Breast Of Chicken With Tarragon & Mustard Sauce
(Makes 4 servings)
(Le Cordon Bleu Home Collection)
The perennial aromatic herb French tarragon has a subtle anise-like flavor, which perfectly complements other gently flavored foods such as eggs, fish and chicken. The Latin name means “little dragon,” from the belief that the herb could cure the bites of venomous creatures.
Oil, for cooking
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
4 shallots, thinly sliced
½ cup dry white wine
2 cups chicken stock
¾ cup heavy cream or crème fraiche
2 to 3 Tbs. Dijon or tarragon mustard, to taste
2 to 3 Tbs. fresh tarragon leaves
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Heat about 1 tablespoon oil in a roasting pan (or ovenproof skillet) on the stove top and fry the chicken breasts for 5 minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Transfer to the oven and cook for another 5 to 10 minutes, or until the juices run clear when a skewer is inserted into the center.
Remove the chicken from the pan and keep warm. Spoon off the excess fat and transfer the roasting pan to the stove top. Add the shallots and fry until soft and lightly browned, then add the wine and reduce until almost dry. Add the stock and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes or until syrupy.
Strain the sauce into a clean saucepan, add the cream and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in the mustard and season with salt and pepper to taste. Chop the tarragon and sprinkle into the sauce at the last minute to prevent it discoloring. Serve the sauce over the chicken.
Chef’s tip: The shallots, which have a lovely flavor, could be left in the sauce. If you wish to do this, simple add the cream without straining the sauce first.