Creamy Tarragon Chicken

Make this classic Creamy Tarragon Chicken recipe in 30 minutes for a delicious weeknight meal! Recipe with step-by-step photos.

creamy tarragon chicken in black skillet with bowl of herbs and black pepper

Tarragon Chicken

When it comes to cooking traditional French food, most people think of a complex concoction of ingredients in a Le Creuset pot which has been simmering away on the stove for hours and hours à la Julia Childs.

But with the popularity of fast-cook meals, 30 minute meals and the like, many traditional French dishes have been adapted for the busy cook, and this Creamy Tarragon Chicken recipe is one such delicious example.

creamy tarragon chicken in cast iron skillet with chopped herbs and pepper

Creamy Tarragon Chicken

My children are half-French, so I try to cook the occasional French meal at home so that they have some connection to their French heritage. Although, one could probably argue that their daily dose of croissants at breakfast should be enough to ensure that they do not forget their French roots!

This Creamy Tarragon Chicken recipe combines the classic pairing of – you guessed it – tarragon with chicken, and no French kitchen is likely to be absent of cream and white wine, which are also essential to this dish.

Tarragon Sauce

The tarragon sauce contains dry white wine for deglazing the pan, as well as cream for richness.

Fresh tarragon is also essential to this dish for that distinct aniseed flavour, but dried tarragon also works in a pinch.

My recipe below includes a cornflour slurry to thicken the sauce slightly, but you can omit this if you prefer a thinner sauce.

creamy tarragon chicken in large saucepan with chopped herbs

How to Make Creamy Tarragon Chicken

Step 1

Start by browning the chicken breasts in a large skillet or saucepan. You want the chicken to get a good colour and caramelisation on each side, and this is best achieved by letting the chicken sear on each side for at least 2 to 3 minutes until they are nicely coloured.

Remove the chicken to a plate. The chicken does not need to be fully cooked through at this stage.

seared chicken breast fillets in skillet

Step 2

Sauté the shallots (or onions) and garlic for about 1 minute, or until they are fragrant and softened.

chopped onions and garlic in skillet

Step 3

Add the white wine to pan and let it bubble away for about 1 to 2 minutes until it has slightly reduced.

Next, add the chicken stock, cream and tarragon, and give everything a good stir, using your wooden spoon to scrape any caramelised bits from the pan. Simmer gently for a few minutes and then taste for seasoning.

If you wish, add enough cornflour slurry to the sauce to thicken it slightly.

homemade tarragon sauce in skillet

Step 4

Then return the chicken breasts to the sauce, cover the pan with a lid, and simmer gently for 5 to 10 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through.

Garnish with parsley or more chopped tarragon before serving.

chicken breast fillets in tarragon sauce in black skillet

What to Serve with Creamy Tarragon Chicken

The creamy tarragon sauce is delicious served with some vegetables on the side, such as:

You could also serve some buttery pasta noodles alongside, such as tagliatelle, fettucine, or parpadelle.

{Recipe for Crispy Roast Potatoes with step-by-step photos}

More Chicken Recipes

If you are looking for more chicken recipes, you might also like:

Coconut Chicken Noodle Stir-Fry

Easy Sweet and Sour Chicken

Satay Chicken Stir-Fry

Vietnamese Chicken Pho


Creamy Tarragon Chicken

5 from 25 reviews

  • Author: Thanh | Eat, Little Bird
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 3 to 4
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: French

Make this classic Creamy Tarragon Chicken recipe in 30 minutes for a delicious weeknight meal!


  • 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 to 6 small chicken breast fillets
  • 2 shallots or 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 160 ml (2/3 cup) dry white wine
  • 125 ml (1/2 cup) chicken stock
  • 125 ml (1/2 cup) double cream (heavy whipping cream) or soya cream (see Kitchen Notes)
  • 1 tablespoon cornflour (cornstarch) mixed with 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 tablespoon fresh tarragon, finely chopped (see Kitchen Notes)
  • parsley, finely chopped
  • sea salt
  • freshly cracked pepper


  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet or saucepan over high heat.
  2. Season the chicken breasts generously with salt and pepper.
  3. Place the chicken breasts in the pan and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, or until they are golden and caramelised, before turning them over. The best way to achieve a nice colour on the chicken is to not move the chicken too often.
  4. Once the chicken is golden and caramelised on both sides, remove them to a plate. The chicken does not need to be fully cooked through at this stage.
  5. Add a bit more oil to the pan as needed.
  6. Add the shallots (or onions) and garlic. Cook for a few minutes until they have softened.
  7. Pour the white wine into the pan and let it simmer for a few minutes until it has reduced slightly.
  8. Use a wooden spoon to stir the mixture and to lift any caramelised bits from the pan.
  9. Pour in the chicken stock and cream, together with the fresh tarragon.
  10. Let the sauce simmer gently for a few minutes.
  11. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper as needed.
  12. Slowly pour in the cornflour slurry, stirring the sauce as you do. You may not need all of the cornflour slurry – use as much as you need until the sauce has thickened slightly.
  13. Return the chicken to the pan and place them in the sauce.
  14. Turn the heat down to low-medium, and place a lid on the saucepan.
  15. Cook gently for 5 to 10 minutes, or until the chicken pieces have cooked through.
  16. Garnish with parsley or more tarragon before serving.

