Chicken with Tarragon Cream, the update

This may not seem like a spring recipe, but it is, at least in our house. It’s still cool enough to convince mon mari that we can cook inside and I have to wait for the tarragon to come up.

It needs lots of fresh tarragon.

This is a classic French dish made with the DOC chickens from Brest.

There are two kinds of chickens in France: the generic, no-name chicken and the DOC chickens that are sold by breed: Brest, Challons, etc. The latter is not cheap, but it’s very flavorful and perfect for a slow braise.

I finished this in the oven, 400F (200C) for 10 minutes, to crisp the skin a bit and give it some color.


Chicken with Tarragon Cream

Total time: 2 hours


  • 1 whole chicken a smallish one, a ‘fryer’ rather than a roasting chicken
  • 3 – 4 sprigs fresh tarragon
  • 1 tbs butter
  • 1 cup (8oz, 240ml) chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup (2oz, 60ml) white wine
  • 1 tbs cornstarch (corn flour, maizena)
  • 1/4 cup (2oz, 60ml) creme fraiche
  • 1 tbs fresh tarragon, chopped

Chicken with Tarragon Cream


  • Heat butter in pot with a tight-fitting lid that is big enough to hold the whole chicken.
  • Put the sprigs of tarragon inside the chicken.
  • When butter is hot brown the chicken on all sides.  This should take about 10 minutes.
  • Add the chicken stock and the white wine.
  • Cover, turn the heat to low and let braise for at least 1 1/2 hours, the stock should be simmering around the bird but not a rolling boil.
  • When chicken is done, remove carefully, it may be falling off the bone, cover and let rest.
  • Scrape any bits off the bottom of the pan.
  • Turn up the heat and boil 5 minutes until reduced slightly.
  • Add tarragon.
  • Dissolve cornstarch in 1 tbs water.  Add to simmering stock and stir until thickened.
  • Add the creme fraiche, heat through, then cover and keep warm.
  • Cut the chicken into pieces and arrange on a platter.
  • Pour some sauce over and serve, remaining sauce on the side.

Print Recipe

We’ve had enough cool rainy days that mon mari is back at work in the house.

Time to finish up the room – which means doing the floor.


He’s under a deadline – we have friends visiting in June with two teenagers – boy and girl.

We think that they might like separate rooms.


Besides – it’s time.

On another note…..

Why, when my garden is doing beautifully and everything is growing perfectly, do I attribute the success to Mother Nature; but when stuff is withering, turning toes-up and dying, do I think it’s all my fault?

I planted 24 lettuce sets. For some reason, the French plant plants rather than seeds – for tomatoes, peppers, zucchini…. Everything, including lettuce. I told someone that I planted lettuce seeds and they were amazed that one could do that..

I digress…. I planted 24 lettuce plants 3 weeks ago. They were doing fine until a few days ago. Then, one by one, they started wilting and dying. It appears that they are cut off at the ground.

I have 8 left, out of 24. Each morning more are gone.

It must be my fault.

2 thoughts on “Chicken with Tarragon Cream, the update”

Comments are closed.

Share via
Copy link