Traditional recipes

Chicken in tarragon white wine sauce recipe

Chicken in tarragon white wine sauce recipe

  • Recipes
  • Ingredients
  • Meat and poultry
  • Poultry
  • Chicken

An elegant but oh-so easy chicken dish. Serve with rice or new potatoes and green veg.

43 people made this

IngredientsServes: 4

  • 1 whole chicken, cut into pieces
  • 125g plain flour
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves crushed garlic
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
  • 400ml dry white wine
  • 1 tablespoon cornflour (optional)
  • 4 tablespoons water (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon soured cream

MethodPrep:15min ›Cook:45min ›Ready in:1hr

  1. Coat the chicken pieces in flour.
  2. Heat the oil in a large saute pan. Brown chicken on all sides in the oil, and remove from pan.
  3. To the oil remaining in the pan, add the onion. Fry lightly for 2 minutes, then add the garlic. Deglaze pan by stirring in the wine, which should lift off the bits of the flour from the bottom of the pan. Add the tarragon, and salt and pepper to taste. Return the chicken to the pan. Cook over low heat for about 45 minutes, or until the chicken is well done.
  4. When ready to serve, thicken the sauce with a cornflour and water mixture; often this is not necessary as the initial flour coating thickens it naturally. Stir in the soured cream.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(34)

Reviews in English (24)

by Alycia Trapp

The tarragon marries perfectly with the chicken and smells terrific as it's cooking. I use a pack of thighs instead of a whole bird, beacuse they turn out so moist. Be sure to leave the pieces alone in the pan until they are nice and brown- don't move them around. You want all those brown bits in the bottom of the pan. I agree Sauvignon Blanc is the wine to use. I serve mine over cooked rice instead of potatoes. The end result is worth every minute of the prep time for this yummy meal.-16 Oct 2005


This is a delicious recipe! The recipe calls for a DRY white wine, Sauternes is a very sweet wine, it would not be the optimal wine for this sauce. I used a Sauvignon Blanc, but any DRY white wine would do well. Yum!-03 May 2005


Very easy & fragrant chicken recipe. I would use a different white wine tho-I used a sauterne & it didn't lend itself to the subleties of this dish. My picky son asks for this dish frequently!-23 Aug 2002

Tarragon Chicken with Mushrooms

Another French inspired chicken dish with a luscious, creamy sauce and a hint of anise from the tarragon. Serve it with egg noodles and a colorful steamed or sauteed vegetable, and/or a leafy, green salad. Bon appetit!


4 small-medium boneless, skinless chicken breasts or two large breasts cut in half, trimmed of fat (1-1 1/4 pounds total) (or 4 boneless, skinless thighs)

1/4 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, plus more to taste

3 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil or canola oil, divided

6 ounces of stemmed sliced cremini or shiitake mushrooms

1 medium shallot finely chopped (approximately 3-4 tablespoons finely chopped shallots)

1/2 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth

2 tablespoons brandy (optional)

1-2 tablespoons. reduced-fat sour cream, or crème fraiche (optional)

1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon, or 2 teaspoons dried tarragon (you can also substitute thyme and/or rosemary)

a few squeezes of fresh lemon juice (optional)


Place each chicken breast between two pieces of plastic wrap or parchment paper and use a kitchen mallet or rolling pin to pound the chicken to a uniform thickness of about 1/2-3/4 inch thick. Season chicken on both sides with 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Dust the skinless chicken lightly with flour.

Heat 1 1/2 teaspoons oil in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Sautee the sliced mushrooms until they have given off their water and begun to brown. Remove from heat and reserve.

Add the chicken and cook until well browned, about 3 minutes per side. After browning the first side squeeze a bit of lemon juice over the browned chicken. After browning the second side, transfer to a plate and tent with foil.

Reduce heat to medium. Add the remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons oil to pan. Add shallots cook, stirring, until softened, 2 to 3 minutes. At this point you can add the 2 tablespoons of brandy and reduce until almost evaporated. (optional)

Add broth and wine and bring to a simmer. Cook until reduced by half, about 3-5 minutes. Stir the reserved mushrooms, mustard (optional), sour cream (or crème fraiche), and tarragon into sauce. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Return the chicken and any accumulated juices to the pan spoon the sauce over the chicken and reduce heat to low. Simmer until the chicken is cooked through, about 4 minutes.

Plate and spoon the sauce over the chicken.

If you are not concerned about the extra fat, and you want optimum flavor, choose air-chilled chicken breasts or thighs with bone-in and skin, and skip dusting with flour.

If you choose not to thicken the sauce with the sour cream and mustard (classic French cooking), you can squeeze a little lemon juice over the chicken while you brown it and thicken the sauce with flour like a roux or gravy. (Mix 2 teaspoons flour with 2 tablespoons of melted butter until smooth and slowly add to reduced wine/broth stock, whisking constantly to avoid clumps.)

