When I started organizing the recipes for my blog, the Chicken Tarragon in lemon cream sauce was one of the recipes that was on the top of my list to share with all of you. When recently a dear friend asked me to share this recipe, it moved even further up on the list and I decided to share it today. This recipe is easy to prepare and you are going to be amazed at how delicious it is. The chicken breast is tenderized and pan seared with little butter and cooked in fresh lemon juice over a high temperature. You probably could fit the two chicken breasts in a smaller skillet than a 12-inch, but I wouldn’t recommend it because this will cause more juice to collect in the pan and the chicken will poach instead of being seared to a perfect golden brown. The chicken is very moist and tender inside absorbing all the tangy fresh lemon juice, and the cream sauce has a hint of lemon mixed with aromatic tarragon and tastes wonderful.
When buying the tarragon, make sure it is the fragrant French tarragon, the other varieties are not very flavorful.
Place one chicken breast half in a plastic bag
Pound it to 1/2-inch thickness, use the same bag for the other piece
Spread some minced garlic on one side of each piece
Chop the tarragon
Sprinkle it evenly on each piece
Sprinkle some kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper
Heat up the oil in a large non-stick skillet, add chicken with the seasoned side down, then sprinkle the top with the remaining tarragon, salt and pepper. And maybe a little more garlic if you love it as much as I do!
When one side is golden brown, flip the pieces and brown the other side
Turn the heat up a bit and add fresh lemon juice
When the lemon juice is reduced add the heavy cream
Turn the pieces a few times until the cream thickens
Enjoy the Chicken Tarragon in Lemon Cream Sauce with wild Rice, or Buttered Noodles and a side of steamed vegetables.
- 2 TBSP (1 ounce) unsalted butter
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (8-10 ounces each)
- 3 tsp minced fresh garlic
- 4 TBSP chopped fresh French tarragon leaves or 4 tsp dried tarragon, divided
- ⅛ tsp kosher salt, divided
- ⅛ tsp freshly cracked black pepper, divided
- ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
- ½ -2/3 cup heavy cream
- Remove all fat from the chicken breasts. Place the pieces one at a time inside a plastic bag. This is to prevent splatter during the pounding.
- Use a meat tenderizer to pound the chicken breast down to ½-inch thickness on a sturdy cutting board. Transfer the chicken to a plate and use the same bag for pounding the other piece.
- Spread 1 tsp minced garlic on one side of each breast.
- Sprinkle 1 TBSP fresh tarragon leaves, or 1 tsp dried tarragon leaves on each piece.
- Sprinkle each with half of the salt and pepper. Use the back of a spatula to gently press down the seasoning over the breasts.
- Heat the butter in a nonstick 12-inch skillet over medium heat.
- Add the chicken breasts seasoned side down to the skillet. Sprinkle the tops with the remaining tarragon leaves, chopped garlic, kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper evenly. Without covering the skillet, brown the chicken for about 7 minutes, or until it is golden brown.
- Use a spatula or a pair of tongs to flip the pieces to the other side and brown for an additional 5 minutes, until golden brown.
- Increase the heat to medium high and drizzle fresh lemon juice over the chicken and cook for 2 minutes. Flip the breasts and cook for another 2 minutes, until most of the lemon juice is reduced.
- Add ½ -2/3 cup heavy cream to the skillet. The amount of cream you add is a matter of personal preference as to how much cream sauce you would like at the end. This recipe works great with either amount you choose to use.
- Reduce the heat back to medium and turn the breasts couple of times so both sides cook in the cream until it thickens.
- Serve with a side of wild rice, potatoes or pasta, and steamed vegetables. Spoon the cream sauce over the cooked chicken breasts.
Mary Pratt says
This looks so good. I am going to make it this weekend.
Persian Mama says
Thank you Mary. I’m glad to hear that you are going to cook it this weekend. Please let me know what you think of it.
Tara hower says
Hi there! I made it with dried tarragon and the lemon juice that comes in a lemon shaped bottle. I’m sure it tastes much better when its fresh ingredients. I felt like it was lacking flavor. I’m sure if I put your suggested ingredients the tarragon and lemon would really steal the show. I’ll try again with fresh ingredients tomorrow:)
Hi Tara; I dry my own tarragon and it tastes amazing in this recipe. However you’re right, the fresh lemon juice is a must in this recipe. Hope your next batch will be delicious. Have a great weekend!
Homa is the best cook in our neighborhood! She has shared many of her culinary talents with us and she never disappoints!
Persian Mama says
Thank you Karen, that is so nice to hear. I will be posting some of the foods that you have tried before, and I hope you check out the recipes and let me know how they work for you.
Thank you for this easy to cook and delicious meal. I have served it with mini gnocchis only. It was soooo tasty!
I am also a big fan of your khoresh te beh. I really love Iranian food and Bavarian food where I coming from.
Kheili mamnoon 🙂
I was wondering if you have a special recipe for Halva Khormaayi? I have one but I am a big fan of your recipes 🙂
Regards from Amsterdam
Persian Mama says
Greetings from Utah Bernhard. I’m so pleased that you like my chicken recipe and Iranian food in general, kheili mamnoon az shoma! Unfortunately I don’t have a recipe for Halva Khormaayi and have never had it, but I will search around and if I find a recipe I like, I will make it and post it on my blog. Hope you will try my other recipes also and enjoy them!
Deborah Dowd says
Homa shared this recipie with me for an easy meal to try and it was so so tasty that I have made it a few times now. I served it with angel hair pasta and another time with asparagus. This is very simple to make and I recommend you give it a try you will not be disappointed! (this is coming from a cook with very basic cooking skills)
Hello Debbie, it is so good to hear from you. I’m glad you like this recipe! Thank you for sharing your experience and I really appreciate your kind words.
kiki vergara says
I made this last night and it was delicious, it was very easy to prepare and dinner was ready in 40 mins.
I love all of the recipes from your blog that I’ve tried so far. This is my favorite go to food blog!
kiki vergara says
I made this last night and it was not only extremely easy to prepare but it was delicious.
Dinner was served in 40 mins. Love your blog!
Hi Kiki, I’m glad you enjoyed this recipe; it is one of my family’s favorite dishes! Thank you so much for your lovely comments about my blog 🙂
I always wanted to use chicken breast for easier meals rather than using it in Persian cooking like Joojeh Kabob or olovie salad. This is a nice addition.
You’re very welcome dear Bahman! You’re going to love the ease and taste of this recipe.
This is one of my favorites!
So glad to hear that Sarah, enjoy!
Sue R says
I made this last night and it was lovely! Never cooked with tarragon before but have lots growing right now for the first time. I used thighs though since we like dark meat. Pinned it to my recipes to make again. Thank you!
Hello Sue; thank you for your comment! I’m glad you liked this recipe and it’s nice to know that it’s also good with thighs; will have to try it sometime. Tarragon is one of my favorite herbs, how lucky for you to have an abundance of it. I also grow it in my herb garden; I see some peeking through now, which is way too early for our area! Great to hear from you and please keep in touch 🙂
Joellyn Robinson says
What is the calorie count on this please? Looks great–want to cook, but if it is way high–cannot do
Hi Joellyn; you’ll be glad you tried this one. This dish has 841 calories per serving! For futures reference, to calculate the calories of any given dish you could look up the calories for each high calorie item (such as meat, cream, butter, fat, pasta, sugar, etc) ingredient and add them. Let me know how you like this recipe!