Tarragon Chicken with Lemon Sauce Recipe

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Lemon Tarragon Chicken with Lemon Sauce is a simple 30-minute meal packed with fresh flavor! This lemony, tarragon, basil, dijon mustard, white wine, and caper sauce will have you reaching for crusty bread to soak up all the goodness. I like to serve it with rice, bread, and a simple salad.

Add a side salad, green beans, and a loaf of crusty bread for a delicious weeknight meal. 

Chicken and ingredients in a plot with spoons on a counter.

Tarragon Chicken with Lemon Sauce (Chicken Skillet Dinner) 

If you are looking to elevate your chicken skillet dinner recipes I highly recommend this flavorful lemon and tarragon chicken recipe!

It is both comforting and light with pops of flavor from the lemon, capers, and herbs. It comes together quickly and is fancy enough for guests and simple enough for a weeknight meal. 

You will love the distinctive flavor of the tarragon and the richness of the sauce with lemon and butter. The mustard is a classic pairing for this chicken tarragon recipe. 

Tarragon Chicken Ingredients 

The ingredients are simple and create so much flavor. It is truly a light, flavorful, and delicious meal. 

Raw ingredients for chicken recipe on a wood counter.

  • Chicken thighs (or chicken breasts) 
  • Olive oil
  • Butter
  • Pearl onions (can use regular onions)
  • Garlic 
  • Fresh tarragon (more for garnish)
  • Fresh basil (more for garnish)
  • Fresh lemon juice (save the lemon after juicing)
  • Capers
  • Edmund Fallot Tarragon Dijon Mustard (if you can’t find use regular dijon mustard)
  • Dry white wine (substitute chicken broth, if desired) 
  • Salt and Balck Pepper to taste 

See the recipe card for quantities. 

How to Make Tarragon Chicken with Lemon Sauce 

This creamy tarragon chicken meal comes together in one pan and is simple to make. Although the recipe doesn’t contain cream the creamy sauce forms from the delicious mustard, wine, and lemon tarragon sauce. It is an easy chicken skillet dinner that has a restaurant-quality taste. 

Chicken and ingredients in a plot with spoons on a counter.

Tarragon Chicken with Lemon Sauce

  1. In a large heavy-bottomed saucepan on medium heat add the olive oil and butter. 
  2. Add the onions. Sauté the onions and the two halves of the lemon (the lemons should already be juiced and juice reserved for later) for 5-8 minutes until slightly golden brown. 
  3. Meanwhile, pat the chicken pieces dry with paper towels and season with salt and black pepper. 
  4. Add the garlic and mustard to the pan and stir mustard (might be thick and pasty) with the cooked onions and lemon. 
  5. Add the chicken to the pan and brown on each side for about 5-6 minutes per side (achieve a nice brown color). Turn the heat down to medium-low. 
  6. Add the white wine, lemon juice, half of the tarragon, and capers to the pan. Let simmer for about 10-12 minutes until the chicken is fully cooked (it may take longer if your chicken this are larger). 
  7. Turn off the heat and gently stir in the rest of the tarragon and all of the fresh basil, before serving add a little garnish of extra herbs (if desired). Enjoy warm with rice, or homemade ciabatta bread. 

What Is Tarragon?

Tarragon (scientific name: Artemisia dracunculus), is a perennial member of the sunflower family that grows wild all over Eurasia and North America. I have tarragon in my garden and it is very low maintenance to keep. 

Fresh tarragon is a traditional herb in French cooking and cuisine. In cooking, the leaves (and very tender stems) are used.

There are many varieties of tarragon, but French is most often used in the kitchen. It is one of the herbs that herald the return of spring, along with chives and parsley.

What Does Tarragon Taste Like?

The primary flavor of tarragon is a light hint of a licorice-like taste. When fresh, it also has citrus notes and a delicate spiciness. It also has some of the grassy flavors often associated with soft green herbs. 

It is fresh and adds sweetness and unique flavor to any dish. Try it in this Simple Creamy Potato Salad with Herbs

How to use Tarragon in Cooking 

Tarragon is popular with chicken, fish, shellfish, butter, and cream dishes. Lemon, both the juice and zest, is a great complement to the citrusy notes of the tarragon herb.

