Chicken tarragon is a simple, delicious dinner that is quick to make. This creamy tarragon chicken is a classic and the perfect easy dinner.
If you are looking for recipes with tarragon, this classic French tarragon chicken is a must-try and I promise you will be making it again and again. In fact, I have been making this recipe for my family for years because it is easy and so elegant. This is my go to recipe for a delicious quick chicken dinner that doesn't seem like it is quick and effortless but it really is and everyone always enjoys it.
I think this was the first French dish that I learned to make and the recipe that convinced me that not all French cooking is complicated. It is as easy as a simple lemon butter chicken or chicken saltimbocca but richer in flavor.
This chicken tarragon is so full of flavor and the fresh tarragon adds a wonderful sweet note. Fresh tarragon is important when making this dish since it has a sweet flavor that you cannot get with its dried version.
I have tried it both ways and know this from experience! It takes only a few ingredients to make this recipe and it is ready in just 30 minutes.
Ingredients to make chicken tarragon
- Boneless, skinless chicken breasts: Boneless chicken breasts are pounded down first and cook quickly.
- Fresh tarragon: It is important to use fresh tarragon since this herb imparts a sweetness to the cream sauce that you cannot get from dried tarragon.
- Shallots: try to use these and not regular onions since they have a much more mild flavor.
- Heavy cream: This makes the base for the delicious cream sauce.
- Lemon: Lemon juice brightens up the whole dish.
- Butter (just a touch): The butter adds a little extra flavor to the sauce.
- Olive oil. I use extra virgin olive oil for this recipe.
- Salt and pepper. I always like to use kosher salt but if you do not have it, regular table salt works too. Just make sure to half the amount in the recipe.
This chicken and tarragon dish makes a wonderful quick meal during the week but it is fancy enough to serve to guests. So, you can practice mastering this for yourself and when you need a quick meal to serve up to company, you will feel ready.
How to make creamy tarragon chicken (step-by-step photos)
Step 1 & 2
Prepare chicken: The first thing that you want to do when making this chicken tarragon is to pound your chicken thin (with a mallet or rolling pin). I like to cover the chicken with plastic wrap so I do not contaminate my kitchen utensils.
Steps 3 & 4
Saute: The next thing you want to do is sear and cook the seasoned chicken in a hot pan over medium-high heat. Because the chicken was pounded thin, it will cook up quickly.
When it is done, remove the chicken from the pan, place on a plate, and set aside. Now you saute the shallots in the same pan until they are caramelized.
Steps 5 & 6
Stir: The last step is adding the cream and fresh tarragon to the pan making sure to stir and scrape up the bits on the bottom of the pan which gives so much flavor. This is called the fond.
Once you have added the cream and tarragon, you place the chicken back into the pan to warm back up and then it is ready to plate and serve. Garnish with a little extra tarragon if you have it.
Anyone who has 30 minutes can make this easy tarragon chicken recipe. My favorite tips for this recipe are:
- Make extra: I always love doubling the tarragon sauce for this because I like to serve extra over my chicken or over a simple olive oil pasta or roasted potatoes.
- Make it ahead of time: If you wanted to make this tarragon chicken ahead of time, you could cook up your chicken then let it come to room temperature before adding it to the cream sauce. The cream sauce will reheat the chicken beautifully.
- Fresh tarragon is best: Make sure to use only fresh tarragon. Dried tarragon does not have that same sweet taste.
- Serve it with a nice white wine: I love serving this with a nice dry white wine, preferably a French wine. It is a perfect match.
What to serve with chicken tarragon
There are so many great sides to go with this tarragon chicken and I am sure whatever you choose will taste amazing. Just make sure your side dish can scoop up that delicious tarragon cream sauce!
More Chicken Recipes
We love easy chicken recipes and here are some of our favorites:
Chicken with Tarragon Cream Sauce
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1 shallot diced
- 1 cup of heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon of butter
- 1 teaspoon of olive oil
- 1 ½ -2 tablespoon of fresh tarragon course chopped depending on how much you like
- 1 lemon
- ½ teaspoon of salt
- ½ teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
- Pre-heat your oven to 170 degrees and place an oven proof plate in the oven to get warm.
- Place a large heavy bottom pan on your stove and add your olive oil and butter and preheat over medium heat.1 tablespoon of butter, 1 teaspoon of olive oil
- Now we are going to pound the chicken breasts thin.4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- Line a counter with a sheet of plastic wrap large enough to place all 4 chicken breast on. Place your chicken breasts on the plastic wrap and cover with a second piece of plastic wrap making sure all of the chicken is covered well. Take a rolling pin (or something similaand begin to pound down your chicken breasts until they are nice and thin and almost double in size.
- Sprinkle ½ of your salt and pepper on the side of the chicken breasts facing up.½ teaspoon of salt, ½ teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
- Now place your chicken breasts salt and pepper side down in your pan and cook for about 4-5 minutes a side until they are nice and browned.
- While the chicken is cooking, sprinkle the other ½ of your salt and pepper on the chicken.
- Flip your chicken breasts over and cook for another 4-5 minutes.
- Once the chicken is done cooking add them to the warm plate in your oven and cover it with aluminum foil.
- In the same pan that you cooked your chicken, over medium heat, add your diced shallots and a pinch of salt and cook until the shallots become translucent (about 4 minutes).1 shallot diced
- Now squeeze in the juice from 1 lemon and scrape up the little yummy bits from the pan. Your sauce will take on a light brown color at this point.1 lemon
- Now add your cream and fresh tarragon and mix well and turn heat to low.1 cup of heavy cream, 1 ½ -2 tablespoon of fresh tarragon course chopped
- Add your chicken from the oven back into the pan with the cream and cover.
- Let this sit for about 4 minutes and remove from the heat.
- Plate your chicken by adding it to a plate and spooning sauce over top of the chicken.
Nutrition Values are estimates only.See full nutrition disclaimer here
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