Monday, September 1, 2014

Chicken Breasts in Tarragon Cream

I've put off posting this for a few days because, honestly, I just couldn't think of a way to describe how utterly lucious and delicious this dish is.  Granted, you must be a lover of tarragon or don't bother.  And as tempting as it might be, don't make it all the time....this should be one of those "for special occasions" recipes.

I woke up the other morning knowing it was time to rotate chicken into that night's dinner.  Maybe because I had just watching "Julie & Julia" a couple of times and had French cooking in mind, but a tarragon cream sauce came to mind.  Doing a "chicken+tarragon+cream" search, this was the first recipe that popped up.

This recipe does make a lot of sauce.  I didn't notice until I got to the last line of the directions, but it says to "serve with buttered egg noodles" (egg noodles weren't in the ingredients list.)  Since I was serving this with potatoes, I didn't want to do add another starch, so I simply served this lone chicken breasts swimming in this sauce.  Actually, I could eat the sauce by itself.  I need to make a soup out of this......note to self.

Anywho....if you're not going to serve this with egg noodles or pasta and don't want to be gluttonous, consider (cringe) cutting the sauce recipe in half.  You'll still have plenty of flavor...and you can still lick the plate clean.

P. S.  Since there are just two of us, I cut the entire recipe in half, using an 8-oz chicken breast.  I am, however, listing the entire recipe as I found it.


4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts halves (about 1 1/2 pounds)
2 tsp EVOO
1 small shallot, finely chopped (about 3 Tbsp)
1/4 cup dry vermouth or dry white wine
3/4 cup heavy cream
2-3 Tbsp coarsely chopped fresh French tarragon
1 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
Cooked buttered egg noodles or other pasta, optional

Browning the chicken:
Season both sides of the chicken breasts with S&P.  Heat the oil in a large (10-12") skillet over medium-high heat.  Using tongs, carefully lower the chicken breasts into the pan and cook them for about 1 minute on each side just until they begin to brown slightly.  Transfer the still-raw chicken to a plate.

Poaching the cream:
Reduce the heat under the skillet to low.  Add the shallot and cook, stirring constantly, until softened but not brown, less than 1 minute.  Add the vermouth or wine and cook for 30 seconeds, then add the cream and half of the tarragon.  Return the chicken breasts to the pan and adjust the heat so that the cream gently simmers.  Cover and cook until the chicken is firm and just cooked through, 4-5 minutes.  To check for doneness, cut into the thickest part of a breast with a paring knife.  There should be no sign of pink or translucence.

Transfer the chicken breasts to a warmed serving platter or individual dinner plates.  The sauce should be thick enough to lightly coat a spoon.  If it is too thin, continue to simmer for about 1 minute and it will thicken.  Stir in the remaining tarragon and the lemon juice, then taste and season with additional S&P if needed.  Pour the sauce over the chicken and serve right away with buttered egg noodles.

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