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Monday, April 15, 2013

Chicken and Asparagus with Tarragon Cream Sauce

After a busy day, it's nice to have a delicious go-to dinner that can be put together quickly, without too much prep, and can be served in one dish.  A meal that's something better than a salty, hamburger-and-pasta-in-a-box type of dinner would be even better.  This recipe is just that type of meal and it doesn't require lots of pots and pans to prepare.  Just one sauté pan for the main course and one pot to cook some noodles and dinner is served. 

This dish is assembled in three basic steps.  First sauté the chicken, then sauté some asparagus and mushrooms, then make a quick sauce of white wine, chicken stock, cream and mustard with a sprinkle of tarragon** to infuse a layer of elegant flavor.  Mix everything together, pour over noodles and dinner will be on the table in about 30 minutes.  This dish is fast and easy, but the tarragon cream sauce makes it nice enough to serve guests. Enjoy!!

2 TB  Olive Oil, divided
2 lbs  Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts, thinly sliced into 1-inch pieces
Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper
1/2 lb  Fresh Baby Asparagus Spears, peeled, with ends removed, cut into 1-inch pieces
8 oz  Portobello Mushrooms, cut into thick slices
1 large  Shallot, minced
3/4 cup  Dry White Wine
1 cup  Chicken Broth
1/2 cup  Heavy Cream
2 TB  Coarse Grain Mustard
1 TB  Cornstarch plus 1 TB  Heavy Cream (if needed for thickening)
1 TB  Chopped Fresh Tarragon ( or 1/2 tablespoon dried Tarragon)
Prepared and Buttered Noodles

In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium-high heat.  Season the chicken with salt and pepper and add to the skillet in a single layer.  Cook the chicken for 3 minutes, turn and cook 2 minutes longer, until the chicken is beginning to brown but is not fully cooked through.  Use a slotted spoon to transfer the chicken to a platter.  Cover and keep warm.

Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to the pan, then add the asparagus and sauté for 3 minutes over medium-high heat, then add the mushrooms and shallot and cook 3 minutes longer.  Add the wine and cook until the wine has reduced, about 2 minutes.  Add the chicken stock, cream and mustard to the pan, stir and bring the sauce to a low boil.  Simmer until the sauce has reduced by half, about 6 - 7 minutes.  If the sauce is too thin, combine the cornstarch and 1 tablespoon heavy cream in a small bowl until smooth.  Add this mixture to the sauce and stir until thickened.

Return the chicken to the pan, including any of the collected juices, stir and simmer over medium heat until the chicken is cooked through, about 4 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper to taste, then sprinkle with the tarragon and stir to combine.  Serve over buttered noodles or rice.

** Note:  If you are not familiar with Tarragon, here is a little information on this tasty herb.  Tarragon is a slightly sweet, anise-flavored herb that is used in béarnaise sauce and is known as one of the four fine herbs of French cooking, along with parsley, chives and chervil.  Tarragon plants can be difficult to find.  When shopping for Tarragon plants, remember to purchase only the French variety.  Most local stores carry Russian Tarragon, which is a very mediocre substitute, or Mexican Tarragon, which is actually a very bitter weed.  In my opinion, neither of these should be used for cooking, but they are unfortunately sold and marketed for cooking purposes.  If you cannot find fresh Tarragon, substitute a 1/2 tablespoon of the dried variety.  Also, some markets now carry fresh Tarragon is small packages in the produce department.


  1. So many fantastic flavors, definitely need to give this a try!

    Happy Blogging!
    Happy Valley Chow

  2. The asparagus and tarragon add wonderful bright flavors to this dish. I hope you enjoy it and thanks for visiting.


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