Poulet à l'Estragon (Tarragon Chicken)

By • May 5, 2014 • 22 Comments

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Author Notes: There are lots of ways to make this dish. You could use whole fresh tomatoes, you could eliminate the cream and you could make it complicated by using multiple pans. I haven't done any of these but what I have done is keep the recipe simple and straight forward which in the end creates a rewarding and satisfying comfort food. I rarely cook anything other then a whole chicken, whether left whole or cut into pieces. Thighs would be great for this as would (I have put my hands over my eyes ) boneless skinless chicken breasts. If you use the breasts be very mindful of your cooking time or you will dry them out.thirschfeld

Serves 4 to 6

  • 1 chicken, 3 1/2 to 4 pounds, cut into 8 pieces
  • Olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 cups chicken stock or water
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 4 shallots, trimmed, peeled and julienned
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons tarragon, minced, plus four sprigs
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  1. Season the chicken with salt and white pepper. Place a heavy bottom 12" skillet over medium high heat. When the pan is hot add enough olive oil to form a thin film on the bottom of the pan. Add the chicken skin side down. Brown the chicken to your liking.
  2. When the chicken is brown quickly remove it to a plate. Add the butter and the shallots to the sauté pan. Saute the shallots until golden.
  3. Deglaze the pan with the white wine and let the wine reduce to a tablespoon or so. Add the chicken stock, tomato paste and the sprigs of tarragon. Place the chicken back into the pan and let the sauce come to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer.
  4. Place a lid on the pan and simmer the chicken until tender. About thirty minutes. Mean while heat the oven broiler.
  5. When the chicken is tender remove the lid from the pan. Carefully place the pan into the oven under the broiler and broil it for 3 to 5 minutes or however much time it takes to crisp up the skin. Remove from the oven.
  6. Remove the chicken to a platter. Place the pan over high heat. Add the cream and stir it in. Add the chopped tarragon. Taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning. Stir and bring to a boil.
  7. Sauce the chicken and serve over rice with extra sauce on the side.
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Comments (22) Questions (0)

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12 days ago bahiti

Great recipe. It didn't look like the sauce was meant to be runny so I reduced it. Next time, I will double the sauce so I get more at the end. I had a hard time imaging what veggies to pair as a side dish. Any ideas?

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4 months ago dillybug

Very different from my go-to tarragon chix recipe and I liked the tomato paste and shallot enhancements. They added a nice depth and color. Will definitely add this recipe to my arsenal!

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5 months ago yatogaslor

this made a tasty sauce, but i ended up adding more acid (white wine) and straight up reducing by the end with a full rolling boil. i don't think either of these adjustments should dissuade a person from trying the recipe-- dish came out sweetly comforting and full of all that great tarragon perfume

thank you for posting this !

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7 months ago plainhomecook

When vegetarian friends come over I've made the sauce with no chicken and have served it over rice or noodles, with a high-protein salad. Still really good.

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8 months ago Clementine Le Coultre

Made it last night for the first time. Delicious it was ! Super easy and so tasty.
We ate it with a garlic bread and a fresh olive oil and lemon juice salad. A new favourite at my home !

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9 months ago Kristina

The recipe says " 1/2 dry white wine". I assume this means 1/2 a cup?

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9 months ago thirschfeld

Thank you for noticing that, yes, a 1/2 cup.

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11 months ago BavarianCook

Thank you for this wonderful recipe. It will be served in about 20 minutes with brown rice and roasted broccoli with lots of garlic & homemade bread on the side. The sauce is already tasting delicious and I can't wait to see what the broiler does to bring it to a happy finale!

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11 months ago mainesoul

Made this last night. It was fantastic.

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12 months ago Zoe's G'ma

This sounds really good. My chicken tarragon recipe is identical, except for using the same amount of Dijon mustard in place of the tomato paste. This might be a bit sweeter - I'll try yours if you'll try mine!

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12 months ago Andrea

I made this tonight for the first time, and wow! I think it's our new favorite dish. It was easy to make, greatly flavored and so, so satisfying. That little kick of tarragon was the perfect addition.

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12 months ago plainhomecook

It's simmering right now and the smell is heavenly.

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12 months ago Cilantro & Lime

People were raving over this dish last night. I made it with miso-creamed kale, cheddar & black pepper cornbread, and Alice Medrich's cocoa brownies.

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12 months ago Trena Heinrich

I really enjoyed this dish. The tarragon really makes it sing!

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12 months ago kaleandsalt

This was so delicious and sophisticated while still tasting light and springy, amazing! I added a bit of anchovy paste to the butter and shallots, and threw in a box of frozen artichoke hearts after the shallots were tender and it was perfect. The sauce alone over rice made a meal the next day.

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12 months ago Ann c

So good!

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12 months ago Regine

Stunwin, I was planning on using boneless skinless thighs. Now you are making me think twice. Re the thicker sauce, I may follow your suggestion. Thanks.

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12 months ago Stunwin

Just made this. Absolutely gorgeous. I think next time I'll use a touch less stock for a thicker sauce.

Also, for anybody curious about trying this, using cuts without skin would deprive this dish of SO much flavor. That final brown from the boiler put everything over the top. Just fantastic.

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12 months ago kimizimi

Sounds delicious! Any suggestions for cooking times when using only chicken breasts?

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12 months ago ChefJune

June is a trusted source on General Cooking.

I think I'm making this tomorrow! It reminds me a bit of several different chicken dishes I already make -- and love. :-D

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12 months ago Cilantro & Lime

1/2 cup of dry white wine, yes?