Stop what you are doing right now and make sure you have heavy cream (or half & half), chicken, mushrooms, garlic, and tarragon in the house. You do? Awesome…now you have everything you need to make one of the best dishes you will ever eat, Chicken with Mushroom Tarragon Cream Sauce.
Sometimes I like to really mix it up in the kitchen, using whatever ingredients I have on hand to create new recipes. My own version of Chopped! My poor husband he is my kitchen guinea pig, though, but he is patient with most things I whip up. Sometimes those dishes are total kitchen disasters, yet other times, like with this Chicken with Mushroom Tarragon Cream Sauce, they work out quite nicely. This dish was a total whim – I had heavy cream I needed to use up before it went bad, plus some leftover fresh tarragon from New Years. I wanted to make a flavorful dish, but not heavy on the cheese, something with light subtle flavors that would blend together nicely. I pulled chicken breasts out of the freezer, gathered a few ingredients, and never looked back.
My husband said this is one of the best dishes I’ve ever made. He says that a lot, but when he threatened to lick his plate clean, I knew I had a winner. Winner, winner, chicken dinner! I have to admit, the decadently rich, yet surprisingly light cream sauce is the key. The sauce kept the chicken moist and flavorful, and was insanely easy to mix together (only 45 minutes to make, 30 of those minutes in the oven). Chicken with mushroom tarragon cream sauce makes an nice gourmet dinner for two, or double the recipe for an elegant dinner with friends. I served with wild rice and a salad.
Chicken with Mushroom Tarragon Cream Sauce
- 2-3 Chicken Breasts, sliced thin
- 1/4 c. Flour
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1/2 tsp Ground Black Pepper
- 1 Tbsp. Sunflower or Grapeseed Oil
- 1 Tbsp. Butter
- 1 Tbsp. Flour
- 1/4 c. Onion, chopped fine
- 2 Garlic Cloves, chopped fine
- 1 lb. Mushrooms, sliced thin
- 2 c. Heavy Cream (or half & half for reduced fat)
- 2 Tbsp Fresh Tarragon, chopped
If your chicken breasts are thick, slice in half. Mix the flour, salt, and pepper together in a bowl. Place the oil in a large (deep) saute pan and heat to medium high. Dredge the chicken breasts in the flour mixture, then fry in the oil for about 4 minutes on each side. Heat oven to 350 degrees. When chicken is done frying, place in a baking dish, removing the pan from heat so the crusted pieces of chicken and flour in the pan do not burn. Set chicken aside.
Turn burner to medium and place saute pan back on burner. Add butter, flour, onion, and garlic and saute for 2-3 minutes, scraping the bottom of the pan to remove the chicken and flour pieces. Whisk in the heavy cream, blending with the flavors in the pan. Add the mushrooms and tarragon and simmer 2-3 minutes to slightly thicken. Pour the sauce over the chicken and place in the heated oven. Bake 30 minutes, then remove and serve immediately.
Note: I had a natural inclination to want to add more to this dish, such as sun-dried tomatoes. This dish needs nothing extra and in fact, the sun-dried tomatoes would have overwhelmed the delicate flavor of the tarragon. The only thing I might change is to serve with mashed or roast potatoes instead of the rice.