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Mustard-Tarragon Chicken Sauté

Mustard-Tarragon Chicken Sauté

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  • 4 skinless boneless chicken breast halves
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped shallots
  • 2 tablespoons whole grain Dijon mustard
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon

Recipe Preparation

  • Sprinkle chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Melt butter in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken breasts and sauté until cooked through, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer chicken to platter. Tent with aluminum foil to keep warm.

  • Add shallots to same skillet and sauté 1 minute. Add vermouth and mustard and bring to simmer. Add cream and 1 1/2 tablespoons tarragon. Simmer until slightly thickened, stirring often, about 3 minutes. Return chicken and any accumulated juices to skillet. Simmer until chicken is heated through, about 1 minute.

  • Transfer chicken and sauce to platter. Sprinkle with remaining 1 tablespoon tarragon and serve.

Recipe by Melanie Barnard, Brooke DojnyReviews Section

Chicken in Mustard Tarragon Sauce Recipe

Chicken in Mustard Tarragon Sauce has a tangy sauce made from heavy cream, Dijon mustard, and fresh tarragon. Never did a quick weeknight dinner become so tasty!

My kitchen has kind of turned into a disaster zone lately. It all started when our freezer started leaking water (inside the freezer), and coating the whole thing in ice. To replace it meant having to remodel a portion of our kitchen.

The fridge that came with the house was a custom, built-in fridge.

FYI – those are extra wide! You can’t just replace them with a normal size fridge, because you end up with a 6-inch gap between the fridge and the cabinet next to it. Not to mention the giant gap above it, because they are also extra tall.

So yeah, fun times at my house!

Considering the disaster zone that is my kitchen right now, I have to figure out how to cook dinner without an oven and in a small usable space. This chicken in mustard tarragon sauce is a perfect solution.

Everything is made in just one pan, and ready in less than 20 minutes. I used chicken tenders because that is what I had on hand, but cutlets would be done even faster.

The tarragon-mustard sauce is creamy and just a little tangy from the mustard. The tarragon gives a hint of licorice flavor, but definitely not over powering.

Everyone at my house pretty much licked their plates clean, they loved the sauce so much. You could even serve over egg noodles to soak up all that goodness.

I served mine with a giant salad, but pan charred asparagus, and a side of Red Lobster biscuits or cheesy garlic pull apart bread would be really good as well.

My husband thought the leftovers were great the next day for lunch too. Definitely a great quick and easy weeknight meal that turns ordinary chicken into something special.

Whether your kitchen is falling apart at the seams or not!

This tangy dinner is perfect for 4. Head to the market for some fresh Tarragon you won't regret it!


  • 4 skinless-boneless Chicken Breast Halves
  • 1 ½ tbsp Butter
  • 1/3 cup Shallots, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup Dry Vermouth
  • 2 tbsp Dijon mustard, extra strong
  • ½ cup Whipping Cream
  • 2 ½ Tbsp. Tarragon, chopped fresh
  • Salt & Pepper, freshly cracked


  1. Sprinkle chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Melt butter in a heavy large skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Add chicken and sauté until cooked through, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer chicken to a platter and tent with foil to keep warm. Put the pan back on the heat, add shallots and sauté 1 minute. Add the vermouth & the mustard and bring to simmer. Finally, add the cream and 1 ½ tbsp tarragon. Simmer until slightly thickened, stirring often, about 3 minutes.
  3. Return chicken and any accumulated juices to skillet. Simmer until chicken is heated through, about 1 minute.
  4. Transfer chicken and sauce to platter and sprinkle with remaining tarragon.

Photo credit: Naoto Sato, Tarragon, />License Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

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I like trying the recipe as is the first time and I found this to be simple to make but with good flavor. I have made this many times since and still haven't had to adjust it.

As good or better than any other recipe I have for chicken Dijon. So delicious we couldn't stop eating! It took about 8 minutes longer for our chicken to cook. I added a liberal additional amount of the sauce ingredients for leftovers, and thickened it with some butter mixed with flour. Easy and oh so good!

I used boneless, skinless, chicken breasts that i seared for 2 min per side.Also, i substituted fresh rosemary for the tarragon. Otherwise I followed the recipe pretty closely.My husband said it was quite good, and I agreed.I will definitely be making make this one again.

Two chicken-haters loved this one! We had boneless skinless breasts that turned out perfectly moist and juicy, by shortening the sear time to 2.5 mins on one side and 30 secs on the other, and the simmer to 15 mins. Just wish the sauce was a little thicker.

I reviewed the recipe on 1.17.13. That review still stands. Fresh it was 4 stars! However, I felt that I had to come back and update my review. I really enjoy leftovers, however the leftovers from this recipe were a faint glimpse of what it was like fresh. I ate some of the leftovers for dinner the following night. Not impressed at all. Yuck. I actually threw out the remaining leftovers rather than taking them for lunch. It did not reheat at all, and this makes me very sad because it was a very delicious ɿresh' dish.

