Chicken with a Tarragon Cream Sauce

I came across this recipe on the BBC food website by Paul Merrett, and felt the need to make it that very day.
All I can say is it was absolutely delicious!
I have titivated the recipe just slightly to serve two, but you can add more chicken pieces to serve more people. You will just have to use a bit more cream as you must remember you will need twice the amount of cream to the amount of stock you have left in the pan after it has been reduced or your sauce will be too runny.

The original recipe called for the herb chervil - but
I couldn't get it anywhere the day I wanted it and so I used a pinch of dried sage and two pinches of dried parsley. Lord knows if that's right but that's the answer I found on the net!

The original recipe also said mixed mushrooms, which would have been far nicer, however, I could only get chestnut mushrooms, so I choped them in different ways for added interest!

To serve 2 you will need:
2 chicken breast fi
llets - skin on
2 chicken thighs - skin on and bone in
(makes the stock much nicer)
1 onion - peeled but left whole

½ head garlic - cut across the bulb, unpeeled

sprig fresh thyme

1 Knorr chicken stock cube
a couple of handfuls of chestnut mushrooms - slice some and quarter some
a small handful fresh thyme, leaves only
a handful chives a handful tarragon leaves
a handful flat leaf parsley (leaves and stalks)

two pinches of dried parsley
a a pinch of dried sage

500ml double cream

a glug of vegetable oil

a knob of butter
salt and freshly ground black pepper
truffle oil - optional

How to do it:

First of all I heated up a pan with a little oil and fried the chicken pieces skin side down just to colour the skin a little. The original recipe didn't suggest this. This was just my preference to do so.

Once that's done, put the chicken thighs into a deep, heavy-bottomed pan large enough to hold all of the chicken pieces.

Add the whole onion, garlic, sprig of thyme and crumble the stock cube to the pan.

Now pour in enough cold water 'just' to cover the chicken.
Put the pan on the hob over a medium heat.
Cover and slowly bring to the simmer and leave to cook for about 10 minutes.
Now before add the breasts to the pan and cook for an additional five minutes.

At the end of cooking time, remove the chicken from the pan and transfer to a plate, after first checking
that the chicken is thoroughly cooked.
Make a shallow cut along the thigh bone and check the juices that run out clear. If not, return all the pieces to the pan and cook for an additional five minutes.

Now remove the chicken from the pan and cover with foil while you do the next bit of the dish. Put the cooking liquor over a high heat, uncovered.
Bring to the boil and boil until the volume of liquid is reduced by half,
this will take about about 10-15 minutes.

While the sauce is reducing, prepare the herbs and mushrooms.
Clean the mushrooms carefully but don't wash them or when you go to fry them they will boil instead and be horrid. Chop the herbs finely and place into a bowl.

**When the sauce has reduced by half, have a look at the amount of stock you have as you may wish to remove some into a cup.
The reason for this is, you are going to add the double cream and you are looking to have about twice the amount of cream to the amount of stock.
You can keep the reserved stock until you've finished cooking, just in case you find you do need it.
Of course you can leave the stock alone as you can always add more cream than I suggest, it just depends how much sauce you want.
I found 500ml just right.

So, where was I - now add the cream to the pan and simmer, uncovered, over a medium heat for about 8-10 minutes,
to thicken the sauce.
At the end of cooking time, reduce the heat to low, remove the garlic and onion with a slotted spoon and discard.

Return the cooked chicken pieces to the cream sauce, along with any juices that have accumulated in the bowl and gently heat through.

Heat a glug of vegetable oil in a non-stick frying pan and fry the prepared mushrooms until golden-brown.
Add the knob of butter towards the end of cooking time.
Now add the chopped herbs to the chicken and cream sauce and adjust seasoning.

To finish, add a drizzle of truffle oil - optional.

Serve the chicken pieces in a bowl with the sauce and place the mushrooms on top.

Nothing else needed except some nice crusty bread.


  1. Jan, this sounds delicious with the sage and ingredients you used...thanks

  2. That looks totally delicious Jan. I, personally, LOVE chestnut mushrooms. I have made Tarragon chicken before but not with mushrooms. Yours looks fab!

  3. I like the idea of chopping the same mushrooms differently to add interest. We taste with our eyes first so this is genious.

  4. Love taragon, love mushrooms and we eat a lot of chicken around here...Thx for another recipe to add to my repertoire!!!

  5. That is a tasty looking chicken dinner. I don't use tarragon nearly enough.

  6. A gorgeous dish...mushrooms look fab and tarragon loves them!


Thanks for taking the time to comment - much appreciated.

Powered by Blogger.