Roast Chicken Breasts with Tarragon and Mustard Sauce is a classy, easy, and comforting everyday meal redolent with the flavors of the Mediterranean.
Chicken breasts roasted with tarragon and mustard is unexpectedly delicious
Every time I cook with tarragon I wonder why I don’t use it more often. For some reason for me it’s an every once in a while herb, and when I do use it, I usually pair it with chicken. Tarragon has a pleasantly stringent, slightly bitter anise flavor. It mellows out with cream, brightens with lemon, and sings with mustard.
ingredients for chicken with tarragon and mustard
- chicken ~ I love to use skin-on boneless breasts for this elegant dish.
- olive oil
- wine ~ I always keep a fortified wine or two in my pantry, it has incredible flavor. Use masala, dry vermouth, sherry, or regular white wine.
- onions or shallots
- heavy cream
- Dijon mustard
- tarragon ~ fresh!
- salt and pepper
How to preserve fresh tarragon
If you buy fresh tarragon for a specific dish and have extra, don’t let it go to waste
- you can dry the remaining herbs quickly and easily in the microwave, directions in my How To Dry Herbs in the Microwave post.
- Create your own tarragon infused vinegar!
The simple flavors in this chicken recipe have a French vibe
When I eat a meal like this I can imagine I’m surrounded by the massive stone walls of a country kitchen somewhere in Provence. What’s nice is that you get a brand new flavor profile into your menu with so little effort.
Best cuts of chicken to use
I prefer boneless chicken breasts with skin on because I like to slice the chicken for presentation.
Feel free to use any cut of chicken you like for this dish, boneless thighs would work particularly well. You could also use the whole leg, with the thigh and drumstick attached.
TIP: If you don’t see boneless skin-on breasts at your supermarket, ask the butcher, they’re usually only too happy to help.
Roast Chicken Breasts with Tarragon and Mustard Sauce
- 2 boneless chicken breasts, skin on (I asked my butcher to de-bone a couple of skin-on breasts)
- olive oil
- salt and fresh pepper
- 2 baby Vidalia onions, sliced (or 1 leek, or 2 large shallots)
- splash of Marsala, white wine, vermouth or dry sherry
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- handful of fresh chopped tarragon leaves
- 1/2 cup cream
- 1 Tbsp stone ground or Dijon mustard
- Set the oven to 400F
- Rub the chicken breasts with olive oil and season well with salt and fresh pepper. Rub the oil and spices in to the meat.
- Drizzle a little olive oil in a pan over medium high heat. When the pan is hot, put the chicken breasts in, skin side down. Sear for a couple of minutes until the skin has good color.
- Remove the chicken to a baking pan that has also been drizzled with olive oil, skin side up. Cook at 400 for 20 to 30 minutes or until done. The time will depend on how large your chicken breasts are (your thermometer should read between 170 and 180.) Finish under the broiler if you want more color or crispness to the skin. Set aside to rest under foil. Reserve any juices from the cooking to add to the sauce later.
- In the same pan you seared the chicken in, add the onions and saute over medium low heat for several minutes until they soften. Do not brown them.
- Give the pan a splash of wine and squeeze in the lemon juice. Let reduce on medium high for a minute.
- Add the tarragon, the cream, the mustard, and any leftover juices from the cooked chicken. Bring to a simmer. Cook for a minute or two. Taste and adjust the seasonings if necessary. Pour onto a serving platter or shallow casserole dish.
- Slice the chicken and nestle into the sauce. Sprinkle with a little more fresh tarragon.
- Don’t try to substitute milk for the cream, because the lemon and wine will curdle it.
- I served the chicken with roasted parsnips and carrots. The sauce would also be great with haddock, cod, or tilapia.
Questions and Reviews
I made this for dinner tonight and it was FABULOUS! I used skinless, boneless chicken breasts cut in half, oiled , seasoned and baked in a shallow dish covered with foil. I thinly sliced shallot and cooked the rings in oil and added all the other ingredients while the chicken baked. Baked Brussels sprouts at the same time as the chicken and coated them with the juice of a tangerine mixed with a little maple syrup. Reheated steamed rice and we had a feast. This recipe is simply delicious! And so easy! Thank you, Sue!
Made tonight because I have a lovely tarragon plant on my deck and wanted to make something to showcase it. I only had boneless skinless breasts and they were a little too dry (my doing) but the sauce was delicious. Loved the tarragon flavor. Hubby really enjoyed it. He only wished there was more sauce!
Hi Sue! I want to try this soon! It looks delicious and we love tarragon! Curious….What size Chasseur baking dish is that? Thank you!
Hi, Just saw your blog because I harvested all my herbs before the snow today. Have lots of Mint and Tarragon but noticed some of your recipes and they sound yummy. Thanks
Oh great, I’m glad you found this, it’s a family favorite….and I can’t believe you’ve got snow!!
I am crazy about fresh tarragon. It has such a lovely fragrance too. I have tried to grow it with no luck. Love this chicken with the mustard & tarragon.
Made this tonight and it was WONDERFUL! I used bone in chicken (leg quarters) and served it with steamed broccoli and wild rice. Makes a wonderful meal that looks like it could have been served in any 5 star restaurant.
This looks and sounds delicious! My friend and I were discussing this dish and your blog over coffee yesterday…we both agree your photography and everything you make is beautiful! You can even make raw chicken look pretty…how is that even possible? I know what you mean about growing fresh herbs all year in California…it’s something I’ve gotten quite used to…except basil in the winter. Still have to buy that in a little plastic box for $1.89!