Comfort food is back! Richer flavors are returning in my cooking.
This tarragon chicken is a classic French staple that has been gracing tables for decades.
Almost all French cookbooks, brasseries, bistros, small restaurants in France have a similar version.
Simple to assemble, only a handful of ingredients and so delicious. You will be back for seconds. A good fall start dish. A perfect date night French recipe.
A tender juicy chicken. A wonderful tomato sauce as a result of being infused with white wine and tarragon vinegar. The mild flavor of tarragon. So many wonderful flavors to love.
Adding the carrots balances the bitterness of the vinegar and the savory of the tarragon.
As a side dish sautéed potatoes with butter. Simple and yet so tasty. Also fantastic to absorb the sauce from the poultry.
Or, if you prefer, a crunchy French baguette to absorb the sauce.
As the word Bistro comes from the term “bwystra” in Russian meaning “fast”, it is purely applicable here. A bit easier to make it when you are in a time crunch without compromising the flavor.
I also only use chicken thighs which cook faster, and to me, have a deeper flavor. Of course, chicken breasts can be used.
Give it a try, I am confident you will love it too.
Boneless skinless chicken thighs can be used, however, do adjust the cooking time.
Use fresh tarragon, you will not regret it. A strong aromatic flavor with a hint of licorice.
Always use fresh herbs when the recipe calls for it.
You can substitute the shallots with yellow onions. Chop them into small pieces.
Tarragon vinegar is one of my favorite types of vinegar. It uplifts most salads, meats as well as poultry, such as with this recipe.
Always use good wine when cooking. If you drink it, use it in your cooking.
What do with fresh tarragon left over?
Combine it with parsley, chervil, and chives in fines herbes, and can be used with a beautifully seared steak. You can also chop it and add it to soft unsalted butter and store it in the refrigerator. A great way to enjoy it a bit longer.
In a large deep-sided 12-inch skillet, heat the oil with 1 tablespoon of butter over high heat. Season the chicken thighs well with salt and pepper. When the butter is melted but not smoking, add the chicken and cook on both sides until the skin turns an even golden brown, and the chicken is cooked to the desired doneness, about 12 minutes.
Carefully regulate the heat to avoid scorching the skin. Do not overcrowd the skillet or cook the chicken in several batches.
Transfer the chicken to a serving platter and cover it loosely with aluminum foil. Keep warm.
Pour off the fat from the skillet. Return the skillet to medium-high heat and 1 tablespoon of the butter add to the wine. Deglaze the pan, scraping up any bits that may have stuck to the skillet. Add the shallots and carrots and cook for 5 minutes without browning them.
Add the tomatoes and cook for several minutes.
Raise the heat to high and slowly add the tarragon vinegar. Cook for another 2 to 3 minutes. whisk in the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter, cook for 1 minute, return the chicken to the skillet, and coat well with the sauce.
Cover and cook over medium heat until the chicken absorbs some of the sauce. Sprinkle with tarragon and turn the chicken pieces to coat. Serve immediately.
Originally published on 10/2/2019 and updated on 11/1/2021