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Mustard-Tarragon Chicken with Carrot Coins

Like pretty much everyone else in the world, as soon as autumn is on the horizon, I start craving more substantial dinner fare -- stews, casseroles, meaty things that slowly braise in the oven with root vegetables...

It has been a gray day here, with a chill to the air and, while I am not quite ready to have the oven on low for hours at a time despite the delicious smells that might ensue, I did want to eat something that I associated with fall. My mind immediately went to the French classic "lapin à la moutarde" which I enjoyed often during my decade living in France but, not having rabbit to hand, I made due with chicken instead and -- as usual -- veered off-course and made a "homage" dish instead.

I used carrots mostly to add a little additional color to the dish, but it occurred to me as I ate that I might have picked them out of the veggie line-up in the fridge because I had been thinking of rabbit earlier...

1 boneless, skinless chicken breast, cubed

2 carrots, peeled and cut into thin coins

1 1/2 Tbsps Dijon mustard

2 Tbsps Greek yogurt (I prefer full-fat)

2 Tbsps dry white wine

1 Tbsp finely chopped tarragon leaves

1 Tbsp chopped green onion

1 tsp olive oil

Salt and black pepper to taste

Peel and chop your carrots. Place a small pan on salted water on the stove over medium heat. Add the carrot coins and let cook while you organize the chicken.

Cut your chicken breast into bite-sized pieces. Toss the pieces in a bowl with half of the mustard and add salt and pepper to taste. Stir to combine well.

Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. As soon as the oil shimmers, add the chicken pieces, the chopped green onion and a third of the tarragon leaves. Cook for thirty seconds on each side, to add a little color to the meat.

Add the wine to the pan and cover. Cook for two minutes.

While the chicken is cooking and the carrots are bubbling away, mix the yogurt, the remaining mustard and half of the remaining tarragon together in a bowl to make a paste.

When the two minutes are up, uncover the chicken and add the mustard-yogurt paste. Stir well to combine it with the pan juices and let the sauce heat through, just until small bubbles form around the perimeter of the pan. Don't let this mixture boil or the yogurt will curdle. You could use heavy cream instead of yogurt -- which is more traditional -- but I didn't happen to have any. I also quite like the tang of yogurt with this dish, rather than the soothing powers of cream.

While the sauce is heating, drain the carrots and place them on your dinner plate. Top with the chicken and the sauce, top with the remaining tarragon leaves and dig in! Rice or egg noodles would be nice with this as well, but I no longer eat as many carbs as I used to - doctor's orders.

This is a fourteen minute and fifty two second to the table dinner.


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