Chicken with white wine, cream and tarragon sauce

Tarragon is one of those herbs that you either love or you hate. I grew some in a window box one year and it took over, pushing out the parsley and the basil, thrusting upwards into a spinally green hedge.

We had to learn to love it.


1 chicken breast per person – or you could use those little chicken fillets 2 – 4 per person depending on greed levels and whether anybody is training for a triathlon or not
Sprig of Tarragon½ cup dry white wine
½ cup of cream
Handful of tarragon
Knob of butter and a splash of olive oil
Salt and pepper

  • If the chicken is thicker than a knuckle, put it in a zip lock bag and smash it with a pan / rolling pin / hammer until about 1 cm thick.
  • If you have time, squirt ½ a lemon in there and some olive oil and let the chicken marinate overnight in the fridge or for 20 minutes.
  • Season with salt and pepper
  • Heat up the frying pan and add a splash of olive oil and a knob of butter (a scant tbsp and a generous tsp respectively) The butter gives great flavor, the oil stops the butter burning
  • Cook for 4 -5 minutes per side until the exterior is golden and there’s no hint of pinkness within (little chicken fillets will take less time)
  • Move the chicken to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm
  • Pour the wine into the pan and scrape off the bits into the bubbling liquid. Add the cream, allow it to bubble into a sauce, then take the pan off the heat and add the chopped tarragon.
  • Pour the sauce over the chicken and serve

Do you want to make it fancier?

  • Add a ½ cup of pernod instead of wine for a herbal hit
  • Add a handful of white seedless grapes cut lengthwise in half to the sauce when you add the cream and allow to heat through for a take on Veronique sauce
  • Dice a shallot and cook for a minute after taking out the meat and before pouring in the deglazing liquid

Serving Suggestions

  • Serve with a hunk of French bread
  • Or over some rice
  • Or over some tagliatelle
  • Serve blanched asparagus or beans or peas on the side
  • Or a green grape relish / salad

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