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Chicken with Tarragon & Vermouth

Scott Phillips

Servings: 2-3

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

Nutritional Information

  • Nutritional Sample Size based on three servings
  • Calories (kcal) : 410
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 210
  • Fat (g): 24
  • Saturated Fat (g): 9
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 2
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 12
  • Cholesterol (mg): 115
  • Sodium (mg): 560
  • Carbohydrates (g): 6
  • Fiber (g): 0
  • Protein (g): 31


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

  • 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.

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

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


Rate or Review

Reviews (5 reviews)

  • Paget | 02/15/2015

    Easy and delicious! Will definitely make again.

  • Krispie | 11/11/2014

    This recipe is exactly as described - full flavored yet very quick to prepare. My family loved it.

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