Tender chicken tossed with a tarragon-cream sauce and ribbons of pappardelle makes for a decadent meal—and one that comes together with little effort when you slowly braise the chicken in a slow cooker. The addition of lemon zest and fresh herbs imparts a welcome burst of flavor to the dish.
Braised Chicken Pappardelle
1 whole chicken, about 3 1/2 lb (1.75 kg), cut into 10 pieces (2 thighs, 2 drumsticks, 2 wings and 4 breast portions)
1 cup (5 oz./155 g) all-purpose flour
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 Tbs. unsalted butter
1 Tbs.. olive oil
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
3/4 cup (6 fl. oz./180 ml) dry white wine
3/4 cup (6 fl. oz./180 ml) chicken stock
3 bay leaves
2/3 cup (5 fl. oz./160 ml) heavy cream
Grated zest of 1 lemon
2 tsp. coarsely chopped fresh tarragon
2 tsp. coarsely chopped fresh chervil or flat-leaf parsley
1 lb. (500 g) dried pappardelle
Pat the chicken pieces dry. In a resealable plastic bag, combine the flour and 3//4 tsp. salt. One at a time, add the chicken pieces and toss to coat evenly. Remove from the bag, tapping off the excess flour. In a large frying pan over medium heat, melt the butter with the oil. When the fat is hot, working in batches to avoid crowding, add the chicken and sear, turning as needed, until golden brown, about 8 minutes total. Transfer to a plate.
Pour off most of the fat from the pan and return it to medium heat. Add the onion, carrots and celery and sauté until softened and golden, about 5 minutes. Pour in the wine and stock and stir to dislodge any browned bits on the pan bottom. Bring to a simmer and cook to concentrate the flavor, about 10 minutes. Transfer the contents of the pan to a slow cooker and add the bay leaves. Stack the chicken pieces on top. Cover and cook on the low setting for 5 to 6 hours. The chicken should be very tender.
Transfer the chicken pieces to a plate. Pull off the skin, remove the meat from the bones, and discard the bones and skin. Shred the meat and set aside to keep warm. Remove and discard the bay leaves, and transfer the braising liquid to a saucepan. Bring the braising liquid a to a simmer over medium-high heat. Cook, uncovered, for 5 minutes, then whisk in the cream, 1⁄2 tsp. salt and a few grinds of pepper. Return to a simmer and cook until reduced slightly, about 5 minutes. Stir in the lemon zest and half of the tarragon; keep the sauce warm.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pappardelle, stir well and cook until al dente, according to package directions. Drain, transfer to a warm serving bowl, and add the sauce. Toss to coat evenly. Mix in the chicken, scatter the remaining herbs over the top and serve immediately. Serves 6.
Find more fresh and satisfying recipes for your slow cooker in our
The New Slow Cooker, by Brigit Binns.