Kitchen Notes

If you can’t find fresh tarragon, I recommend using 1 teaspoon of dried tarragon.

* boiled potatoes
* mashed potatoes
* Crispy Roast Potatoes
* steamed asparagus
* steamed broccoli
* steamed green beans

To make this recipe dairy-free, substitute the cream for a plant-based soya cream. Start with half the quantity of soya cream, and add more to taste.

To convert from cups to grams, and vice-versa, please see this handy Conversion Chart for Basic Ingredients.


  • Serving Size: 1
  • Calories: 264
  • Sugar: 1.7g
  • Sodium: 95.7mg
  • Fat: 12.2g
  • Carbohydrates: 6.3g
  • Fiber: 0.3g
  • Protein: 24.1g
  • Cholesterol: 91.8mg

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  1. Rose 25 March 2019

    I made this for the family last night and it was delicious! I forgot to add the cornflour so there was a lot of sauce but it was great to drizzle on the boiled potatoes. Will make again for sure!

  2. Ami 7 September 2019

    Made this for dinner today. So easy to make and full of flavour. Will definitely be making this again. Thank you!

  3. Fiona Weir 1 November 2019


  4. Jenny Mullinder 10 February 2020

    Oh my GOSH this is tasty ??? made for my fiancé and went down a storm!

    • Eat, Little Bird 28 February 2020

      Hi Jenny,
      That’s so great to hear! So glad you both enjoyed this recipe 🙂

  5. Cathy 15 June 2020

    Easy to make and delicious to eat 5 stars from me ❤

  6. Alexis 27 July 2020

    If I could give this recipe 5 more stars I would! Delicious. I added mushrooms to it and it was absolutely amazing.

    Cooked it for my mother in law and she said it was the “most delicious meal” she has ever had! Been craving it since!!

    • Eat, Little Bird 13 August 2020

      Hi Alexis,
      So glad you and your mother-in-law enjoyed this recipe!

  7. Vina 15 August 2020

    great dish – made it with fresh oregano instead of tarragon. delicious.

  8. Linda Appleby 8 October 2020

    I made this recipe >20 yrs ago, been looking for it ever since ? thanks to you, now I can make it ?

  9. Julie 21 October 2020

    This is the second time i have followed your recipe. Its very yummy indeed !!

    • Eat, Little Bird 23 October 2020

      Hi Julie,
      So glad you have enjoyed this creamy tarragon chicken recipe! Thanks for popping by.

  10. Laura 14 November 2020

    I am not a huge fan of chicken and I have never made a dish with Tarragon.
    My Mom however, loves both so I was happy to have found this recipe.
    I made it exactly as instructed and my Mom absolutely loved it!
    As I said I’m not a huge fan of chicken but this was pretty dang good.
    I served it with mashed potatoes, lemon garlic broccolini and a very dry Sauvignon Blanc.
    It is definitely a dish I would make for her again.
    Thank you for a great recipe and easy instructions!

    • Eat, Little Bird 23 November 2020

      Hi Laura,
      I’m glad to hear that you and your mum enjoyed this dish! It’s a favourite in our home 🙂

  11. Frank Waters 2 December 2020

    Superb. All the family loved it. Everything turned out just like the recipe. Served with baby new potatoes and green beans.

  12. Janis Thomson 12 January 2021

    Omg this was bloody amazing!! Forgot to put the parsley in – had it with french beans and new baby potatoes – just AMAZING!!!

    • Eat, Little Bird 13 January 2021

      Hi Janis,
      So glad you loved this recipe! Beans and potatoes are the perfect accompaniment 🙂

  13. GC 23 January 2021

    Cannot find it anywhere, but I use a similar French recipe that begins by browning the chicken with salt and quite a bit of sugar for caramelization. Sugar and salt, if needed, was also added at the end to balance the acidity of the wine. No vegetables were used but using carrots, as in your recipe, sounds like a really good addition. Thank you.

    • Eat, Little Bird 28 January 2021

      Oh yes, sugar always helps with the caramelisation, but I tend to use sugar in marinades and not so much when I’m browning chicken like in this recipe. But I frequently use sugar to balance flavours. I hope you will enjoy this recipe 🙂

  14. Christine Leatham 24 January 2021

    Love this! Have made it a few times & having it for tea today. Easy to follow with few ingredients but delicious. Makes a refreshing change not having to go out & buy loads of ingredients which cost the earth & never to be used again! I swapped the cream for lighter creme fraich which works well & bit healthier. Thank you little bird!

