Cooking Corner

French Tarragon Chicken

Sometimes, strike that, most of the time, the best things come about as a result of an accident or out of necessity. I had made dinner plans. Artichokes were on sale, so my dinner companions and I decided that would be the best bet for the vegetable. I decided to make a Bearnaise sauce to dip the artichokes in. Somehow, we ended up with more shallots, lemon and tarragon than we needed. Additionally, there was fresh garlic and white wine in the house. There were no other desirable seasoning options. I hadn’t planned for how I was going to prepare the chicken. This excess of shallots led me to create this recipe and it will forever dwell in my repertoire.

1 whole chicken (broken down into breasts, thighs, drums, and wings)

4 thinly sliced shallots

6 roughly chopped cloves of garlic

2 TBSP of chopped tarragon

1 cup of white wine

1 cup of chicken stock

Zest of a single lemon

Juice of a single lemon


To begin, heat a deep sided pan over medium-high heat, preferably a Le Creuset style pan that you can throw in the oven with a lid. If you don’t have this you can sear the chicken in a frying pan, deglaze with white wine, and pour the pan sauce over the chicken in a separate, lidded, baking dish. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and place them skin side down in the hot pan. Sear them for 5 minutes per side or until golden brown and remove from the pan. Drain some of the fat (if you prefer). Add the wine and stock, reduce by half. Return the chicken to the pan; add all of your ingredients, saving half of the tarragon to add later. Cover and place in a 400-degree oven for 30-45 minutes, stirring once at the halfway mark. Test for seasoning and add the remaining tarragon. Serve the chicken with a generous spoonful or two of the pan sauce and shallots in the bottom.


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