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Chicken with Tarragon & Vermouth

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Serves 2-3

  • To learn more, read:
    Chicken in a Flash
  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 63

If you're looking for something to satisfy your taste buds, but you don't want to spend hours creating it, sliced chicken breast plus a quick pan sauce is an excellent option. Chicken and tarragon are a classic French combination, and the accompaniments can be easy, too; this dish goes well with everything from potatoes to pilafs.

  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 3)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil; more as needed
  • 2 Tbs. minced shallot
  • 1/2 cup dry vermouth or dry white wine
  • 3 Tbs. cold unsalted butter, cut into 6 to 8 pieces
  • 2 tsp. chopped fresh tarragon

Trim the chicken, removing the tenders, and slice on an angle into 3/4-inch-thick pieces; season generously with salt and pepper.

Chicken with Tarragon & Vermouth Recipe

In a 10-inch straight-sided sauté pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Add half of the chicken and cook, flipping once, until lightly browned and just barely cooked through, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate; repeat with the remaining chicken. Cover with foil to keep warm.

Chicken with Tarragon & Vermouth Recipe

Return the pan to medium heat and, if it looks dry, add 1 Tbs. oil. Add the shallot and sauté, stirring with a wooden spoon, until softened, about 1 minute. Pour in the vermouth and scrape the pan with the spoon to loosen any browned bits. Let the vermouth simmer until reduced slightly, about 2 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and add the cold butter 2 or 3 pieces at a time, stirring after each addition until completely melted. Stir in the tarragon, taste the sauce, and add salt and pepper as needed. Add the chicken and any accumulated juices to the sauce and turn to coat the chicken with the sauce. Serve immediately.

Serving Suggestions

Serve with Classic Scalloped Potatoes and Green Beans with Mustard-Tarragon Vinaigrette.

Drink Suggestions

A zingy-crisp white wine with herbal notes will match the tarragon in this dish. A Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand would be delicious.  —Tim Gaiser

nutrition information (per serving):
Size : based on three servings; Calories (kcal): 410; Fat (g): fat g 24; Fat Calories (kcal): 210; Saturated Fat (g): sat fat g 9; Protein (g): protein g 31; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 12; Carbohydrates (g): carbs g 6; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 2; Sodium (mg): sodium mg 560; Cholesterol (mg): cholesterol mg 115; Fiber (g): fiber g 0;

Photo: Scott Phillips

Granted, I accidentally used too much butter, but we found this a little too bland for our liking.

Delicious and easy. I used chicken tenders and sautéed them whole. I also substituted green onions for the shallots. Tarragon and vermouth pair up so nicely. I served it with jasmine rice and a salad. A great weeknight meal ready in less than 30 minutes.

My family enjoyed this recipe. Very tasty and easy. We just used chicken cutlets instead of cutting into pieces.

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