If you don’t have fresh tarragon, you can add 2 teaspoons of dried tarragon to the stock as it reduces.

It helps to pound the chicken breasts between plastic wrap to an even thickness….this avoids overcooking and helps tenderize the breasts. Or, you can use chicken tenders.

Creamy Tarragon Chicken

My children are half-French, so I try to cook the occasional French meal at home so that they have some connection to their French heritage. Although, one could probably argue that their daily dose of croissants at breakfast should be enough to ensure that they do not forget their French roots!

This Creamy Tarragon Chicken recipe combines the classic pairing of – you guessed it – tarragon with chicken, and no French kitchen is likely to be absent of cream and white wine, which are also essential to this dish.

Tarragon Sauce Recipe


  • 3 tablespoons butter divided
  • 1 shallot minced
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 1 cup demi glace
  • 1 tablespoon tarragon chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste


My Top Choices for Demi Glace

Online Sources: Demi Glace

For those of you who do not want to make demi glace at home.

Demi glace is the most important ingredient for making classic "restaurant quality" brown sauces. All the great French brown sauces use demi glace. But it can also be used in soups, stews and braises. It's something you can make at home but it takes a long, long time to do it right and if you make one mistake, it can easily be ruined. Lucky for us, there are now some great sources for commercial grade demi glace and I want to share a few with you now. Everyone has their preferences so I suggest you give each a try to find out which product you like best. Savory Choice's Demi Glace

Ready in minutes, Savory Choice beef demi glace allows home chefs to deliver impressive restaurant-quality meals quickly and cost-effectively. Professional chefs typically take at least 24 hours to prepare this traditional reduction sauce by simmering stock, vegetables, wine and spices to a velvety consistency. One of my first commercial demi glace products and still one of my favorites. For almost 25 years, More Than Gourmet has been the gold standard for flavor and quality when it comes to sauces, stock, and soup. This product comes in 1 pound tubs and 1.5 ounce pucks and even bigger sizes if you are a commercial establishment. I like buying 6 of the pucks at a time unless I'm doing a big party and need the pounder.

Chicken Tarragon

This signature dish is a true one-pan wonder. Good enough to serve at a dinner party!

4 x 125 g (4oz) chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces

(9oz) chestnut mushrooms, sliced

Put the chicken into a bowl and sprinkle over the flour and some seasoning. Mix together. Heat half of the oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Brown the chicken for 5min until golden - do this in batches if necessary to stop the chicken from sweating. Remove from pan and set aside.

Add the remaining oil to the pan and fry the mushrooms for 3-5min until nearly cooked through. Return chicken and any juices to the pan. Pour over the wine and simmer for 2min, then stir in the crème fraîche, mustard and most of the tarragon. Bring to the boil and simmer for 5min or until chicken is cooked through.

Stir in the spinach and check the seasoning. Sprinkle over the remaining tarragon and serve immediately with crusty bread to mop up the juices.

Like this? You'll love.

Freeze ahead

Complete recipe but don&rsquot sprinkle with tarragon. Cool, transfer to a freezer-safe container or bag and freeze for up to 1 month. To serve, defrost in fridge and reheat in a pan until piping hot. Complete recipe.

Chicken Breasts in Tarragon Sauce

It's incredible how one herb can completely transform a dish. Fresh tarragon is absolutely the move if you can get your hands on some the way the flavor plays off of the dijon and white wine is what makes the thick sauce so good.

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I've made a varation of this dish for years. My version has 1/2 of an onion and I use sour cream instead of the whipping cream plus a little salt and pepper to taste. I think the sour cream add a little complexity that is missing with the whipping cream.

I haven't made this, but it looks very similar to another dish on here called "Baked Tarragon Chicken Thompson" which is beyond compare. If you're thinking of making this, my recommendation would be to compare it with the (5 ingredient!) other -- it's outstanding.

This is an excellent recipe. We beefed up the amount of Tarragon a bit, but you probably wouldn't need to. Our guest at dinner thought this was one of the best chicken dishes he had ever had. A definite keeper!

ok, but fairly blah. I love tarragon, but can think of lots of more interesting ways to use it.

I stumbled across this recipe when searching for a use for tarragon. I had some in the herb garden that was starting to look a bit leggy. The sprigs I used were about 8 inches long. Prepared as written and Wow! The chicken was moist. Tarrgaon infused the chicken just right. Served with Ina Gartens Basmati rice recipe, which was perfect for sopping up the sauce.

This has become the old standby recipe in our house - it never fails! I have experimented with it, and have found that stuffing the chicken with a halved onion and garlic clove adds good flavor. Also, instead of water, I use chicken broth and some white wine for basting. Works great with capon too!