    • Eat, Little Bird 28 January 2021

      Hi Christine,
      Thank you for your lovely feedback! Great to hear that this recipe works well with crème fraîche as well. So glad you enjoyed this recipe 🙂

  15. Vivienne Howell 25 January 2021

    Made this for tea, really tasty and simple to make. Will make again.

    • Eat, Little Bird 28 January 2021

      Hi Vivienne,
      That’s great that you enjoyed this recipe! Thanks for your popping by.

  16. Darleen Saunders 26 January 2021

    We are half French too! When visiting France one of the things that amazes me about the children is their palates. French children eat adult food. I never saw a child’s menu anywhere. They eat what everyone eats. Smaller portions of course, but the same foods. And they stay for the entire meal, which is several courses long! It is a cultural norm for French children to adapt as quickly as possible to the French way of doing things.

    • Eat, Little Bird 28 January 2021

      Hi Darleen,
      Yes, I love that kids in France eat what the adults eat. A few times at restaurants, the waiters will make a suggestion for the kids, which usually involves altering one of the existing menus slightly. I love it!

  17. Louise 28 January 2021

    Absolutely gorgeous!! Restaurant standard

    • Eat, Little Bird 1 February 2021

      Hi Louise,
      Thank you so much for the compliment! So glad you enjoyed this recipe 🙂

  18. Ouruba Mubashir 18 February 2021

    Tried it out seeing the reviews and it honestly turned out sosososooo goood! Im a fan of tarragon steaks and this is the best one ive had, plus at home!!
    I skipped the wine though and added just a pinch on cheddar cheese and about half a tea spoon of mustard sauce to the terragon sauce and it did wonders for me!!

    • Eat, Little Bird 17 March 2021

      Hi Ouruba,
      So glad you enjoyed this recipe! Love the additions you made as well 🙂

  19. amie shiels 19 February 2021

    Love this’s one of my all time faves

  20. Mark 23 March 2021

    Delicious! One of the best recipes I’ve made in a long time.

  21. Vicky Haynes 6 April 2021

    Easy to make and utterly delicious. We have this cut into bite size pieces served with fresh tagliatelle and asparagus.

    • Eat, Little Bird 9 April 2021

      Hi Vicky,
      So glad you enjoyed this recipe! It‘s perfect with asparagus.

  22. Brad 8 May 2021

    Fantastic recipe!

  23. Cindy 8 May 2021

    Wow, delicious recipe! I’ve never cooked with tarragon before but loved the flavors of this dish. Plus it was super easy and quick. Yum! Highly recommend.

  24. Jenny 23 May 2021

    Delicious recipe! So nice even though I had to use dried tarragon this time. Can’t wait to try it with fresh!

  25. Bill 29 May 2021

    My next try 🙂

  26. Sheila Sue 12 June 2021

    Used Saki instead of dry white wine. Had fresh tarragon in the herb garden, so used it and fresh parsley. Served it with rice pilaf and some sugar snap peas from the garden, steamed with garlic, shallot, and ginger.

  27. Julie V Pipes 22 June 2021

    My husband now requests this for all of our dinner parties. Such a wonderful recipe! I serve it with fettuccine so I can use the extra sauce and steamed broccoli on the side!

    • Eat, Little Bird 5 July 2021

      Hi Julie,
      So glad you and your husband enjoy this recipe! It sounds perfect with fettuccine and broccoli 🙂

  28. Robina Baine 13 July 2021

    Just lovely – and very simple to make

  29. Alexander Hay-Whitton 18 July 2021

    What real French cook would thicken with cornflour or use dried tarragon?

  30. Laura 1 August 2021

    I only had chicken thighs on hand so I used those instead and it turned out delicious! Maybe that doesn’t make me a “rEaL fReNcH ChEf” though 🙂

  31. PT 3 August 2021

    Loved it. I even used dried tarragon, as I couldn’t find fresh, and still it was great.

  32. Andrew 8 September 2021

    Beautiful dish! I’ve made this recipe several times now and everyone just loves it, yet it is so quick and easy.

  33. Dianne 16 September 2021

    Loved this! Quick, easy, delicious. I was unable to source fresh tarragon so I used dried but still got that lovely taste. I will be making this again real soon. Thank you.

    • Eat, Little Bird 17 September 2021

      Hi Dianne,
      So glad you enjoyed this recipe! Thanks for popping by.

  34. Kris okamoto 29 October 2021

    I drank the white wine. Can I substitute something else?

  35. Kate 3 November 2021

    Quick and delicious week-night recipe! Makes a big difference to get all the part ready to go (mise en place). I used Chicken Breasts, browned them for a little longer and covered them on a plate while I got the sauce going and they cooked perfectly in 10 minutes in the sauce. Fresh tarragon makes a big difference.

    • Eat, Little Bird 10 November 2021

      Hi Kate,
      I’m happy that you enjoyed this recipe! Dried tarragon works at a pinch, but I also prefer fresh tarragon in this recipe. Thanks for popping by.

  36. Phil 7 November 2021

    Bon appetite! Better than restaurant quality & taste. Quick & easy to boot.