RECIPE

Chicken Fans with Tarragon-Cream Sauce and Rice Pilaf with Asparagus

Fan-sliced chicken in a pretty design complements rice pilaf with asparagus. This is a totally terrific one plate meal for guests and family.

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons butter (1/2 stick), divided
  • 1/4 cup orzo pasta or broken thin spaghetti
  • 1 cup white rice
  • 2 3/4 cups chicken stock, divided
  • 1 small bundle fresh asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces on an angle
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 large shallots, chopped
  • 8 medium to large white mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/3-1/2 cup cream (eyeball it)
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard or grainy mustard
  • 4 stems fresh tarragon, leaves removed and chopped

Preparation

Heat a saucepot with a tight-fitting lid over medium heat with 2 tablespoons butter. Add the orzo to the pot and sauté to golden brown. Add the rice and stir to combine. Add 1 3/4 cups stock and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer, cover the pot and cook for 18 minutes, or until the pasta and rice are tender. Add the asparagus to the pot for the last 5-6 minutes of cooking time, stirring it in and replacing the lid. When the rice is done, fluff with a fork.

While the rice cooks, heat the EVOO in a skillet over medium-high heat. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and cook for 12 minutes, turning once. Place the meat on a platter and cover with foil to keep warm.

Add the remaining 2 tablespoons butter to the pan and reduce the heat to medium. Add the shallots and mushrooms to the skillet and sauté for 6-7 minutes, until the mushrooms are very tender, then season with a little salt and pepper.

Sprinkle the flour over the pan and stir for 1 minute, then whisk in the remaining cup of stock. When the stock comes to a bubble, stir in the cream, mustard and tarragon and reduce the heat to low.

Thinly slice each chicken breast on an angle. Place some pilaf on each plate and fan the chicken out over the edge of the pilaf. Ladle the cream sauce over the chicken fans and serve.

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Rachael Ray