Yum, this recipe is a Star! Delicious, quick, easy, with ingredients on hand! YAY! I followed the recipe as written, with only one only minor adjustment. Two teaspoons of mustard did not provide enough flavor, so I increased it to my satisfaction, over 1T I would guess. Can't wait to impress guests with this recipe!

outstanding! served over orzo. followed recipe exactly which is rare for me. and really would not change it

This, really, is a tasty, easy recipe, that once you make it, becomes repertoire. The tarragon flavor can get lost, though, so I tossed freshly chopped tarragon into the steamed rice. Served with brandy-glazed roasted carrots & accented with steamed broccoli florets tucked around. Looked great, was delicious.

This sauce is delicious. I used a touch less mustard based on previous reviews. I cooked 4 boneless chicken breasts but they were VERY dry upon serving (the sauce more than made up for it). My recommendation would be to cook boneless breasts for a less amount of time (but make sure you still thicken the sauce) or use bone-in. Again, the sauce was fantastic. We served it with broccoli and delmonico potatoes (next time I would do rice, as the potatoes and sauce are too rick for each other).

Fabulous! When my partner asks if there is any more of the "glop" you know the sauce is outstanding! used the first tarragon from my garden. Used leeks instead of shallots because of allergies. I browned the breast of chicken per instructions but then cut into piece to cook in sauce. Served with rice -- stirred peas and stir fried red pepper into the rice for a side.

So good! I am a huge fan of mustard cream sauces and this one was spot-on. Simple to make, as well. It tastes pretty decadent for having only 9 ingredients. One substitution I made was sage (which I browned in butter) for tarragon because I am not a tarragon fan. Husband raved about this dish, and my 6-year-old also liked it. Will make again.

I used chicken breasts and it was delicious. Very easy and impressive meal!

This would be a 31/2 forks for me. Super easy and delicious. I cut up skinless boneless chicken thighs and served with buttered egg noodles. Used creme fraiche instead of cream, otherwise, followed the recipe.

Loved this easy sauce. Grilled marinated chicken breasts first 5 min each side, then added them to the sauce using white wine (1/2 cup) instead of brandy. Finished up with another 5-10 min and added cream, dijon & tarragon- yummy

Really good quick recipe for a weeknight. Made it with roasted asparagus and it was excellent. I used half and half instead of cream and white wine in place of brandy, and it was still fantastic.

What is all the fuss about? This sauce belongs on beef, not chicken. Too overpowering for the bird.

This was one of my favorite recipes of all time! And my guests loved it! I used Cabernet Savignon in place of brandy, otherwise I used the recipe exactly. I would make it again and again, the sauce is addicting!

Excellent! I always like extra sauce, so I used 1/2 c. white wine instead of brandy, and increased the other liquids at the same ratio. It was fabulous, and very simple to make!

Wonderful! I didn't have any brandy or white wine, so subbed in some Prosecco, which worked perfectly with the shallots. Easy, classy and delicious.

adding a little fresh thyme sprig as well as stuffing the chicken with something sweet such as a mandrin orange patte really helps with the tartness of the tarragon i also used white wine.

A wonderful easy recipe. And for left overs. it even gets better.

This is a really delicate, delicious dish. I used 1/2 cup of white wine instead of brandy and I only used a tsp. of mustard. I whisked in a tiny bit of flour at the end, too, just for thickness. When I make this again I'm going to grate some fresh Parmesan cheese into the sauce, too I think it will help with the thickening and make the taste a little more complex. But yeah, this is a keeper.

"Chicken with Mustard and Tarragon Cream Sauce" is a simple, satisfying recipe that should please most palates. Still, it left me craving either more "omph" or an authentic, silky French cream sauce. The outcome of this recipe is a slightly chunky, very tangy sauce clinging to workaday chicken. It's flavorful, but unrefined. Next time I would opt to make a sauce straight from Julia Child--apparently one can't take shortcuts en route to a classic French dish.

This really is a great recipe and it's very simple to make. Like a lot of other people here I used boneless chicken breasts and substituted white wine for brandy, but it was delicious.

I have been doing a version of this recipe for years. I use boneless skinless (for time purposes only), sear on both sides, then reduce heat and cover until just cooked through. Remove to plate, add shallots to skillet, saute a minute or two, deglaze with 1/2 cup dry white wine and reduce a bit, whisk in 1 tsp dijon mustard, then 1/2 pint heavy cream. Bring to a light boil and continue to boil until reduced and slightly thickened. Add fresh tarragon to taste. Remove from heat and let sit a minute or two and the sauce will thicken more upon standing. Pretty much the same, just using pan juices from the chicken breast instead of the chicken stock and white wine instead of brandy.

Recipe Summary

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, (6 ounces each)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine, or chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon dried tarragon (or 1 tablespoon chopped fresh)

Sprinkle chicken breasts with salt and pepper. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken saute until cooked through, 10 to 12 minutes, turning once. Transfer to a plate keep warm.

