Chicken savoyarde

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By: Tamasin Day-Lewis From: Tamasin Day Lewis

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This recipe is classed as intermediate

Rating 3.37 / 5 (79 votes)

Prep time:
50 min
Cook time:
1 hr 40 min

From Tamasin Day-Lewis, a comforting dish of chicken in a mustard and tarragon sauce, topped with breadcrumbs and Parmesan


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.


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

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Latest Comment


this has been on my 'to try' list for ages now - finally gave it a go this weekend. very pleased with the results. not too difficult to make and results in a really tasty dish.

two things:
1) you really do need a whopping pan/pot to poach a whole 2KG chicken. I was only using a 1.5KB and was barely able to fit it in with all the veg! maybe consider getting your butcher to halve or quarter it for you...
2) this recipe creates quite a lot of chicken stock, only about a third of which you'll actually use for this meal. which is no bad thing, you just need to be prepared to store a lot of leftover chicken stock for future use! I ended up with about a litre extra....

MattL83998 MattL83998  Posted 04 Nov 2013 2:48 PM

I and everyone I've given this too loves the recipe. Its a great dinner party dish because all th prep can be done the evening before leaving you time to have a glass of something cold and fizzy with your guests!

donagh donagh  Posted 16 Apr 2012 8:06 PM

Absolutely fabulous. It's easy to make, extremely convenenient for preparing in advance of a get-together, and friends / fam will love it.

HughW77653 HughW77653  Posted 03 Nov 2009 10:34 AM

Made this for a bunch of friends who came over - it was delicious! And so easy to prepare the night before so I could just pop it into the oven when our friends arrived.

Fee Mag Fee Mag Posted 03 Jul 2008 3:18 PM