Grilled Chicken With Tarragon and Capers; the wonders of scaffolding

Braised chicken with tarragon is a classic French dish.

But braised chicken is winter cooking.

This is summer; we don’t braise in the summer.

I do have an abundance of tarragon, though.

I love tucking things under the skin of chicken before grilling. It lets all the flavors seep into the chicken as it cooks.

I kept the ingredients simple – I wanted the tarragon to be the star.

A light basting sauce to crisp the skin is all that’s needed to finish it.

Grilled Chicken With Tarragon and Capers

Total time: 45 minutes       Prep earlier in the day 


  • 1 chicken, cut-up, skin on, or your favorite pieces
  • 6 tbs chopped fresh tarragon
  • 3 tbs finely chopped capers
  • 2 tbs lemon juice
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • Basting Sauce:
  • 2 tbs lemon juice
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp celery salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper

Grilled Chicken wuth Tarragon and Capers


  • Early in the day combine the tarragon, capers, lemon juice and olive oil.
  • Loosen the skin on the chicken by slowly working your fingers between the flesh and the skin.  Try not to puncture the skin.
  • With your fingers take a bit of the herb mixture and put it under the skin, smoothing it over the flesh.  Stretch the skin to cover and put in a dish of some sort, just large enough to hold all of the pieces.
  • Cover and refrigerate for several hours until ready to cook.
  • Combine lemon juice, oil, salt and pepper for basting
  • Cook on barbecue grill for 30 – 45 minutes, turning and basting occasionally.

Print Recipe

Scaffolding has so many uses.

Two weeks ago it was used for drying shallots.

Last week it was used for drying onions.

I had to move the onions because mon mari needed to use it as a crane.

Last winter the big, cast iron radiator in our den started leaking.

Mon mari was not pleased.

This radiator provided a lot of heat for our house but there really wasn’t an easy way to repair it while the furnace / boiler was on.

As it was March, we decided to suck it up until summer.

It’s summer.

In order to figure out where / why it was leaking he had to get it off the wall.

Did I mention that it was cast iron?

He rigged up a pulley system to get it off the wall and lay it down, gently, on the floor.

Pretty slick, huh?

He found the leak – two, actually, cleaned them out, welded them shut and put it back.

He tested it.

We’ll be buying a new radiator.

And it won’t be cast iron.

radiatorAs to the shallots…..

I braided them.

braided shallots

It took me a bit of research to find out how to do it. Most people / sites demonstrated tying them with string loops.

I wanted to braid them, but wasn’t sure how to make a long, staggered braid..

Then I read two words: French Braid.

Well, I’ve done that often enough on the back of my own head, I thought I could figure out how to do it in front of me.

I ended up with 25 braids of shallots.

Next week: the onions.
If you want nutrition information, try this site: Calorie Count

9 thoughts on “Grilled Chicken With Tarragon and Capers; the wonders of scaffolding”

  1. Wow. This tarragon chicken sounds wonderful. As usual, the tarragon in our mostly shady garden has packed it in and given up. I will have to steal some from our neighbours.

  2. fyi…I can’t seem to add your new address to my blogger feed link list. I am still trying…

  3. Elizabeth, and my tarragon is crazy this year…. I’ve cut it back twice.

    Meredith – yeah…. more than planned for LOL Let me know… don’t know what the problem could be but there have been weird things,

    Kate, glad I remembered how to do them 😉

  4. I would love to be able to store root vegetables to use throughout the winter. Here in Arizona we are too hot and I don’t have extra dry, cool areas for storing.

    Will the 25 bunches last you til next years crop is ready??

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