Braised Chicken in White Wine, Mustard & Tarragon

My seasonal food clock is somewhat ahead of schedule as I’m already craving foods usually enjoyed after the thermometer drops a few degrees, but I didn’t feel any guilt devouring this dish. This braised chicken defines comfort food for me. This is what I want when the weather outside is not too nice, when there’s earthquakes, hurricanes or godzilla at your front door, and this is what I want sometimes for no reason at all. It’s simple and deeply satisfying French country cooking. This is the kind of dish you can expect to be served on a checkered tablecloth, along with a glass of wine and a loaf of bread, as you travel through the country side in Burgundy and make a pit stop at a local auberge.

Sometimes the word “braised” carries the double-meaning that there is a lot of work involved in a preparation but it’s not true in this case. Sure, it takes a little while to get the chicken to “fall off the bone” but besides patience this recipe requires very little hard work. Make sure to serve it on a bed of tagliatelle or fettuccine to soak up all the delicious sauce and while you’re at it – invite me for dinner. I’ll be right over.

  • Braised Chicken in White Wine, Mustard and Tarragon

  • Serves 4
    • For the braised chicken:
    • 1 whole chicken, quartered (or preferably 6 legs)
    • salt and black pepper
    • 4 tablespoons grapeseed oil
    • 6 tablespoons butter
    • 10 shallots, sliced
    • 5 cloves garlic, sliced
    • 3 cups white wine (Chablis or Meursault)
    • 1/4 cup tarragon vinegar
    • 4 cups chicken stock
    • sage, thyme, bay leaf, parsley and tarragon tied in a bundle
    • 6 tablespoons whole grain mustard
    • 1 cup heavy cream
    • 2 cups button mushrooms, quartered
    • olive oil
    • 1 lb Tagliatelle or Fettuccine
    • butter
    • 3 tablespoons tarragon leaves, chopped
    • Braised Chicken Recipe:
    • Preheat oven to 350’F.
    • Season the chicken pieces with salt and black pepper. Heat the grapeseed oil in a large round pot, add for 3 tablespoons of the butter, when foamy add the chicken pieces and cook until golden brown, about 4 minutes on each side.
    • Remove the chicken pieces to a tray. Discard the oil from the pot and add the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter.
    • Add the sliced shallots and garlic to the pot, and cook until soft and translucent, about 7 minutes. Add the vinegar and cook for a minute then add the white wine to the pot and reduce by half. Add the chicken stock, the whole grain mustard, the bouquet garni and chicken pieces and bring to a simmer. Cover the pot and place in the oven to braise for 1 1/2 hour.
    • Meanwhile, sautee the mushrooms in olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Cook the pasta, drain and toss with butter.
    • Transfer the chicken pieces to a large plate, add the cream to the braising liquid and reduce until it begins to thicken. Add the chopped tarragon before serving. Serve the braised chicken with the sauce and the mushrooms over the cooked pasta.
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  • Michaelc

    Chef, read recipe about 8 times and cannot see where the vinegar goes in. Is it me being blind? Assume after sauteeing the chicken. Great having so many posts from you in such a short time! Michael

  • zenchef

    Oops. Thanks for the heads up, Michael. I just fixed it. It goes in before the white wine.

  • Anonymous

    Oops. Thanks for the heads up, Michael. I just fixed it. The vinegar goes in before the white wine. 

  • JD

    Looks great, gonna give this one a try later in the week.

  • Colloquial Cook

    Aaaarg du Meursault dans la sauce!? On avait dit dans le VERRE, pas dans la SAUCE! Touche pas à mon Meursault!

  • Katherine Martinelli

    My mouth is watering. This is my kind of dish. Bookmarked!

  • Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella

    hehe well my favourite part of the colder months is the food so I definitely understand you wanting to fast forward the clock! 😀

  • Carolyn Jung

    I love braising, too, so I can ‘t blame you for wanting to do it practically year-round. There’s just something so comforting about combining all those great ingredients into one big ol’ pot, then cooking it for hours, until you lift the lid, inhale that incredible aroma, and just dig in.

  • LuLuBelle

    This sounds delicious, but is there a substitute for the grape seed oil or is that a “must use” ingredient?

  • Byrdparis

    Oops. Thanks for the heads up, Michael. I just fixed it. The vinegar goes in before the white wine.

    chef.  the mustard. 

  • Didier Bardin

    What about the 6 tablespoons whole grain mustard

  • Anonymous

    It’s not a ‘must use’ ingredient. Olive oil will work just as well. 

