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Make this classic Creamy Tarragon Chicken recipe in 30 minutes for a delicious weeknight meal! Recipe with step-by-step photos.
When it comes to cooking traditional French food, most people think of a complex concoction of ingredients in a Le Creuset pot which has been simmering away on the stove for hours and hours à la Julia Childs.
But with the popularity of fast-cook meals, 30 minute meals and the like, many traditional French dishes have been adapted for the busy cook, and this Creamy Tarragon Chicken recipe is one such delicious example.
Creamy Tarragon Chicken
My children are half-French, so I try to cook the occasional French meal at home so that they have some connection to their French heritage. Although, one could probably argue that their daily dose of croissants at breakfast should be enough to ensure that they do not forget their French roots!
This Creamy Tarragon Chicken recipe combines the classic pairing of – you guessed it – tarragon with chicken, and no French kitchen is likely to be absent of cream and white wine, which are also essential to this dish.
The tarragon sauce contains dry white wine for deglazing the pan, as well as cream for richness.
Fresh tarragon is also essential to this dish for that distinct aniseed flavour, but dried tarragon also works in a pinch.
My recipe below includes a cornflour slurry to thicken the sauce slightly, but you can omit this if you prefer a thinner sauce.
How to Make Creamy Tarragon Chicken
Start by browning the chicken breasts in a large skillet or saucepan. You want the chicken to get a good colour and caramelisation on each side, and this is best achieved by letting the chicken sear on each side for at least 2 to 3 minutes until they are nicely coloured.
Remove the chicken to a plate. The chicken does not need to be fully cooked through at this stage.
Sauté the shallots (or onions) and garlic for about 1 minute, or until they are fragrant and softened.
Add the white wine to pan and let it bubble away for about 1 to 2 minutes until it has slightly reduced.
Next, add the chicken stock, cream and tarragon, and give everything a good stir, using your wooden spoon to scrape any caramelised bits from the pan. Simmer gently for a few minutes and then taste for seasoning.
If you wish, add enough cornflour slurry to the sauce to thicken it slightly.
Then return the chicken breasts to the sauce, cover the pan with a lid, and simmer gently for 5 to 10 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through.
Garnish with parsley or more chopped tarragon before serving.
What to Serve with Creamy Tarragon Chicken
The creamy tarragon sauce is delicious served with some vegetables on the side, such as:
- boiled potatoes
- mashed potatoes
- roast potatoes
- steamed asparagus
- steamed broccoli
- steamed green beans
You could also serve some buttery pasta noodles alongside, such as tagliatelle, fettucine, or parpadelle.
More Chicken Recipes
If you are looking for more chicken recipes, you might also like:
Coconut Chicken Noodle Stir-Fry
Easy Sweet and Sour Chicken
Satay Chicken Stir-Fry
Vietnamese Chicken Pho
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Make this classic Creamy Tarragon Chicken recipe in 30 minutes for a delicious weeknight meal!
- Author: Thanh | Eat, Little Bird
- Prep Time: 10 mins
- Cook Time: 20 mins
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: Serves 3 to 4
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Stove Top
- Cuisine: French
- 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 to 6 small chicken breast fillets
- 2 shallots or 1 small red onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 160 ml (2/3 cup) dry white wine
- 125 ml (1/2 cup) chicken stock
- 125 ml (1/2 cup) double cream (heavy whipping cream) or soya cream (see Kitchen Notes)
- 1 tablespoon cornflour (cornstarch) mixed with 1 tablespoon water
- 1 tablespoon fresh tarragon, finely chopped (see Kitchen Notes)
- parsley, finely chopped
- sea salt
- freshly cracked pepper
- Heat the oil in a large skillet or saucepan over high heat.
- Season the chicken breasts generously with salt and pepper.
- Place the chicken breasts in the pan and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, or until they are golden and caramelised, before turning them over. The best way to achieve a nice colour on the chicken is to not move the chicken too often.
- Once the chicken is golden and caramelised on both sides, remove them to a plate. The chicken does not need to be fully cooked through at this stage.
- Add a bit more oil to the pan as needed.
- Add the shallots (or onions) and garlic. Cook for a few minutes until they have softened.
- Pour the white wine into the pan and let it simmer for a few minutes until it has reduced slightly.
- Use a wooden spoon to stir the mixture and to lift any caramelised bits from the pan.
- Pour in the chicken stock and cream, together with the fresh tarragon.
- Let the sauce simmer gently for a few minutes.
- Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper as needed.
- Slowly pour in the cornflour slurry, stirring the sauce as you do. You may not need all of the cornflour slurry – use as much as you need until the sauce has thickened slightly.
- Return the chicken to the pan and place them in the sauce.
- Turn the heat down to low-medium, and place a lid on the saucepan.
- Cook gently for 5 to 10 minutes, or until the chicken pieces have cooked through.
- Garnish with parsley or more tarragon before serving.
If you can’t find fresh tarragon, I recommend using 1 teaspoon of dried tarragon.
WHAT TO SERVE WITH CREAMY TARRAGON CHICKEN
* boiled potatoes
* mashed potatoes
* roast potatoes
* steamed asparagus
* steamed broccoli
* steamed green beans
MAKE IT DAIRY-FREE
To make this recipe dairy-free, substitute the cream for a plant-based soya cream. Start with half the quantity of soya cream, and add more to taste. CONVERSIONS
To convert from cups to grams, and vice-versa, please see this handy Conversion Chart for Basic Ingredients.
