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I'm happiest when the food I make becomes a backdrop to a lively conversation. When I'm not cooking, I'm traveling or dreaming about travel. Come sit with me, and enjoy! Read more here.

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« red wine poached pears with mascarpone whip: weeknight decadence | Main | grilled sweet pepper and kalamata salad: a mediterranean treat »

tarragon chicken with zesty pappardelle


I was in my 30s before I discovered the joy of cooking with fresh tarragon. This amazes me. I wonder how I could have lived for so long without this deliciously aromatic herb.

Now, I can't get enough. The anise-flavored leaves are used in a variety of dishes and sauces, including the classic French bearnaise sauce and the American 'green goddess' sauce.

Lucky for me, it's a summer and early fall herb, which makes it widely available in stores now.

I enjoy it with fish, especially perch, but my favorite pairing is with chicken and bacon. This recipe is adapted from a recipe by Fran Warde, the matron saint of all things tarragon and all things French. She pairs the flavorful herb with bacon, shallots, and chicken thighs to create this crowd-pleasing dish.

Tarragon Chicken with Zesty Pappardelle

Serves 4

8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
6 large shallots, cut in half
3 strips of bacon, roughly chopped
4 large bay leaves
salt and pepper

Tarragon sauce
2 tablespoons grainy mustard
1/2 cups white wine
2 large bunches tarragon, chopped

1 pound pappardelle pasta
Zest from 1 lemon
1-2 tablespoons of lemon juice
1 small bunch of parsley, chopped
3 tablespoons of olive oil

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Salt and pepper the chicken thighs and place them in a large baking dish. Add the bay leaves, and then the bacon. Place the shallots in between the thighs and bake for 40 minutes.

Meanwhile, mix the white wine, mustard, and tarragon together and set aside.


Cook the pasta in salted water, following the instructions for timing on the package. Drain, and then add the olive oil, chopped parsley, lemon zest, squeeze of lemon juice, and salt to taste. Toss and set aside.


When the chicken has baked for 40 minutes, remove it from the oven and pour the tarragon sauce over the chicken to coat evenly.


Return to the oven for 10 minutes. Serve the chicken over the pasta. This dish also pairs well with grilled sweet pepper and kalamata salad for an early fall backyard dinner.



Reader Comments (15)

I love everything about this! I'm a huge fan of pappardelle and all of the flavors in this pasta sound delectable! It sounds like one of those relatively easy breezy dishes with a fantastic and gourmet end result!

I love your food Angela! I always know I won't be disappointed!

October 5, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterhot garlic

This looked so delicious I had to come by your site! Very happy I did too ;)

October 5, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMaryann

Thanks, Natalie! It is totally easy and such a huge crowd-pleaser. You really can't go wrong with this one. Thanks for visiting!

Maryann: Thanks! I love your blog too. I'll definitely be back. Cheers!

October 5, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAngela

Ooooh I have already eaten everything here!!!!!

October 5, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterNazarina A

Okay, I am officially your new biggest fan. I've been snooping around the archives and I love your blog! I'm adding it to my favorites right away.

October 5, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAndrea

Tarragon & bay, what a lovely pairing and two of my favourite herbs. The tarragon is so meant to go with chicken.

October 5, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterPeter M

Nazarina A: Thanks! BTW, I loved reading your Blogger profile. What a great description of why you are blogging -- and great blog too!

Andrea: Thanks!! Blogging is such a labor of love and it's always nice when someone really appreciates your work! Your blog is fantastic. Great photography. I just subscribed. I look forward to seeing more of you!

Peter: That's so true about tarragon and chicken. I can't get enough!

October 5, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAngela

Angela, the photos are some of the best I have seen. You should submit them to Tastespotting and Foodgawker if you have haven't already. I really want to make and eat this - nice job.


October 6, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMarc Winitz

i know this was about tarragon chicken, but i have to say that pappardelle just looks sooo good and totally makes me want to try this dish!

October 6, 2008 | Unregistered Commentermimi

Marc: Thanks for the compliment on the photos! They ran on Tastespotting and Foodgawker over the weekend. Let me know what you think of the recipe if you try it.

Mimi: Thanks! That pappardelle with lemon zest is excellent and really makes a scrumptious meal with the chicken.

October 7, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAngela

I love this dish! Seems that terragon pairs very well with chicken. I love 'zesty' meals - kind of waking me up :-D Thank yo for sharing!

October 7, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterpixen

Great pictures!

October 9, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterCindy. Lo.

I love posts like this that focus on specific ingredients! They're my favorite kind. I don't think I've ever really used fresh tarragon (okay, I know I haven't) but now I'm inspired! Thanks for the information and for a great recipe!

October 9, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAndrea

Thanks, Pixen! The lemon zest really does lift that pappardelle and provide a nice 'high note' to the tarragon chicken. Dee-lish!

Thanks, Cindy! I'm glad you like the pictures. I love shooting pictures of everyday meals. It gets straight to the "Food Love" philosophy!

Andrea: Thanks so much! Postings that focus on a single ingredient are my favorite too. I hope you try tarragon soon; you'll love it!

October 9, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAngela

What an aromatic and elegantly presented dish. The combination of flavors sound so savory, I especially like the addition of bacon :). I'd love to include your recipe on our blog, please let me know if you're interested!

Sophie, Key Ingredient Chief Blogger

November 26, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSophie

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