This Tarragon Chicken is another recipe from Nigella Lawson’s most recent book, Kitchen. I love all of Nigella’s books, but I do think this is one of her best. I was drawn to this recipe as it is a much easier, less time consuming version of a French classic, poulet a l’estragon, which I have made in the past. This version is every bit as good as the more difficult original, and a lot quicker and less stressful to make.
Using Dried and Fresh Tarragon
You may be surprised to see that both fresh and dried tarragon are used in this recipe. Although I have made this recipe solely with dried tarragon when fresh was unavailable, Nigella is right when she says that the combination of the two makes for a flavour you just can’t beat. I always use white wine, and never vermouth, but that is because I prefer the flavour. This is not a health conscious dish, and calls for real cream, but it is worth every single calorie.
Serving Tarragon Chicken
One thing I love about Nigella’s Tarragon Chicken is that it goes with everything. I’ve served it with boiled new potatoes, rice, roasted new potatoes, couscous with roasted vegetables and even a vegetable studded orzo. You cannot get this wrong – and the leftovers, should you be lucky enough to have any, taste amazing cold with lettuce and tomato on good French bread. (In fact, they are so good, I’ve been known to double the recipe just to have them!)
Do treat yourself to a copy of Kitchen. It really is one of my favourite cookbooks.
Tarragon Chicken – Printable Recipe
- 1 tablespoon mild olive oil
- 2 cloves of garlic, peeled
- 6 spring onions (scallions), finely chopped
- ½ teaspoon dried tarragon
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- ⅓ cup (80 ml) white vermouth or white wine
- ¼ cup (60 ml) double cream
- salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh tarragon
- Heat the oil over medium heat in a frying pan or casserole with a lid.
- Grate in the garlic.
- Cook, stirring constantly, for a moment or two.
- Stir in the spring onions and then put the chicken breasts in the pan.
- Cook for 5 minutes, then turn the chicken breasts.
- Cook for 5 minutes more.
- Add the vermouth or white wine, dried tarragon, a pinch of salt and a twist of freshly ground black pepper.
- Turn down the heat, pop the lid on the pan and cook for 10 minutes. Check half way through cooking to be sure the chicken isn't sticking. Gently dislodge it if it is, and adjust the heat.
- Check that the chicken is cooked through. It should reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees Farenheit (75 degrees Celsius). I use a meat thermometer to be sure.
- When the chicken is cooked, remove it to a warmed clean plate and cover with foil.
- Turn the heat back up on the remaining liquid in the pan, and bring it to the boil.
- Add the cream and most of the fresh tarragon, stirring well.
- Taste carefully (it's hot!) and add salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve the chicken breasts on warmed plates with some of the sauce poured over. Garnish with the remaining fresh tarragon.