I dusted off this recipe out of my 1979 Better Homes and Garden Cook Book and decided to not only make the mushroom sauce healthier, but to alter the method of “frying” the chicken first. I thought it would be neat to melt my frozen tarragon oil cubes in the casserole dish, then baste the chicken with the tarragon oil and bake the chicken for about a half hour before adding the popover batter. Unfortunately I had a complete “DOH!” moment when I went to pour the batter over the chicken when I took it out of the oven. I had the eggs all mixed with everything else but wanted to wait to add the flour because I didn’t want it to harden or get too stiff in the half hour the chicken was in the oven. So the timer went off, I pulled the chicken out of the oven and poured the egg mixture over it and popped it back in. About five minutes later as I was cleaning up my mess on the counter, I noticed – yep, you guessed it – the flour still in the measuring cup on the counter. ACK!!! You know I thought the batter looked a little watery, but I blamed my poor memory of the dish I’d made 20 years ago and convinced myself that’s the way it’s supposed to be and would set and rise in the oven. Alas, what a mess that turned out to be. I pulled the chicken out of the dish with tongs, then poured the flour right into the casserole dish and mixed it right there in the sizzling hot casserole dish. Then I dunked the chicken back in. Needless to say it made for a pretty messy dish. And the durn thing stuck to the sides pretty bad too since my oil coating got mixed in with the batter, so there was no hope of getting a shot of it plated with the mushroom sauce served over it. I tried to crop out most of the sides in the picture. HOWEVER, the good news is my family thought it was delicious! My husband was disappointed though it didn’t have any chicken wings in it like the picture in the cookbook. I have taken a shot of the recipe (and its photo) so you can compare the differences in the recipe.
Popover Chicken Tarragon
4 cubes frozen tarragon oil (or sub 2 tablespoons oil and 1 teaspoon dried tarragon)
1/4 cup flour
Mrs. Dash Table Blend
Ground black pepper
2 large bone-in chicken breasts with skin (about 2 pounds)
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon cooking oil
1 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon
Turn on the oven to 400, add the oil and tarragon to a casserole dish, and place in oven while the oven preheats. Meanwhile, mix the 1/4 cup flour and seasonings to taste on a plate. Coat the chicken in the flour, then carefully remove the casserole dish from the oven. Place the chicken in the dish and coat the chicken with the tarragon oil using tongs and a baster. Place the dish back in the oven with the chicken skin side up. Cook for a half hour. Meanwhile, whisk three eggs, the oil, and baking powder in a bowl with an electric mixer until the eggs are frothy. Add the flour and tarragon and mix well. Go ahead and do it now so you don’t forget the flour! The then start making the Mushroom Sauce (recipe below). After a half hour, carefully pour the batter over the chicken. Cook for another half hour or so until the chicken is done and the popover is brown and crusty. Serve with Creamy Mushroom Sauce.
Creamy Mushroom Sauce
4 tablespoons butter or equivalent
4 ounces fresh sliced mushrooms (about 3/4 cup)
2 green onions, white and light part only, chopped
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup chicken broth
Mrs. Dash Table Blend (or salt if you prefer)
In a saucepan, cook the mushrooms, onion and garlic in the butter on medium low heat until the mushrooms have released their liquid, about 10 minutes. Add the flour and mix into a paste. Add the milk and chicken broth all at once, and whisk to combine. Cook over medium low heat until it thickens. If it gets too thick, add more milk or chicken broth. Season to taste.