  • Anonymous

    I fixed it! Thanks! 

  • Anonymous

    Re-oops. I guess I was sleeping when I wrote the recipe. The mustard goes in at the same time as the chicken stock. Thanks!

  • Jonny & Amy

    I will say that it looks delicious and I feel the same way about returning to some more autumnal dishes already, but I have to ask about the bed of pasta underneath though – and though it’ll sound terrible – is this a French thing? I’m sure the mustard sauce does make a perfect dressing for the pasta but cutting the chicken with a knife and fork will inevitably result in some cut pasta, something I find almost unbearable.

    Food snobbery out of the way, I feel compelled to find a fault in the way you wrote the recipe but I can’t…

    By the way, were you and Marc cheffing in Colorado ? You both mentioned it in recent posts and it can’t just be coincidence.

  • Stacey Snacks

    Just catching up on your August posts….good to see you beautiful cuisine again….I’ve missed your posts!  Hope you had a great summer.

  • Anonymous

    Hey Jonny, this is very much a “fork only” dish so there are no worries about cutting the pasta.

    And yes, I took Marc with me to work on a ranch in Colorado for 3 weeks. It was a lot of fun!

  • Anonymous

    Hi Stacey! Thank you! It’s been a busy but productive month. I finally got some rest this past week. Hope you and Henry had a nice summer as well. 

  • Dr. CaSo

    I am making this tomorrow night and you are invited :) Just remember to register your car, downstairs, otherwise you might get a ticket 😉

  • Anonymous

    Will you come to my house and make dinner please? I’ll take this. Great. See you soon.

  • Amy (Minimally Invasive)

    This sounds (and looks) divine — thanks for the inspiration! This will surely go into the weekend rotation very soon.

  • Mjskit

    I used to think “braising” was a lot of work, but then I tried it.  It’s really not that hard, just a little more time-consuming but as with the recipe, the results are fantastic!  What a wonderful recipe!  Love your use of the tarragon!

  • Mjskit

    I used to think “braising” was a lot of work, but then I tried it.  It’s really not that hard, just a little more time-consuming but as with the recipe, the results are fantastic!  What a wonderful recipe!  Love your use of the tarragon!

  • Jeremy

    Why haven’t you cooked for me yet? I made bread for you!!!

  • Adelina Badalyan

    I have to add this to my recipes to try… and I will remember to invite you over…

  • Food Hunter

    Love what you did with this chicken!

  • Mattandsandie

    Just made this tonight and eating it now. This is amazing…the flavors are so bold, bright and simple. The saltiness of the chicken is well balanced by the tanginess of the vinegar and mustard and the tarwine and tarragon gives it a sweet finish. Can’t believe it was so easy to make. I’m a big fan of your food but this is the first time I’ve commented. Keep em coming!!

  • Anonymous

    Thanks Matt and Sandie! I’m happy you enjoyed it. Keep coming back for more !

  • Sigrid

    Tried this yesterday and really liked the combination of mustard and tarragon. Lovely! 

    But next time I would like to try to braise at a lower temperature. Since we prefer to buy whole chicken we used chicken breasts and deboned legs so the meat was, after one hour of heavy bubbling at 172° C rather dry, unfortunately. Would you recommend lowering the temperature? Or rather just cook it for 30 minutes or so?

  • Sigrid

    PS: Our sauce took almost one hour to reduce. Talk about raising expectations! 😉

  • Anonymous

    Thanks! The thing is with chicken, legs can handle longer cooking time than breasts (personally I prefer using dark meat for something like this). Also keeping the bones in helps keeping it moist. I would recommend starting with the legs and adding the breasts only for the last 25 minutes. Very gentle simmer also. 

  • Sharonpgaughan

    cant find printer:(

  • Katherine

    Hello! I made this for me and my mom last sunday and it was heavenlyyy! I left out the tarragon vinegar though, because I couldn’t find it in our local supermarket. Well, anyway, the chicken was so delicious. I will definitely make it again. Thank you so much for the recipe, I really can’t wait for more awesome recipes from you!!

  • Vicky AuYeung

    chef, this dish looks and sounds wonderful. Question, any peppercorns in the bouquet garni? also, how would you make the tarragon vinegar from scratch? I would assume this can be done by soaking tarragon stems in some vinegar (not sure if red or white) for a day or two? Also, the culinary student in me wants to reduce the wine/vinegar/stock mixture first, strain, then mustard at the end along with the cream. This would allow for a smoother sauce consistency. But that’s just be being a bit snobby ;). Your thoughts? I love your work btw!