Chicken/ Cream/ Hearty Dinners

Creamy Tarragon Chicken

March 4, 2021 by Chris Collins

Chicken drenched in a Creamy Tarragon Sauce. Quick and easy dinners don’t come more delicious than this!

What’s even better is this is all cooked in one pan. Plus is goes from pan to plate in just 30mins. Looking for your next new tasty midweek meal? Follow me…

close up shot of chicken in pan garnished with tarragon

Chicken Breast

We’ll get to the tarragon sauce in just a sec, but first things first let’s talk chicken.

Preparing Chicken

If you’ve been a reader of mine for a while you’ll know more often than not I butterfly the chicken breast in half to make 2 even sized breasts. Not only does this double the serving size, but it also ensures the chicken cooks quicker and more evenly. I also recommend bringing the chicken close to room temp before frying, just to ensure it doesn’t end up chewy.

Chicken Seasoning

The sauce is really the main event in this dish, so there’s no need to go overboard with the chicken seasoning. As such just a hefty pinch of salt and black pepper works just fine. Bring out the best in the chicken but not to the point it overpowers the sauce.

Oil vs Butter

I’ve always been an ambassador of ‘why chose when you can have both’ and this is no different. I find frying chicken in a 50/50 mix of butter and oil gives the best flavour/texture trade off. The butter wraps the chicken in a rich flavour and gives a base to the sauce, whilst the oil helps prevent the meat from sticking to the pan  & helps prevent the butter from burning.

Process shots: bring chicken close to room temp (photo 1), slice in half (photo 2), coat in seasoning (photo 3), add butter and oil to pan (photo 4), add chicken (photo 5), fry both sides the remove (photo 6).

6 step by step photos showing how to prepare chicken breasts

Creamy Tarragon Sauce for Chicken

Alright, here’s where things get fun. I have to hold myself back from drinking this sauce because it’s just so darn good.

Tarragon

It’s not often I cook with tarragon, it’s got quite a prominent flavour. But in the context of a creamy chicken sauce it works ridiculously well. You won’t need more than 1 tbsp, plus a little extra to finish.

White Wine

The base of the sauce is 50/50 chicken stock/cream. I also like to add a touch of white wine too for a few of different reasons. First is it helps cut through the richness of the sauce. Secondly, you can use it to deglaze the pan and pick up any flavour. Lastly it adds a very gentle background flavour. You’ll simmer off most (if not all) the alcohol so it’s not too strong.

Process shots: fry shallots & garlic in leftover oil/butter (photo 1), add wine and simmer (photo 2), add cream, stock, tarragon, parmesan and s&p (photo 3), simmer then add chicken back in (photo 4).

4 step by step photos showing how to make creamy tarragon sauce for chicken

Tarragon Chicken FAQ

How does tarragon taste?

As I mentioned, it’s quite a strong herb. It’s flavour has hints of liquorice and is fairly similar to fennel.

Can I use dried tarragon?

Fresh is definitely best. You don’t simmer the sauce for very long so the herb doesn’t have a huge amount of time to infuse. Dried herbs need a little longer to work their goodness. If you’ve only got dried though I’m sure the difference is minimal. A general rule of thumb is 1 tsp dried = 1 tbsp fresh.

Can I use chicken thigh instead of breast?

Yep! You just won’t need to slice them (can pound them to even out if you need to). Bone-in or bone-on both work just fine. If there’s skin on the thigh fry skin side down first. Thighs will also take longer to cook, so just be aware of that.

overhead shot of chicken in skillet garnished with tarragon

Serving Tarragon Chicken

Here I’ve served with mashed potato and green beans, but check out all my sides for more inspo!

For more similar recipes check out these beauties:

One Pan Chicken Dinners

Alrighty, let’s tuck into the full recipe for this creamy tarragon chicken shall we?!

chicken on mashed potato served with green beans on white plate

How to make Creamy Tarragon Chicken (Full Recipe & Video)

overhead shot of chicken in skillet garnished with tarragon

Creamy Tarragon Chicken

Chicken drenched in a Creamy Tarragon Sauce. Quick and easy dinners don't come more delicious than this!
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Servings (click & slide): 4
Course: Dinner / Main Course
Cuisine: Universal
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Calories per serving: 410kcal
Cost per serving: £2 / $2.50

Equipment:

  • Large Pan & Tongs
  • Wooden Spoon
  • Sharp Knife & Chopping Board
  • Jug (for stock & Cream)

Ingredients (check list):

  • 2 large Chicken Breasts, brought close to room temp (approx 9oz/250g each)
  • 3/4 cup / 180ml Heavy/Double Cream, at room temp
  • 3/4 cup / 180ml Chicken Stock
  • 1/4 cup / 60ml White Wine (see notes)
  • 1/4 cup / 20g freshly grated Parmesan
  • 2 Shallots, finely diced
  • 2 cloves of Garlic, finely diced
  • 1 tbsp finely diced Fresh Tarragon, plus more to serve (optional)
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 tbsp Butter
  • 1/2 tsp Salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/4 - 1/2 tsp Black Pepper, plus more to taste

Instructions:

  • Slice your chicken breasts right through the centre to make 4 even sized breasts. Rub 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4-1/2 tsp black pepper into the meat.
  • Add 1 tbsp butter and olive oil to a large pan over medium-high heat. Add chicken breasts and fry both sides until golden, with the centre cooked right through. Remove and place to one side. Lower heat to medium.
  • Add in shallots and fry until they begin to soften/brown, then add garlic and fry for another 1-2mins. Pour in wine and use your wooden spoon to scrape off any flavour stuck to the pan. Simmer until the wine reduces right down. This is important to burn off the alcohol.
  • Pour in stock and cream, then add 1 tbsp finely diced fresh tarragon. Turn heat to low and gently simmer for 5mins, or until the sauce starts to thicken slightly. Stir in parmesan then add salt & pepper to taste. Give it a final stir and simmer for another couple of minutes until the sauce thickens.
  • Add chicken back to the pan and coat in the sauce. Sprinkle over a pinch more tarragon (optional) then serve up with potatoes and veg of choice!

Quick 1 min demo!

Notes:

a) Chicken - I prefer chicken breasts for this recipe but you could use thighs if you fancy! In both cases it's important to bring close to room temp or the meat will seize up and dry out.
b) White Wine - This cuts through the richness of the sauce and adds a very gentle background flavour. Any dry white wine you've got on hand will do the trick. Most (if not all) of the alcohol will burn off, but just sub with more stock if you can't use it. 
c) Tarragon - This is quite a strong herb, but I find 1 tbsp adds a good blast of flavour, without being too overpowering. If you've only got dried tarragon, general rule of thumb is 1 tsp dried herbs = 1 tbsp fresh herbs.
d) Calories - whole recipe divided by 4 (no sides).

Nutrition:

Nutrition Facts
Creamy Tarragon Chicken
Amount Per Serving
Calories 410 Calories from Fat 244
% Daily Value*
Fat 27.14g42%
Saturated Fat 13.678g68%
Trans Fat 0.066g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1.712g
Monounsaturated Fat 9.174g
Cholesterol 170mg57%
Sodium 499mg21%
Potassium 538mg15%
Carbohydrates 4.01g1%
Fiber 0.3g1%
Sugar 1.8g2%
Protein 33.67g67%
Vitamin A 812IU16%
Vitamin C 1.1mg1%
Calcium 98mg10%
Iron 0.76mg4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition is based on the absence of salt unless stated as a measurement in the ingredients. Cost is worked out based on ingredients bought from UK supermarkets, then divided by the number of servings. In both instances these values are just for guidance. Please check out my FAQ Page for more info.
Tried this recipe?Show me how you got on by tagging @dontgobaconmyheart_ on IG and #dontgobaconmyheart!

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