Tarragon Chicken

I’ve been promising my flatmate that I’d put this up for ages but I was waiting for some pictures first. This is a Nigella Lawson recipe, which I’ve tweaked and amended and – let’s face it – bettered!

She recommends serving it with beans, but I find that doesn’t compliment the chicken and tarragon sauce well enough. I find that roast potatoes work perfectly, and soak up the sauce and balance it all out. This is not a meal for those on a diet! It is perfect comfort food, especially in cold weather!

Serves 2-3 (depending on appetites!)

Prep: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 30 minutes


  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1-2 cloves garlic
  • 3-4 spring onions
  • 1 teaspoon dried tarragon
  • 1 bird’s eye chilli
  • Small handful fresh tarragon, leaves chopped roughly
  • 2-3 chicken breast fillets, skinless and boneless (estimate about 1 big breast per person)
  • 200ml white wine (dry cooking wine works best)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 150ml double cream
  • 150g frozen roast potatoes

Heat the oven to 180C, and put the potatoes in to roast. It’ll take about 30 minutes, by which point the rest of the dish should be ready.

In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil and add the cloves of garlic, crushed. Let the garlic infuse for some time and then add the sliced bird’s eye chilli and the spring onions.

When the onions have softened and the chilli flavours have been released, add the pieces of chicken in a single layer on top of the onions. They should all fit snugly in a single layer.

Add the dried tarragon to the chicken and leave it for a few minutes. This will allow one side to brown a little and as the heat travels through the chicken, the tarragon flavour is slowly released. This is my little trick to make sure it doesn’t get too overpowering!

Add salt and pepper to taste.

After about 3 minutes, pour in a good-sized glass of wine. It’ll bubble up nicely and make the chicken tender. I usually add the wine when I can see about a centimetre-thick ring of white chicken meat near the edge of the pan.

Let the wine bubble up, then turn the chicken over and leave the other side to cook for about 5 minutes. Check that it’s cooked all the way by cutting through the thickest part of the fillets.

Once the chicken is done, move it to a plate and keep it in a warm place. You can either cover it with another plate or keep it in a very low oven (about 120C) until the dish is complete.

To the onion-tarragon-chilli-garlic-wine mix, add the double cream. This should also bubble up a little. Turn the heat down and let the sauce come together nicely.

If the sauce is too liquidy, add a teaspoon of flour and mix well with a whisk. I like the sauce to be quite thick since the potatoes soak that up better.

This is roughly the consistency I aim for. At this point the potatoes should be done so remove them from the oven, with the chicken pieces.

Arrange the chicken and potatoes on plates and pour the sauce over everything. Enjoy!


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