recipe: nigella’s tarragon chicken

I think it’s safe to say that I am a big fan of Nigella Lawson. I have three of her cookbooks and I love watching her cooking shows on Lifestyle FOOD. Not all of her recipes are ground breaking, they might be different takes on the classics, but as a lover of all chicken dishes, I had to give her Tarragon Chicken a try (from Kitchen). Serves 2
2 teaspoons garlic oil
2 fat spring onions or 4 skinny ones, finely sliced
1/2 teaspoon freeze-dried tarragon
2 chicken breast fillets, skinless and boneless
80ml vermouth or white wine
1/2 teaspoon sea salt flakes or 1/4 teaspoon pouring salt
60ml double cream
fresh white pepper, to grind over
2 teaspoons chopped fresh tarragon, plus a pinch more for sprinkling

1. Heat the garlic oil in a frying pan or casserole that has a lid and in which the chicken breasts will fit pretty snugly. Add the spring onions, sitr, then sprinkle in the freeze-dried tarragon, stir again and cook then in the garlic oil for a minute, stirring some more as they cook.
2. Put the chicken fillets into the pan, curved side down, and cook for 5 minutes. If the spring onions start to burn, scrape them from the pan and let them sit on the chicken pieces.
3. Turn over the breasts, and add the vermouth (or white wine). Let the vermouth bubble up, then add the salt. Put the lid on, turn the heat down low and leave it to simmer gently for 10 minutes. Check the chicken is cooked through by making a small cut into the thickest part and ensuring the juices run clear – if not, simmer for a few minutes longer and check again.
4. Remove the chicken breasts to warmed plates. Bring the remaining liquid to a boil, add the cream and stir well, then sprinkle in the fresh tarragon, stir again and give a good grind of white pepper.
5. Pour the sauce over the chicken breasts, and give a final scattering of tarragon to serve.

I didn’t make many adjustments to this recipe, despite doubling the quantities to make it for four. I used dried tarragon leaves instead of freeze dried. I also used a verdelho for the white wine and I had the powdered white pepper.

This is what Nigella’s looked like:

This is what mine looked like:

It may not look as good as Nigella’s, but it tasted good. My only complaint was the sauce was too runny, so if I were to make it again, I would add in less wine and some more double cream.




  1. tasha in the kitchen · May 1, 2012

    I have this book too and the Tarragon Chicken was the first thing I made, so delicious! 🙂

    • moniquefischle · May 1, 2012

      I just love Nigella’s recipes, they are always so delicious!

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