Tarragon is one of my favorite herbs, and I always enjoy finding new ways of using it. This time, the tasty classic combination of chicken with tarragon and white wine cream sauce, came to mind, but at the same time, I wanted a lighter sauce. Another favorite pairing – tarragon with mushrooms – also came to mind, and as I had both, it made sense to use them all in one dish. After sautéing the ingredients in a pot, I let it braise in the oven, which resulted an almost fall-of-the bones tender chicken.
As I didn’t want to thicken the sauce with flour or cream, I reduced the liquids by cooking them after the braising, and by adding some of my tarragon-cashew pesto (see notes). The pesto not only enhanced the tarragon aroma and helped thicken the sauce, but also added wonderful nutty and cheesy flavors to it.
The dish was so flavorful, that a fresh crusty country loaf on the side was all that was needed to serve it with. Try it and enjoy.
* My tarragon-cashew pesto recipe can be found HERE. If you don’t want to make it, simply add a small amount of its’ ingredients instead .
Prep time: 15 minutes (not including prep for pesto)
Cooking time: 1 hour 15 minutes
1 medium onion, roughly chopped
2 Tbs butter
2 Tbs olive oil
2 tsp salt
½ tsp freshly ground four peppers mix
8 oz (225 grams) small white mushrooms, legs removed, cut into quarters
8 oz (225 grams) small baby bella mushrooms, legs removed, cut into quarters
3 chicken legs, separated into drumsticks and thighs
1 cup white wine (I used Riesling)
2 tsp honey (preferably orange blossom)
4-5 sprigs of fresh tarragon + for serving
3 Tbs tarragon-cashew pesto (recipe HERE, see notes)
1. Heat 1 Tbs butter and 1 Tbs olive oil in a medium wide pot, over medium-high heat. Add the chopped onion, 1 tsp salt and pepper, mix and sauté until the onion softens. Add the mushrooms, mix well and sauté for 5-6 minutes, until they shrink and start to brown.
2. Transfer to a bowl and lightly clean the pot. Add the rest of the butter and olive oil and heat over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and fry until golden on both sides. Add the wine, honey, rest of the salt, and the sautéed onion-mushroom mix. Mix gently and add the tarragon sprigs on top. Bring to a boil and cook for 10 minutes.
3. Preheat the oven to 200F (93C). Cover the pot and braise for 45 minutes.
4. Take out of the oven, uncover the pot and discard the tarragon. Using kitchen tongs, transfer the chicken parts to a warm plate. Cook the sauce over medium-high heat for a few minutes, until it reduces and thickens a bit. Add the pesto, mix and cook for another 1-2 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed. Place back the chicken in the pot, mix gently and cook for 2-3 minutes. Garnish with fresh tarragon and serve warm, with fresh crusty bread on the side.