Chicken in Tarragon-Mustard Cream Sauce

The tarragon in our herb garden was the first of our herbs (along with the chives) to make a serious appearance this Spring.  It inspired me to go in search of a chicken with tarragon recipe…and I found one.  A fantastic Grace Parisi recipe on Food & Wine’s website.  It’s a quick and easy recipe AND incredibly delicious.  I only made a few minor substitutions (which are noted *), so you’re good to go with the recipe below.  Don’t be tempted to skimp on the grainy mustard or the tarragon!


recipe 200705-xl-chicken-in-tarragon-mustard-cream-sauce Photo A© Fredrika StjArne

Photo from Food&Wine by Fredrika Stjärne



Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4

F&W’s Grace Parisi steals the flavors from a classic French pan sauce (mustard, tarragon, white wine and cream) for this quick chicken saute.


  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1/2-inch strips, or skinless, boneless breasts, cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks (I opted for breasts)
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 pound white mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • * I added 1/3 cup of frozen peas to add some color
  • 1 large shallot, minced
  • 3/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 1/4 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream (*I used half & half)
  • 2 tablespoons grainy mustard
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped tarragon
  • Buttered noodles, for serving (*I used Brown Jasmine Rice)


1.  In a very large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and add it to the skillet in a single layer. Cook over high heat, turning once, until browned but not cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken to a plate. Pour off any fat in the skillet.

2.  Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil to the skillet. Add the mushrooms and cook over high heat, stirring occasionally, until browned, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the shallot and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the wine and cook until reduced to 2 tablespoons, about 4 minutes. Add the stock, cream and mustard and bring to a boil. Cook until the sauce has reduced by half, about 6 minutes.

3.  Return the chicken and any accumulated juices (and peas if using) to the skillet and simmer over moderate heat until the chicken is cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes; season with salt and pepper. Stir in the tarragon. Serve with buttered noodles (or rice).

Food & Wine’s Suggested Pairing
Balanced, elegant Chardonnay, such as one from Chablis.