I saw a poster for apres-ski staple, tartiflette a couple of months back on the tube. The advert was actually about travelling to the French Alps with some low-budget airline, but the picture depicting a cheesy one-pot wonder was what lured me in (unsurprisingly) and after a little research (see: Googling ‘what the hell is tartiflette and does it involve as much cream as I think?’), I knew this was the meal for me and my equally gluttonous housemate.
Tartiflette is basically potatoes, loads of cheese, lardons, and more cheese. If you like mac and cheese, dauphinoise potatoes, carbonara, or Croque Madam, this will be so up your street I can’t even handle how much you’re going to love it. I don’t think tartiflette traditionally has chicken in it, but we had some that needed using up, so it features here.
We made our chicken tartiflette one cold Saturday evening when we couldn’t be arsed to go out and wanted to sit on the sofa and feed our faces in front of a Denzel Washington film instead. It’s a situation we find ourselves in more and more often, and I cannot complain. Once the onions and lardons are fried off, tartiflette is pretty fuss-free, meaning there’s plenty of time for blanket gathering and hot water bottle filling. I’m 26, not 86, but my life goals are not dissimilar to someone of that age.
Drooling at the thought of cheese, potato, and getting under a blanket with Denzel? Here’s my easy chicken tartiflette recipe, sure to prepare you in some small way for the onslaught of January…
A couple of handfuls of leftover roast chicken or 2 breasts, cooked
2 onions, sliced
1 whole head of garlic, cloves peeled
1 glass white wine
1 litre of chicken stock
2 bay leaves
Salt & pepper
500g potatoes, sliced evenly
150g lardons (smoked if you have the choice)
200ml double cream
250g Reblochon cheese (plus another 50g for the top), broken into pieces
Cook the onion, garlic, and lardons in a hot pan with a generous lug of olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Once soft, add the white wine and reduce it down until there’s almost nothing left.
Next, pour in the chicken stock and add the bay leaves. Bring the liquid to a boil, then turn it back down to a medium heat so it’s gently simmering.
Add the chicken to the pan with the liquid and cook gently for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, cook the potato slices in a pan of boiling water until they start to soften (6-10 minutes), then drain.
Grease a casserole dish with butter, and then mix the cream and the stock together in a large jug or pan.
The size of your casserole dish will determine how many layers your chicken tartiflette will have, but it really doesn’t matter. Your layer (or layers) should start with potato, then have onion, garlic, chicken, and lardons, and be topped with cheese and some of the cream mixture. The final layer should be just potato – a potato lid, if you will – and should be seasoned generously with salt and pepper, and if you fancy it, a sprinkle of cayenne pepper.
Pop in the oven at about 180 for 30 minutes, and then add the last bit of cheese and bake for another 10 minutes until the cheese is bubbling and catching slightly at the edges.
There’s no need to serve it with anything, but if you’re insistent, wilted spinach will do nicely, as will a vat of red wine.