- Serving Size: 1
- Calories: 264
- Sugar: 1.7g
- Sodium: 95.7mg
- Fat: 12.2g
- Carbohydrates: 6.3g
- Fiber: 0.3g
- Protein: 24.1g
- Cholesterol: 91.8mg
This is a quick-time version of the classic French poulet a l’estragon (though you could speed it up further by bashing out the chicken breast or by using a turkey cutlet in its place, which would make this dish pleasingly alliterative) and is an instant reminder of the comforts of old-school cooking. Tender chicken (it’s the poaching early on that sees to this), aromatically fresh and insistently herbal tarragon, a generous splosh of vermouth, all rounded off by rich, pale cream: this has the nostalgic, yet robust, charm of that French bistro of fond memory or happy imaginings. If you can’t get fresh tarragon, do not despair: just double the freeze-dried tarragon at the start and add some freshly chopped parsley at the end. And I can assure you it would be worth your while considering a teaspoon of tarragon mustard, too, along with the cream. About which, please don’t wimp out on me: this is old-fashioned cooking which cannot be proscribed by new-age dietary concerns. But, if you insist, halve the cream, and add another 2 tablespoons of vermouth when you’re pouring the rest in after the chicken’s had its first 5 minutes cooking. Eat with a tumbled mixture of French or green beans and asparagus tips along with steamed baby white-skinned potatoes or, hard to beat for me, some white basmati rice forked through with a soupcon of butter and freshly ground white pepper.
Let this Tarragon Chicken simmer away in your slow cooker all day, and you will be in for an incredible dinner.
Let’s talk about the elephant in the room. The big boxy, low priced, convenient, and oh so guilt inducing Walmart….
There is a big giant super Walmart a few minutes from my front door and I hate it. I fell into the Walmart trap and found myself going there often for things. The produce was decent and so inexpensive. The dry goods and canned foods were unbeatable. The cream cheese was priced to make me do a happy dance in public. But, I have never been one to like shopping at a Walmart. Something about it just made me feel guilty. Was my purchase of 47¢ black beans robbing a local mom and pop shop of health care? Does that cheap toothpaste shrink a local farmers dinner plate? ‘ employ a lot of people, but do they put other local shops out of business? The guilt gets to be so much.
The more I get into food the more I need to pinch my pennies but become more conscious of the purchases I make. Better ingredients really isn’t a joke. Problem was I didn’t have a local market to fit my needs and the local stands are hit and miss. There are three grocery stores withing 2 miles from my house. One is just sad. The produce section is so tiny you could walk right past it. Bananas…That’s it? The meat doesn’t look fresh and there’s really not much variety. The second had moldy ginger… and no one cared. Their prices are obscene and they don’t carry what I consider common staples for an every day cook. To top it off, the employees just don’t care. I get that, but it can be really annoying when you need to tell someone that the ginger had mold. At least Walmart’s ginger wasn’t moldy.
Recently I got lucky and discovered another market just around the bend, and to take a line from Goldilocks, it seems to be just right. The store is cleaned, well stocked, the staff personable. I find myself driving past all of the others and willing to spend the extra bit, and push comes to shove, I really don’t feel like I’m spending that much more. I still occasionally find myself thinking, I bet this would be cheaper at Walmart, but I’m working on it.
Weening myself off the need for cheap, making moolah compromises and enjoying my trips to the market a little more.
Some days I just want to let my slow cooker do the work for me. These are some of my favorites!
Slow Cooker Lemon Artichoke Dip
Slow Cooker Loaded Hash Browns
Slow Cooker Asian Lettuce Cups and Thai Chicken Wings
If you’ve tried my Slow Cooker Tarragon Chicken recipe or any other recipe on passthesushi.com please don’t forget to rate the recipe and let me know where you found it in the comments below, I love hearing from you! You can also follow along for more good eats and travel tips on Instagram @passthesushi & @girlcarnivore, Twitter & Facebook.
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tbs chicken broth
- 4 tbsp dijon mustard
- salt & pepper
- 4 lbs bone-in chicken parts (breasts. drumsticks, and thighs) skin, discarded***
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh tarragon
- 1/3 heavy cream
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
- 1 lemon, finely zested and juiced
- 1 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh tarragon
- Pour the broth into a 6-7 qt slow cooker.
- In a small bowl, combine the mustard, 1 tsp salt and 1/8 tsp pepper; rub the chicken with the mustard.
- Place the chicken in the slow cooker and top with the garlic and 2 tbs tarragon.
- Cover and cook on low heat until the chicken is tender and an instant read thermometer inserted into a thigh away from the bone registers 165 degrees F, about 5 hours.
- Transfer the chicken to a serving plate and cover to keep warm.
- Strain the pan juices into a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over high heat.
- In a small bowl, combine the cream and cornstarch.
- Whisk the cream mixture into the saucepan and cook until the sauce is thickened. Remove from heat and stir in the lemon juice.
- Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the lemon zest, parsley, and 1 tbs tarragon.
- Top the chicken with the zest-herb mixture.
***I didn’t discard the skin,but rather, working in batches, seared the chicken 2-3 minters per side in a skillet over medium high heat before placing it in the crock pot.
From Rachael Ray Magazine Oct 2011
Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 436 Total Fat: 25g Saturated Fat: 7g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 15g Cholesterol: 183mg Sodium: 342mg Carbohydrates: 4g Fiber: 1g Sugar: 0g Protein: 46g Nutrition information provided is an estimate from nutritionix.com. For specific health concerns, please put the recipe into your Dr recommended nutrition calculator.