Are you mourning the end of summer already? Don’t! Fall is such a wonderful season for foodies and gourmets! So we might need to remember to close the windows at night and throw on a sweater. So what! Early fall is the best of both worlds – we still have lovely daytime temperatures that allow us those walks on the beach, and cooler night temperatures give us the chance to add heartier ingredients, autumn-y spices, and finally, FINALLY turn the oven on! It’s time to bring out the big guns (by which we mean, roasting pans, basters, oven mitts, intense ingredients like Dijon mustard, etc.).
Fear not, fellow foodies, we’ve found the perfect dish to transition us to fall: Roast Chicken Breast With Tarragon and Dijon Mustard Sauce, compliments of contributor Sue Moran, from The View From Great Island.
The Recipe: Intense Dijon Mustard and Bright Fresh Tarragon
This recipe is everything we could want for a transitional dish – it’s hearty without being heavy, flavorful without being cloying, and the combination of creamy Dijon mustard sauce with aromatic tarragon is both bright and fresh. The recipe calls for chicken breasts (dish bonus: lots of healthy protein there), but you could just as easily use the delicious tarragon and Dijon mustard sauce with any fresh white fish that’s available at your grocery store (Sue recommends haddock, cod or tilapia).
What to serve this with: a medley of seasonal fall produce, of course! You could try roasting parsnips and carrots, like Sue did, or any other colorful veggie you choose. If you want a bit more oomph, try adding a start for a side dish, like couscous, wild rice or even quinoa. Want more recipes from Sue? Visit her website at www.theviewfromgreatisland.com.
- 2 boneless chicken breasts, skin on (I asked my butcher to de-bone a couple of skin-on breasts)
- olive oil
- salt and fresh pepper
- 2 baby vidalia onions, sliced (or 1 leek, or 2 large shallots)
- splash of marsala, white wine, vermouth or dry sherry
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- handful of fresh chopped tarragon leaves
- 1/2 cup cream
- 1 Tbsp. stone ground or Dijon mustard
- Rub the chicken breasts with olive oil and season well with salt and fresh pepper. Rub the oil and spices in to the meat.
- Drizzle a little olive oil in a pan over medium high heat. When the pan is hot, put the chicken breasts in, skin side down. Sear for a couple of minutes until the skin has good color.
- Remove the chicken to a baking pan that has also been drizzled with olive oil, skin side up.
- Cook at 400 for 20 to 30 minutes or until done. The time will depend on how large your chicken breasts are (your thermometer should read between 170 and 180.)
- Finish under the broiler if you want more color or crispness to the skin.
- Set aside to rest under foil.
- Reserve any juices from the cooking to add to the sauce later.
- In the same pan you seared the chicken in, add the onions and saute over medium low heat for several minutes until they soften. Do not brown them.
- Give the pan a splash of wine and squeeze in the lemon juice. Let reduce on medium high for a minute.
- Add the tarragon, the cream, the mustard, and any leftover juices from the cooked chicken. Bring to a simmer. Cook for a minute or two. Taste and adjust the seasonings if necessary.
- Pour onto a serving platter or shallow casserole dish.
- Slice the chicken and nestle into the sauce. Sprinkle with a little more fresh tarragon.