separate the legs and thighs, remove the bone from the breasts, and cut the breasts into 2 pieces. Reserve the back and neck for making stock.
- Place the chicken pieces skin side up in a stainless steel roasting pan.
- In a small bowl, combine the melted butter and mustard and brush the skin of the chicken with the mixture. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Strew the tarragon over the top. Bake for about 1 hour, until the chicken is cooked through and browned on the outside. Remove the chicken pieces to a platter and keep them warm.
- Place the baking pan over medium heat and deglaze the pan with the wine, stir- ring to remove any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the broth, bring to a boil, and boil until reduced by about half. Gradually add the cream and boil to reduce it a little more, until a thick sauce consistency is reached. Season with salt.
- Strain the sauce into a heated bowl or gravy boat and serve with the chicken.