I’m writing this with the Wondermutt curled up under my left arm – she’s decided that I’ve worked on the computer long enough today and so has decided to play an active role in today’s post.  This mostly involves nudging my hand while I write so that I wind up spending as much time back-spacing to correct errors as I do actually writing. 

She’s not much of an administrative assistant – she can’t make tea or help me collate documents – but she does bark like mad when the mailman arrives.  Sort of a doggy “you’ve got mail.”

Tonight, we’re on our own – the mister is out having a work thing with someone or other.  That usually means I get to cook the food he doesn’t like (eggplant or salmon or butternut squash).  Unfortunately, I didn’t find out about tonight’s dinner until after I’d shopped for the week, so I stuck with the original plan of making a chicken and tarragon dish and just added his least favorite green veggies:  broccoli and green beans.  Everyone’s a winner.

I love tarragon – there’s something about it that tastes like springtime to me.  And it’s one of those herbs that actually doesn’t lose much flavor if you use the dried version rather than the fresh.  So, serve this chicken recipe with green veg or tossed with some pasta and I think you’d be onto a winner.  The nice thing is that the use of white wine vinegar helps make the sauce light and tangy rather than heavy.

Chicken in Dijon Tarragon Sauce

  • garlic oil
  • 2 shallots, diced
  • 1 tsp dried tarragon
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/3 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup reduced-fat creme fraiche thinned with milk
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • fresh tarragon (optional)

Place a pan that has a lid over medium-high heat and drizzle in a couple of glugs of garlic oil.  When it’s hot, add the shallots and tarragon, sauteeing for a minute or two until soft, then add the chicken breasts, smooth side down and season with salt and pepper.  Cook for a good 5 minutes before turning and seasoning again.  Pour the vinegar into the pan, let bubble for a minute, then cover, reduce the heat to low and cook for 10-12 minutes, depending on the size of the chicken pieces.

When finished, test the chicken for doneness – if you still need a few minutes, re-cover and cook until finished.  If the chicken is cooked through, remove the breasts to a warmed plate and crank the heat back up to medium-high to finish the sauce.  Pour in the creme fraiche mixture and the dijon and simmer until slightly thickened.  Add a final pinch of dried or fresh tarragon, taste for seasoning and serve.

tasty, tangy, tarragonny!