Thursday, March 7, 2013

A French Classic...Poulet A L'Estragon

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A favorite of French bistros Poulet a l'Estragon, or Tarragon Chicken, is one of the most delicious ways of preparing a bird that has ever been invented.  Don't be mislead by its name...this is not a fancy dish.  It is country French at its best.

Although the original recipe calls for a whole bird to start with, it is okay to use chicken parts, particularly the legs with the thighs attached.  You can mix in some breasts if you like, but I prefer to serve them with the wings attached.  Whatever you do, don''t use skinless and boneless chicken parts or you will be sorely disappointed. Don't mess around with perfection!

Small roasted red potatoes go particularly well with this dish.

Poulet A L'Estragon


Serves 4

1 1/2 TB chopped tarragon
1 garlic clove crushed
3 TB butter
1 chicken 3 1/2 lbs
2 tsp. oil
1/2 Cup chicken stock
2 TB white wine
1 TB flour
1 TB tarragon leaves
1/2 Cup heavy cream


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Mix the chopped tarragon and garlic with half the butter, salt and pepper.    Insert it into the cavity of the bird.  Tie the legs together and flip the wings under the bird.

Melt the remaining butter and the oil in an oven proof casserole and brown the chicken on all sides.  Add the chicken stock and the wine, cover and bake in the oven for 1 hour 20 minutes or until tender.  The juices must run clear when pierced with a fork in the thigh.

Remove the chicken from the casserole letting all the juice drain back in the pan.  Cover with aluminum foil and a kitchen towel and allow to rest.

Skim 1 TB of surface fat from the liquid in the casserole and place in a bowl.  Skim the rest of the fat from the casserole and throw it away.  Add the flour to the reserved fat and mix until smooth.  Add this to the liquid in the casserole and whisk over moderate heat until the sauce boils and thickens.
Strain through a fine sieve into a clean saucepan.  Add the tarragon leaves and simmer for 2 minutes.  Add the cream and mix but do not let it boil.  Correct for salt and pepper.

Carve the chicken into large pieces (legs with thighs, breasts with wings).  Spoon some of the sauce on top and serve.  Pass the sauce.

All photos Lindaraxa


  1. This is a favorite of ours and yes, for the two of us, I like using chicken parts! Much better than having to eat chicken "whatever" for days on end! (No matter how good you DO tire of a dish!) I will have to make this and soon!

  2. Thank you!!!! Yes, I will make this one later this week... and use chicken parts I think.
    How are you feeling? "All better", I hope...

  3. This sounds divine and I know it must taste fabulous because it has tarragon in it. One of my all time favorite herbs.

    1. Mine too Sam. Thanks for stopping by!

    2. I tried to follow with the orange Google reader icon, but I couldn't get it to work. So to solve that, I'll be following along via email. I think we have a lot in common, including that we're both friends of Penny at Lake Lure Cottage Kitchen and we both like Ina. I look forward to reading more of both of your blogs and getting to know you better.

  4. Sam is right. We three have a lot in common. This is my husband's favorite chicken dish. Mine too for that matter. Chicken and tarragon were made for each other. Beautiful pictures.


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