Chicken in Tarragon Mustard Cream Sauce

I don’t use mustard very often, but absolutely love it in sauces. Something about a well done mustard sauce is intriguing to me as it can take on many forms–sharp and tangy, rich and hearty, or just downright elegant. This was another such delightful experience for me: a simple chicken breast sauté, coated with a light, sumptuous mustard cream sauce with tarragon.

Don’t let the simplicity in preparing this dish fool you–the flavor is fantastic and it would fare well if you’re cooking for guests. The chicken is simple–nicely browned, tender on the inside–and the sauce has a rich tang, accentuated by the anisey, spicy notes you get from tarragon (a great foil to completing this sauce). Heck, I could enjoy the sauce straight and could definitely see using it in pasta dishes (if thinned out with a bit of stock). There’s a mix of smooth dijon and the gritty texture you get from coarsely stone ground mustard (which I also just love for the aesthetic).

I prepared a simple side dish of maple-rubbed, roasted vegetables (sweet potatoes, turnips, leeks), and while that was tasty, a simpler side dish like buttered noodles would be a better pairing in this case.

Also worth mentioning: the chicken. I received these organic chicken breasts (and some steaks) courtesy of the fine folks at Greensbury Market. Like I’ve said before, I’m happy to support local farmers/ranchers, and Greensbury gives me good reason to keep on doing so–the meat was delicious. Thanks, Greensbury Market!

The inspiration for this dish is here.

  • ~2 lbs chicken breast
  • salt
  • pepper
  • shallot
  • garlic
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 cup stock
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 Tbsp stone ground mustard
  • 1 Tbsp dijon mustard
  • Handful tarragon

If that sweet potato side dish I mentioned earlier caught your eye, I just thought a short interlude recipe would be in order.

  • 2-3 sweet potatoes
  • bunch of turnips
  • baby leeks
  • oil
  • chipotle
  • salt
  • pepper
  • maple syrup
  • butter

Chop the vegetables up into bite-sized chunks, toss with oil, salt, pepper, ground chipotle, and spread it all on parchment paper in a 400°F oven. In 20 minutes, give them a stir, and 20 minutes later, prepare the maple syrup glaze (melt the butter, mix with maple). Brush the roasted vegetable mixture with the maple glaze and roast for 15 minutes further. Done!

Anyways, back to the chicken! Trim and portion the chicken breasts to your liking, flattening them out a bit so they’re fairly uniform in thickness. Season the breasts with salt and pepper, and in a medium-high heat pan with some oil and butter, brown the chicken for roughly 2 minutes per side. Remove from heat and set aside.

Now, onto the sauce. Finely mince the shallot and garlic. Replenish the oil in the pan if things are looking dry and then sauté the shallot for 5 minutes. Add the garlic for a minute further and then deglaze the pan with wine. Allow the wine to reduce for 5 minutes.

Add the stock, cream, and both mustards to the pan. Give this a good stir and bring to a boil. Drop the heat to medium and allow this to reduce by half (which should take roughly 6 minutes).

Return the chicken to the pan for roughly 3 minutes more so they can cook through. Finely chop the tarragon leaves and add this to the sauce just prior to serving. Season to taste and enjoy!

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7 Responses to “Chicken in Tarragon Mustard Cream Sauce”

  1. Manggy Says:

    Sometimes it’s the simple dishes that taste best, don’t they? :) I too love the flavor of mustard (I used to dip my fries in it when I was young, though not anymore). The perfect thing for chicken.

  2. bellini valli Says:

    I have had a mustard chicken in mind for a while now. Thank you so much for your delicious take on this dish Mike.

  3. Margot Says:

    I should try that, have few containters of tarragon in my cupboard from the times my husband had “tarragon season”. Then we forget about it until I saw your post :)

  4. Jan Says:

    Wow I’m loving this recipe and I love the sweet potato dish too!

  5. jillian Says:

    This sauce looks so delicious. I put mustard on everything but somehow I never think to add it to sauces.

  6. Terry at Blue Kitchen Says:

    This sounds delicious, Mike! One thing I like about cooking with mustard is how surprisingly delicate it ends up tasting—nothing like the big, tangy blast you get from mustard on sandwiches or hot dogs.

  7. Alan Says:

    Don’t limit this recipe to just chicken, I’ve used pork tenderloin cut up into medallions. Someday, I’ll get around to trying it with chicken.

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