I thought this dish was OK but certainly not spectacular. I couldn't get the cream to thicken after boiling (and boiling) so made a paste of flour and butter and whisked it in. It was then nicely thickened but as my husband said - it was missing something, somewhat bland. Next time I will try to make the sauce with some sauteed shallots which I think will add a nice flavor.

For a week night, didn't want to mess with a whole chicken, so just used boneless, skinless chicken breast and sauteed in olive oil with some extra tarragon. Was great!

This dish was absolutely delicious, and a snap to make. Fresh tarragon wasn't available, so I substituted dried, and it was fine. I'll definitely make it again soon.

This recipe is easy to make and impresses everyone who tries it. The rich flavor of the tarragon cream sauce tastes as "gourmet" as it can get.

My husband raved about it. The butter made the chicken's skin brown beautifully, and the sauce was really tasty and not hard to prepare, either.

Excellent dish for introducing children to the incomparable flavor of tarragon. Can't hook kids early enough on good food.

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.

I love creating cuisine fusions. The below picture shows this tarragon chicken over black quinoa pasta. It’s a perfect combination of Mediterranean & Latin foods. I hope my kids one day will appreciate the effort of keeping traditions alive in a modern fashion.

Ingredients in Creamy Tarragon Chicken

Butter + olive oil. When searing chicken, I like to use a combination of butter and olive oil. We use butter for flavor and olive oil to keep the fat and chicken from burning. Because olive oil has a higher smoke point, it can tolerate the time it takes for chicken to brown properly. If you only have one or the other, that’s fine too. Just make sure if you use all butter, you keep an eye on the chicken to prevent the butter from burning.

Chicken. I was THIS close to using chicken thighs for this creamy tarragon chicken. Personally, I think they are more flavorful than chicken breasts, but like so many of you out there, my family prefers white meat, so breasts it is. If you’re a thigh fan, I highly recommend trying them out, but either will work.

Garlic. Lots of garlic. I use about four cloves, but if you’re not a fan of garlic, you can scale it back, no problem. Also, if you don’t like the texture of minced garlic, you can grate it as well.

Tarragon. Tarragon is such an underrated herb, but it’s actually one of my favorite fresh herbs to cook with, especially in the summertime (we just shared these Brown Butter Tarragon Scallops).

Which brings me to – What does Tarragon taste like? To me, it has a slight anise flavor, similar to fennel, but a little more bright and fresh. There’s also hints of lemon, which makes it a great addition to vinaigrettes.

The sauce

Mustard. We use two kinds of mustard in our tarragon chicken. First, dijon. Second, whole-grain mustard. I use a combination of the two because I love the tangy zippiness the dijon gives the tarragon chicken, but I love the texture and more classic mustard flavor whole-grain mustard has. The combination of the two is really lovely and matches up really nicely to the fresh tarragon.

(Fun fact: tarragon + mustard is actually a classic French combination, which is why it works so well here.)

Vinegar. Instead of using a dry white wine or lemon juice, the acid I’m using is white wine vinegar. When using cream, it’s important to add in some kind of acid to cut through the richness of the cream and white wine vinegar does the trick.

Chicken stock. As always, we want to use a low-sodium chicken broth or stock. We want to be able to control the amount of salt in the creamy tarragon chicken.

Cream. A little heavy cream never hurt anyone, and it’s what makes our tarragon chicken really luxurious.

White Wine for Cooking

After you’ve browned the chicken and removed it from the pot, you’ll want to sauté a mix of diced onion and garlic.

After the onion and garlic are added to the pot, a splash of white wine is poured in to help deglaze the pan and scrape up all those glorious bacon bits that are stuck to the bottom of the pan.

That’s really as fancy as the base for the white wine sauce gets, but after you taste it, you’d think the ingredient list would have been a whole lot longer.

What wine is good for cooking chicken?

A crisp, dry white wine is always best for cooking chicken. I enjoy using sauvignon blanc when I make this chicken in white wine sauce.

Contrary to some people’s opinion, you don’t have to use an expensive bottle of wine for dishes like this.

That said, I like to choose something decent that I can happily drink afterwards with the dish as well.

Creamy Heaven

Once the pan has been deglazed, the chicken is added back into the pan, along with the carrots/mushrooms, and a more generous helping of white wine.

This mixture simmers away for about 35 minutes until the heavy cream is added. Mmm, this is where the goodness happens.

Yes, you could make chicken in white wine sauce with no cream, but what’s the fun in that? You’d get none of the the thickness and richness of a cream sauce.

The cream is added in the last 10 minutes of the recipe. Once the cream has been added, the contents of the dish are left to simmer and bubble for the final 10 minutes.

The sauce will reduce and become thick and luscious.

It’s perfect for dipping a crusty French baguette in. A sprinkle of fresh chopped parsley is the finishing touch before you can dig in.