Sunday, June 5, 2011


Tarragon is one of my favorite herbs. I was so excited a few weeks ago when my tarragon plant started growing in leaps and bounds. I thought it was an annual and I was about ready to replace it when it started growing runners. I googled it and it is a perennial. Woo hoo! I guess it just needed some TLC.

I had some organic chicken breasts from Trader Joe's. I'm a convert. I don't like Foster Farms any more. I don't like those frozen breasts from Costco that I always have in my freezer. I only like the organic from Whole Foods, Trader Joe's, Lazy Acres and the Farmers Markets. What a difference in taste.

My friend Dennis told me one day that chicken doesn't taste like chicken anymore. I looked at him with disbelief. Isn't chicken, chicken? The only difference I thought was the cook. Cook it right or cook it wrong.

Fast forward a few weeks later, I was at Whole Foods. They had a tasting of Mary's Free Range, organic chicken. Wow! I had my first taste of REAL chicken. It makes a big difference. No more big breasts pumped with who knows what. I've gone organic.
                                 PAN-SEARED CHICKEN WITH TARRAGON BUTTER SAUCE

Serves 4

1/4 cup finely chopped shallot (1 large)
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2" cubes
1/3 cup dry white wine
2 pounds boneless, skinless (organic) chicken breasts, pounded very thin
3/4 tsp. salt
3/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
3 TBSP. olive oil
1/4 cup chopped fresh tarragon
1 TBSP. finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 tsp. lemon juice

Cook shallot in 1 TBSP. butter in a small heavy saucepan over moderate heat stirring occasionally, until softened, about 2 minutes. Add wine and boil until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 3 minutes. Set aside.

Pat chicken dry and sprinkle all over with 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper. Heat oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking. Saute chicken in batches , turning over once, until golden and just cooked through, about 2 minutes each. Transfer to a platter and keep warm, loosely covered with foil.

Return shallot mixture to moderately low heat and add remaining 3 TBSP. butter, one cube at a time, whisking until incorporated. Remove from heat and whisk in tarragon, parsley, lemon juice, and remaining 1/4 tsp. salt and 1/8 tsp. pepper. Spoon sauce over chicken and serve.

Recipe adapted from Gourmet Magazine.

No comments: