Béarnaise sauce is one of my family’s absolute favorite sauces, and if I was prepared to make it every day, I’ve no doubt they’d eat it. Though the sauce for this creamy chicken tarragon is not butter, egg yolk and vinegar based like real béarnaise, it does have a very similar taste. But with this recipe you don’t have to frantically whisk the sauce right up to the moment before serving. In fact, you can easily keep this creamy chicken tarragon in the fridge or the freezer without the sauce splitting.
Instead of including vinegar this sauce gets its acidity from mustard and white wine. The balance of the sour, the mildly bitter from the tarragon, and the creamy sweetness is probably why this type of sauce appeals to so many people, and why it has become one of the most famous sauces to have come out of the French kitchen.
I usually serve it classic French style with garlic green beans and baguette, but feel free to try add ons. If I serve this for guests for example, I often add roasted green asparagus, roasted fennel and/or a simple green salad. And maybe I even let them have a little butter with the baguette 🙂
Chicken in creamy tarragon sauce with French garlic green beans (serves 4)
For the chicken tarragon:
1.5 lbs (700 g) chicken breast or fillet
1 large or 2 small shallot onions, finely diced
5 oz (150 ml) medium dry white wine (e.g. Chardonnay)
1 liquid chicken stock pod or chicken stock cube
3 cups (24 oz/750 ml) half cream (15-18% fat)
2 tbsp yellow mustard
1 bunch (about 30 g) fresh tarragon
4 tbsp canola (rapeseed) oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the French garlic green beans:
1 lb (500 g) green French beans (haricots verts)
8-10 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
Canola (rapeseed) oil
Sea salt (preferably) and freshly ground black pepper
A bit of olive oil
Baguette or other bread to serve on the side
1.Cut the chicken breast or fillet into bite size pieces. Heat up the canola oil in a large pot and pour in the chicken. Gently brown the chicken at medium to high heat while stirring.
2. Add the diced shallots and let them fry/simmer at medium heat with the chicken until they are clear. Then pour in the white wine and add the chicken stock pod or cube and stir for a bit until the stock has almost dissolved.
3. Now add the yellow mustard and stir till the mustard is mixed well with the wine and chicken stock.
4. Pour in the cream and let it simmer at low heat for about 10-15 min. until the cream thickens. While it simmers, remove the tarragon leaves from the stems and chop the leaves. Also, prepare a pot of salted boiling water for the green beans. When the water comes to a boil, throw in the beans and let them cook for about 5 min. They should still have some bite.
5. After giving the beans a boil, let them drain in a colander while you start frying the garlic in a bit of canola oil in a large sauté pan at medium to high heat. Fry the garlic for a minute or so, without burning it. If it starts taking on color too quickly, turn the heat down. Add the beans and stir every half minute or so for about 5-10 min.
6. While you are frying the beans with the garlic, add the chopped tarragon to the creamy chicken and stir it a bit. Also add salt and freshly ground pepper to taste to the creamy chicken tarragon.
7. Just before serving, drizzle the garlic green beans with a bit of sea salt and olive oil. Serve the creamy chicken tarragon in soup plates or small bowls with the green beans and baguette.
And! In the mood for a great dessert that goes well with this creamy chicken tarragon? Try our French style crêpes pancakes.