Chicken, mushroom and tarragon pancakes

July 22, 2006

Chicken and mushroom pancakes

How many crepes must one man make, before you can call him a man? Thus asked a fresh-faced Bob Dylan over 40 years ago, and the answer is still blowin’ in the wind today. Least it is in our kitchen.

I took four more crepe-steps to manhood last night when I slaved over these chicken, mushroom and tarragon pancakes. My bad-tempered grill didn’t take kindly to being asked to do an honest 10 minutes’ work. It spat, smoked and had its revenge by singeing the exposed ends of these defenceless wee rolls. Spoiled the look but added an element of crispness to an otherwise rich and creamy dish.

Chicken, mushroom and tarragon pancakes

1. Make 2 pancakes for each person using your favourite pancake batter. I used Marcella Hazan’s recipe for crespelle from the seminal anti-coffee-table-book ‘The First Classic Italian Cookbook’ (now out of print it seems, although many of the recipes are in this collection).

2. Heat some butter in a pan and add a chopped garlic clove, then some chunky chopped mushrooms and cubes of chicken. Let these all frizzle slowly together to swap flavours and get comfortable.

3. After a while, stir in a tablespoon or so of flour and let this cook briefly over a lowish heat. Add several glugs of milk, stirring constantly, to create a smooth sauce.

4. After a few minutes simmering the sauce, add a generous number of chopped tarragon leaves (fresh if possible) and a good gulp or two of evil, thick double cream. Season well and you’ve got your filling sorted.

5. Roll up the pancakes with a couple of tablespoons of filling in and lay them cheek-by-jowl in a buttered oven dish. Any extra filling can go on top. Pour some more cream over and finish by grating on some parmesan.

6. Bung under a hot grill until a cheesy creamy crust forms. Keep an eye that the edges of the pancakes don’t combust.

Maths chick used a veg peeler to make thin strips of courgette, which she then steamed very briefly and dressed with olive oil, lemon juice and loads of black pepper. It was a cool, clear accompaniment.

For dessert we had a game of scrabble. There’s nothing like a hard-fought, tactical word-game to aid digestion. I squeaked it 387-384, bingo-ing twice with COASTER and LEANINGS, and went to bed a little too chirpy for my own good.

One Response to “Chicken, mushroom and tarragon pancakes”

  1. I’m going for it with these tonight. Oh yes.

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