Tarragon chicken in a pan with tarragon next to it

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This tarragon chicken is the perfect take on the classic French recipe. Creamy, rich and bursting with flavour. Don’t be deterred by the mention of French cooking either – this recipe is super simple to make and takes only half an hour to throw together.

What is it?

This tarragon chicken is adapted from the classic French recipe, poulet a l’estragon (literally translated to chicken with tarragon). It’s a classic recipe that has truly stood the test of time.

Tarragon has been used in French cooking since the 16th century and is commonly referred to as the ‘King of Herbs’ in France. You’ll find it in several traditional sauces including the well known classic béarnaise sauce.

Tarragon Chicken on a plate with asparagus

How do you prepare tarragon?

Tarragon is a fairly pungent herb that is most commonly found in French cooking. It has an aniseed taste like liquorice and if you’ve not cooked with it before you might want to go light with the amount you use as it’s fairly pungent.

How to strip tarragon

When using fresh tarragon you need to pull the leaves from the stems and wash well. You can then finely chop the leaves and add to your dish or use as a garnish.

Dried tarragon can also be used. As dried herbs are stronger than fresh, reduce the amount by half. You will also need to add it earlier on in the cooking process. Sprinkle it into the pan when you add the stock to allow the flavour more time to release its unique taste.

What can I serve it with?

This recipe is great served with some freshly steamed white or brown rice. It also works well with a mound of freshly boiled new potatoes, roasted potatoes or a good dollop of mash. Why not try these garlic and thyme roast potatoes, these garlic and leek mashed potatoes or this lemon baby potato salad.

Some freshly steamed greens are an essential addition to the recipe. Include a mixture of tenderstem broccoli, green beans or mange tout (snow peas) for a healthy and delicious accompaniment.

Ingredients

For a full list of ingredients with measurements, jump to the printable recipe card.

Tarragon chicken ingredients
  • Chicken breast
  • Tarragon
  • Cream – if you’re in the UK use double cream, in the US use heavy cream
  • Chicken stock – a stock cube works fine if you don’t have any homemade stock
  • White wine – use a dry, high-quality wine
  • Carrot
  • Celery
  • Onion

Substitutions

  • You can use vermouth or cognac instead of white wine for this recipe. Or use a mixture of one of them with wine.
  • If you don’t drink wine then you can use extra stock instead
  • As mentioned above, dried tarragon can be used instead of fresh. Use half the amount and add at the same time as the stock
  • If you are a fan of cooking with butter then you can substitute half or all of the olive oil with butter

How to make it

For a detailed list of instructions, jump to the printable recipe card.

  1. Pan-fry the chicken breast in a frying pan or skillet until lightly golden on both sides. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  2. Add the onion, carrot and celery to the pan and cook until softened. Add the garlic and cook for a further minute.
  3. Pour the wine into the pan and cook for around 3 minutes, until reduced by half.
  4. Add the stock to the pan and return the chicken breasts. Cook for around 10 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through.
  5. Remove the chicken breasts and place them on plates. Add the cream and tarragon to the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring well.
  6. Spoon the sauce over the chicken and serve.

Looking for more great chicken breast recipes? Why not try:

Products that work well for this recipe:

Lodge Cast Iron Pan

– Rated best heavy frying skillet on Amazon – 10 inch size – Suitable for use on induction, ceramic, electric and gas cooktops, as well as in the oven, on the stove, in the grill and on barbecues/campfires

Herb Keepers

It’ll keep what’s left of your bunch perky for longer – perfect for the fridge door!

Beeswax Food Wraps

Say no to single-use plastic with these beeswax-infused food savers.
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Tarragon chicken in a pan with tarragon next to it

Tarragon Chicken


  • Author: caroline
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 1 1x

Description

This tarragon chicken is the perfect take on the classic French dish. Creamy, rich & bursting with flavour, it’s super simple to make & takes just 30 mins.

The default recipe serves 2.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 chicken breasts, boneless and skinless, around 125g each
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1/2 carrot, diced
  • 1/2 celery stick, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely diced or crushed
  • 85ml / 1/3 cup dry white wine (see note 1&2)
  • 125ml 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 85ml / 1/3 cup  double/heavy cream
  • 2 tsp fresh finely chopped tarragon (or 1 tsp dried) (see note 3)

Instructions

  1. Heat the oil in a large frying pan or skillet over medium-high heat and then add the chicken breasts. Cook for 3-4 minutes on each side until golden. 
  2. Remove the chicken breasts and set aside. Add the onion, carrot and celery to the pan and cook for 3-4 minutes until softened. Add the garlic and cook for a further minute. 
  3. Add the wine to the pan and bring to a simmer and reduce for around 3 minutes. Add the stock and stir well. Return the chicken breasts to the liquid and reduce the heat to low. Cook for a further 10 minutes. 
  4. Transfer the chicken breasts to serving plates and increase the heat until the liquid starts to simmer. Add the cream and tarragon and season to taste. Cook for around 2-3 minutes until the cream is heated through. 
  5. Spoon the sauce over the chicken and serve. 

Notes

  1. You can use vermouth or cognac instead of white wine for this recipe. Or use a mixture of one of them with wine.
  2. The alcohol from the wine burns out during the cooking, but if you don’t want to cook with wine then you can substitute stock.
  3. Dried tarragon can be used instead of fresh. Use half the amount and add at the same time as the stock
    • Category: Dinner
    • Method: Hob / Stove
    • Cuisine: French

    Nutrition

    • Serving Size: 1
    • Calories: 485
    • Fat: 30g
    • Carbohydrates: 11g
    • Protein: 32g

    Keywords: french, dinner, chicken, tarragon, creamy, indulgent

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