Monday, April 20, 2009

Still Using Up Those Herbs

Not all of my leftover herbs made it into my pesto last week. I still have some left, so this week is my week to figure out what to do with it all.

Tonight I decided to do a simple, classic recipe with the leftover tarragon I still had hanging out. I'm glad I used it tonight because it really wasn't going to last any longer.

Tonight's dinner had to be a fairly quick one. You see, I was summoned for jury duty today. Not only was it jury duty, it was federal court. That meant I had to shlep to the city. That was no fun considering that after a beautiful spring weekend, New York has firmly planted its feet back in winter. I was fighting rain and what even looked like a little sleet as I came off the subway. Once I arrived at home this evening, I was far too grumpy to make anything complicated.

What could be easier than chicken breasts in a nice pan sauce with a little cream? I had everything I needed for a nice sauce, so all I had to do was buy the chicken. I had cream, tarragon, mustard and wine. One thing I've learned on my cooking journeys is that fewer ingredients can make for a better dish (Take that FN cooks!). I really didn't need anything else.

I never said it was pretty. Any reader of my blog knows that cooking pretty has never been one of my strong points. Garlic roasted broccoli was on the side.

Chicken Breasts In Mustard Tarragon Cream Sauce

1-2 pounds chicken breasts, pounded fairly thin
1/2 cup white wine
2 Tbl chopped fresh tarragon
3 Tbl dijon mustard
1/2 cup cream (I used half and half)
2 Tbl olive oil
1 Tbl butter
Flour for dredging

Dredge chicken breasts in flour seasoned with the salt and pepper. Heat olive oil and butter in pan and brown chicken breasts well over medium heat on both sides. Remove to a plate.

Mix together mustard and cream.

Add white wine to pan and deglaze. Get up all those great brown bits. Allow to reduce down a bit. Now add the mustard, cream, and tarragon. Taste to see if it needs additional salt and pepper. Put chicken back into pan and cook until heated through. Be careful and don't cook so long the cream separates as it did for me here.


Jeff said...

My tarragon has been in full growing force and I have zero clue what to do with.

A lot of times my leftover herbs get tossed with compound butter and shoved under chicken skin to be grilled. If not that then tossed with a extra virgin for a herb vinaigrette or a herb marinade.

Sucky on the jury duty. Thankfully (knocking on wood) I have been able to avoid that.

Sara said...

This looks delicious! My tarragon plant died during the winter, but has since regenerated with the nicer weather.

melissa said...

Oh no way! I'm making this dish tomorrow! Seriously. The chicken is cut into 1-inch cubes, but otherwise, yep. Creamy tarragon mustard sauce. Food & Wine Annual 2008.

And it DOES look pretty. Thanks for giving me something to look forward to. :D

The Blonde Duck said...

It looks yummy! I've been thinking about growing herbs, but settled for jalepenos and chiles. It's too hot down here!

noble pig said...

The best tasting food is never really pretty becuase it's smothered in a wonderful sauce!

The Duo Dishes said...

Wish tarragon wasn't so dang expensive! We can get fresh rosemary, basil, dill, mint, thyme, etc. for $0.60 a bunch...big bunches too! But that tarragon is over $3 sometimes. Crazy. But it's worth it!

Maria said...

I love fresh herbs, they really make a difference! Great dish!

Bellini Valli said...

I have always loved chicken in creamy sauces.There is just something so comforting about it:D

Bunny said...

It souns delicious! Yes winter has raise it's ugly head here in Pa. too, it was so col here toay the winter coat came out of hiding BBBRRRRRRRR!!!!

Peter M said...

Nice went "Oooh la la" French with this tarragon and good mustard.

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

Jeff-Herbs under the skin is exactly what I did last night. Blog is on its way.

Sara - I never tried planting tarragon because I never used it much, but I love when my herbs come back. My thyme always does, but it's too early in the year for that to happen yet.

Melissa - I'm on the lookout for your recipe!

Cathy - Excellent point. Sauce can be unattractive in a photo. Then again, it can also hide sins underneath it. ;-)

DD - So true about the cost. I may have to consider growing it. That's one of the reasons I was so keen to use this stuff up!

Maria - Thanks. Fresh herbs are da bomb!

Val - I love creamy sauces and they are, as you say, very comforting. Too bad they're no calorie-free. ;-)

Bunny - Hang in there. They say it will get better this weekend!

Peter - I wasn't even thinking "French" but you're right. I was letting out my inner French chef!