If you are looking for an elegant chicken dish that doesn’t require a lot of effort, look no further than this Tarragon Chicken in White Wine Sauce. Tarragon Chicken is very easy to make, but it looks gourmet and you’ll impress your guests with a simple meal as if they were dining in a fine restaurant.
Skillet tarragon chicken is a delicious and easy-to-make dish that is perfect for a weeknight meal. The chicken is cooked in a skillet with white wine, dijon mustard, and fresh tarragon, creating a flavorful and creamy sauce. We usually serve this dish with rice, potatoes or steamed vegetables.
I have been cooking a lot more chicken dishes lately because they are fast to cook especially on busy weeknights. Also, I tend to stick to Mediterranean cuisine, my husband wants more low carb/high protein dishes and I don’t have the time to cook separate meals for everyone.
So one pan chicken meals have been my sanity for the past couple of weeks. I usually make several sides and let everyone choose how they want to serve their chicken.
How To Serve Tarragon Chicken?
I usually serve my chicken dishes with roasted potatoes, roasted vegetables, or salad. If they are chicken meals with sauce, then I do serve pasta, rice or steamed veggies as sides. When I cooked this Tarragon Chicken in White Wine Sauce few weeks ago, I served it over black quinoa fusilli pasta for some of us and over steamed vegetables for others. It was a big success!!!
What Is Tarragon?
Tarragon is a culinary herb used mostly in fine cooking. It can be used both in fresh and dry form. This herb has a bittersweet flavor, so for some it can take some getting used to have it in their food. If you don’t know your guests’ preferences go light in the beginning when you use it so everyone can enjoy their meal.
This herb has been used over the years to help increase appetite, intestinal issues, cardiovascular issues etc.
The most famous use of tarragon is in bernaise sauce over eggs. Other uses are in seafood, poultry and sauces.
These are the ingredients I use to make this flavorful dinner. They’re simple and the recipe is not complicated.
- Chicken breasts – I use about 2 lbs of chicken for a family of four. It can be 3-4 chicken breasts, depending on their size.
- Tarragon leaves – fresh tarragon is what works best for this recipe.
- Shallots – you can use red onions in the absence of shallots
- Garlic – obviously lots of garlic like in most Mediterranean recipes.
- Dijon mustard – the mustard adds such depth of flavor to the sauce.
- Dry white wine – if you don’t want to cook with wine, replace with chicken broth.
- Heavy cream
- Butter – you can use olive oil instead for a healthier option.
Sonila’s Tips and Notes about the recipe
Over the years I have cooked so many variations of this dish. I tend to substitute ingredients, quantities, cooking time or type of protein. I have cooked with chicken breast or chicken thighs, boneless or bone in. Several times I have replaced wine with chicken broth.
Usually I cook it with shallots, but if i don’t have any shallots on hand, I’ve used white or red onions etc. I will always try to encourage my readers to experiment in the kitchen. Recipes are merely a guideline, your touch and creativity can make a recipe your own:).
Adding dijon mustard to this recipe is the secret that ties it all together. Dijon mustard makes an excellent taste pairing with tarragon. This combination gives a feel of sophistication or gourmet to such a simple dish.
If you are going to use drumsticks, then you might have to cook them a little bit longer since chicken breasts cook a lot faster.
Step by Step Process
Start by mincing garlic and chopping shallots really fine and set those aside. Then cut chicken breasts lengthwise if they’re too big. Season chicken carefully on both sides.
Cook chicken on both sides in the skillet after you have melted the butter. Then remove chicken breasts and place them on a platter, covered.
Once you set chicken aside, it’s time to prepare the Dijon mustard with white wine sauce.
Preparing the White Wine Sauce with Dijon Mustard
Add more butter or olive oil to skillet if needed. Start by sauteing the shallots and garlic until translucent. Deglaze the skillet with white wine.
Then finally you can add the cream, dijon mustard and chopped tarragon to the sauce. Lower the heat and mix slowly to incorporate the ingredients. Taste for salt.
Don’t add too much tarragon as it might make the sauce bitter. It’s better to go slow and keep adding if desired.
Place chicken back in the skillet and nestle all the pieces in the sauce. Add fresh tarragon leaves over chicken and sauce as garnish.
Tarragon Chicken In White Wine Sauce
- 1 Skillet
- 3-4 chicken breasts (about 2 lbs chicken) cut them in fillets or length wise if they are too big
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 0.5 tsp paprika
- 3 tbsps butter
- 2 shallots
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1 cup white wine i usually use pinot grigio or chardonnay
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 tbsps Dijon mustard
- 3 tbsps fresh tarragon leaves add more for garnish if desired, usually I chop 2 tbsps for the sauce and 1 tbsp for garnish at the end.
- Dice shallots and mince garlic, set aside.
- If chicken breasts are too big, cut them in fillet or lengthwise. It'll help cook the faster if they're not too big. Season chicken with salt and paprika generously on both sides.
- Saute chicken in butter in medium-high heat on a large skillet. Once chicken pieces become golden brown, flip them once. Once cooked on both sides remove chicken with tongs from skillet and place them on a plate. Cover so they remain warm.
- Add an extra tablespoon of butter to skillet if skillet is dry (or some olive oil). Add shallots and garlic to skillet and saute, use a wooden spoon to stir as they cook.
- Once onion becomes translucent, add wine to skillet. Scrape the bottom of the skillet with a wooden spoon and mix everything together. Add dijon mustard, cream and about 2 tbsps of chopped tarragon. Lower heat to medium-low. Mix the sauce thoroughly, taste for salt.
- Place chicken back into the pan. Pour in the skillet the juice accumulated in the plate where you were storing the chicken. That is all flavor. Let incorporate and cook for 2-3 moire minutes and turn heat off.
- Finally add about 1 tbsp of tarragon leaves that will serve as garnish. Serve right away over rice, pasta or veggies.
- This recipe is for 4 people but I always end up with leftovers, maybe because my children are still young and don’t eat full portions yet.
- To make the recipe healthier, replace butter with olive oil and maybe heavy cream with half and half.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container, warm up leftovers in a skillet or microwave.
- Adjust tarragon to taste, too much can make the dish bitter and too little you’ll miss out on flavor.
Yes, you can. Even though they’d be totally different recipes I can give you a quick outline. Marinate chicken in olive oil, lemon juice, tarragon, salt and paprika. Then grill or roast as desired!! If you love the creamy tarragon sauce from this recipe, you can still prepare that as a sauce and serve it over the grilled chicken or the roasted chicken. Enjoy:).
Yes, it does. It’s not common but I have been able to find dry tarragon in the market too. However, I can’t seem to achieve same results with the dry version as I do with fresh tarragon leaves. Feel free to try for yourself and let me know:).
If you would like to save this recipe for later on, please pin the image below to Pinterest. Let me know in comments if you have any questions. Feel free to tag me in social media with pictures of your version of this recipe. Thank you for reading my blog:)
Additional Mediterranean Inspired Chicken Recipes
I love cooking Mediterranean food since I grew up in the Mediterranean. Some are family recipes and some are inspired recipes from the surrounding countries.
- Sheet Pan Mediterranean Chicken with Veggies
- Chicken Kebabs in Cast Iron Skillet
- Mushrooms and Spinach Chicken in a Creamy Sauce
- Chicken in Sun Dried Tomatoes Sauce with Mushrooms