Pour wine into hot skillet cook, stirring, until reduced by half, about 1 minute. Whisk in cream, mustard, and tarragon. Cook, whisking, until thickened, about 2 minutes.

Pour any accumulated chicken juices from plate into sauce. Right before serving, drizzle cream sauce over chicken.

Mustard Tarragon Chicken

A yummy and different chicken salad adapted from Ina Garten.


  • 4 whole Chicken Breasts
  • 2-½ cups Broccoli Florets
  • 1 cup Grape Tomatoes
  • 1-½ cup Mayonnaise
  • 2 Tablespoons White Vinegar
  • ¼ cups Dijon Mustard
  • 2 Tablespoons Dried Tarragon
  • Salt And Pepper
  • Olive Oil


Cut chicken into bite-sized pieces and season with salt and pepper. Sauté in olive oil until cooked through. Put in a large bowl and set aside.

While chicken is cooking, cook broccoli in the microwave until tender. Don’t cook it as long as you normally would–you want it to be just a little crunchy. Then dice tomatoes and add both broccoli and tomatoes to the bowl with the chicken.

For the dressing: Whisk together the mayo, vinegar, mustard, tarragon, salt and pepper. Then add to the chicken mixture. Refrigerate for at least an hour. Serve cold.


Make use of any or all of these ideas to turn this recipe in to a super quick and easy weeknight meal .

Use boneless chicken breast or thighs and cut in to bite-sized pieces (or try it with butterflied boneless breasts). Cook completely in the skillet and remove to a plate rather than in to the oven.

Use dried tarragon leaves in place of fresh tarragon, so no trip to the grocery store is needed :)

Replace the healthy dose of wine, with just a splash to de-glaze the pan after you sauté the mushrooms.

Replace the heavy cream with a lower fat cream (half and half). You may need to increase the amount of thickening at the end.

Serve this over simple steamed white rice, along with a green vegetable (broccoli is always good).

Mustard-Tarragon Chicken Sauté - Recipes

Pan-roasted Chicken Breast with Vinegar, Mustard

This, to me, is the essence of French home cooking: a simple sauté and flavorful pan sauce made with vinegar, mustard, and tarragon (the quintessential French herb). If you can’t find fresh tarragon, you can use tarragon vinegar instead and finish the dish with chives, but it’s just better with fresh tarragon. For the best results be sure to use a flavorful chicken stock. If yours tastes a little weak, start with two cups instead of one and let it reduce longer to concentrate the flavor.

Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Heat the oil over medium-high in a large skillet and when almost smoking add chicken breasts, skin-side down. Lower heat to medium and cook chicken for about 6-7 minutes, then flip (they should have an even, golden brown color) and continue cooking on the other side for about 5 more minutes.

Rotate the skillet if the heat on your burner is uneven, so that you don’t get any dark or burned spots, and reduce the heat if the chicken seems to be browning too quickly. When chicken is cooked, remove to a platter and cover to keep warm.

Pour the excess grease from the pan and deglaze with stock and vinegar, whisking to scrape up the browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Let the liquid bubble briskly in the pan, whisking, until it’s reduced to about 1/2 cup, then whisk in the butter, mustard, and tarragon.

The sauce should have a lightly creamy consistency. If it’s too acidic, whisk in a little more butter or stock. Remove from heat and spoon over warm chicken breasts, and sprinkle with chives, if desired

Sauteed Chicken with Mustard Tarragon Sauce

Heat the butter and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large frying pan over a medium-high heat. Season the chicken generously with salt and pepper and cook until golden brown on both sides and the juices run clear (about 6 to 7 minutes each side).

Transfer the chicken to a plate and pour off the fat from the pan, retaining the pan residues. Return the pan to the heat and add the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add the shallots and garlic and sauté gently until soft, about 2 minutes. Add the wine, stirring and lifting any brown bits on the bottom of the pan. Bring the wine to a simmer and cook until the liquid is reduced by about half, about 3 minutes. Whisk in the stock, cream and mustard and reduce the heat to a gentle simmer. Cook for about 4 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has thickened. Stir in the chopped tarragon and taste for seasoning.

Return the chicken to the pan and heat until warmed through. Sprinkle with tarragon leaves and serve immediately with shoestring potatoes, steamed greens and a glass of Wolf Blass White Label Piccadilly Valley Chardonnay.

What substitutions can you make?

  • If you don&rsquot have heavy cream, you can substitute half and half. I have made the sauce both ways. I prefer the heavy cream because the flavor was a little richer. But it was still really good with half and half.
  • If you don&rsquot have dijon mustard, grainy brown mustard would be a good substitute. I wouldn&rsquot recommend yellow mustard.
  • If you don&rsquot have chicken breasts on hand, pork chops would be a delicious substitution. I would cook them in the same manner as the chicken.
  • A good substitution for the onion would be a shallot.
  • I used garlic powder in this recipe, because I was out of fresh garlic. But fresh garlic would work great in this recipe. Just sauté it along with the onions.
  • If you prefer not to use wine, add an extra half cup of chicken stock.

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