I like to add half of the chopped tarragon to the dish early on in the cooking process, to infuse the whole dish, and then sprinkle more on top right before I serve the final dish. This way, you receive different dimensions of tarragon flavor. 

Chicken, ingredients and rice on a plate.

Variations

The first time you try this recipe try it the traditional way as written in this recipe. The next time, try one of these variations. 

  • Creamy Tarragon Sauce- make the sauce extra creamy by adding a dollop of sour cream, creme fraiche, or half a cup of heavy cream to make a more traditional cream sauce. 
  • Chicken- you can use chicken breasts or even chicken drumsticks for this skillet chicken dinner. I like the dark meat in the chicken thighs and find the flavor richer than all-white meat chicken, but you can use whatever you prefer. 

Skillet Pan Recommendations for Tarragon Chicken with Lemon Sauce Recipe

The skillet to use: I love cooking in a cast iron skillet. It distributes the heat evenly throughout the bottom of the pan and up to the sides. It’s naturally nonstick and super durable. You can also use a dutch oven-type pot.

Any large skillet will work for this chicken tarragon meal. 

What to Serve with Lemon Tarragon Chicken

We love simple steamed rice to soak up the delicious sauce.

Here are delicious Italian homemade loaves of bread I recommend for soaking up the creamy tarragon sauce in this recipe: No Knead Italian Focaccia BreadEasy Soft Italian No Knead Breadand Fast Italian No Knead Ciabatta Bread.

How to Store Leftover Tarragon Lemon Chicken 

Let the chicken cool completely. After that, store the chicken in an airtight container or Ziploc bag. If properly stored, the cooked chicken will last in the fridge for up to 4 days.

This tasty dinner has a guaranteed spot on your recurring weekly meal plan. Add it to your list ASAP!

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Tarragon Chicken with Lemon Sauce Recipe

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5 from 1 review

This lemony, tarragon, basil, dijon mustard, white wine, and caper sauce will have you reaching for crusty bread to dip-dip swim and savor. Adding a little Frenchy vibe today with this simple one pan meal. Don’t let the fancy name fool you. Serve it with rice, bread, and a simple side salad.

  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 46 servings 1x

Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 56 boneless chicken thighs
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/4 cup of frozen or fresh pearl onions (can use regular chopped onion)
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh tarragon (more for garnish)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil (more for garnish)
  • 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice (save the lemon after juicing)
  • 4 tablespoons capers
  • 1 tablespoon of Edmund Fallot Tarragon Dijon Mustard (if you can’t find use regular dijon mustard)
  • 1 cup of dry white wine(substitute chicken broth, if desired)
  • Salt and Pepper for seasoning

Instructions

  1. In a large heavy-bottomed saucepan on medium heat add the olive oil and butter. 
  2. Add the onions. Sauté the onions and the two halves of the lemon (the lemons should already be juiced and juice reserved for later) for 5-8 minutes until slightly golden brown. 
  3. Meanwhile, pat the chicken dry and season with salt and black pepper. 
  4. Add the garlic and mustard to the pan and mix (might be thick and pasty) with the cooked onions and lemon. 
  5. Add the chicken to the pan and brown on each side for about 5-6 minutes per side (achieve a nice brown color). Turn the heat down to medium-low. 
  6. Add the white wine, lemon juice, half of the tarragon, and capers to the pan. Let simmer for about 10-12 minutes until the chicken is fully cooked (it may take longer if your chicken this are larger). 
  7. Turn off the heat and gently stir in the rest of the tarragon and all of the fresh basil, before serving add a little garnish of extra herbs (if desired). Enjoy warm with rice, or homemade ciabatta bread. 

Notes

Storage 

Let the chicken cool completely. After that, store the chicken in an airtight container or Ziploc bag. If properly stored, the cooked chicken will last in the fridge for up to 4 days.

  • Author: Elena
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Category: Savory
  • Method: French
  • Cuisine: French

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About Elena

My dream is to share delicious wholesome recipes that you will share around the table with all your loved ones. The memories surrounded by food are the heart and soul of CucinaByElena.

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5 Comments

  1. Just made this tonight and the family loved it. The grown boys went back for seconds! Served over rice and with a crusty bread.