This delicious tarragon and mustard chicken is a company-worthy dish that’s also easy enough to enjoy at home any time!
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Maille. As always, all opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting brands that support Seasons and Suppers.
So you may be looking at the photo above and thinking “Girl, is that pickles in your chicken?” Why, yes, it is indeed! But not just any pickle would be allowed in this chicken recipe. This lovely dish is made with French cornichons, featuring a new cornichon variety that La Maison Maille recently introduced to Canada – Caramelised Onion. It’s the perfect addition to Fall recipes and dishes.
If you are not familiar with French cornichons. they are smaller and crunchier than dill pickles, with a distinctive acidity that brings a unique and slightly sour taste to dishes (as opposed to the sweet taste of typical North American gherkins).
While we often think of these lovely cornichons as a great addition to a relish tray, they are a wonderful addition to a host of dishes you’re already making in your kitchens. You can up the ante of your everyday meals by incorporating these bite-size pickles into salads (they are a great addition to potato salads!), cocktails and tapas, chopping them into tartare to serve with your fish or tuck them in to Cuban or other sandwiches. Of course, you can also eat them on their own as a savoury, low calorie snack-on-the-go.
You can learn more about Maille cornichons, explore all the wonderful Maille products and find recipes, tips and more inspiration at the Maille website.
Look for these new Caramelised Onion Cornichons new to Canadian grocery stores now!
So back to this dish. Yes, this may be one of those dishes where you may need to suspend any conventional flavour notions and just fast forward to the point where you will be licking this sauce off the plate :) This is a memorable sauce – a beautiful marriage of the unique acidity and flavour of the Caramelised Onion Cornichons, Maille’s lovely A L’Ancienne Whole Grain Mustard, the distinctively French flavour of fresh tarragon and finally, a bit of a nod to Fall, with a touch of apple cider. All this deliciousness, and it’s ready in less than 45 minutes! Win. Win.
If you’re wondering about sides, I think this sauce pairs perfectly with oven-roasted potatoes and maybe some green beans or asparagus.
Get the Recipe: Cornichon, Tarragon & Mustard Chicken
- 6 chicken thighs, bone-in/skin-on
- Oil, for browning
- 1/3 cup shallots, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup cornichons
- 2 Tbsp wholegrain mustard
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1/2 cup apple cider, (could substitute apple juice)
- 2 Tbsp fresh tarragon, (or 2 tsp. dried tarragon)
- 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream, 35%
- 1 tsp cornstarch, (increase to 2 tsp. if using a lighter cream)
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 375 F.
- Heat oil in a skillet on the stove-top over medium-high heat. Pat chicken dry, then season with salt and pepper. Add chicken to hot pan, skin side down and cook until the skin is quite golden, about 5-8 minutes. Flip chicken over and cook the other side for another 3-4 minutes. Remove chicken to a baking sheet and place in the preheated 375 oven for 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, prepare the sauce: Remove all but just a tiny bit of the oil from the skillet used to cook the chicken. Place skillet over medium heat on the stove-top. Add the shallots and saute for about 2 minutes, or until lightly browned. Add the chopped cornichons, mustard, chicken broth, apple cider and tarragon. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat slightly and simmer about 3 minutes. Turn heat off under sauce until chicken is almost done.
- When chicken is almost done in the oven, turn the heat back on to medium under the sauce. Bring sauce to a simmer. Mix heavy cream with cornstarch until smooth. Add cream mixture to sauce. Stir to combine well. Add chicken from oven. Simmer until sauce is reduced and thickened, about 10 minutes. Taste. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Hi! I’m Jennifer, a home cook schooled by trial and error and almost 40 years of getting dinner on the table! I love to share my favourite recipes, both old and new, together with lots of tips and tricks to hopefully help make your home cooking enjoyable, stress free, rewarding and of course, delicious!
My husband won’t touch dark meat chicken so I used quickly sauteed boneless chicken breast. This recipe was absolutely wonderful with my newly sprouted French tarragon–miss it like crazy during the winter, but it shoots right back up in the spring as long as it gets a small but steady supply of water during the winter. I’ve used a mustard and white wine sauce with chicken and pork for years, but this version with tarragon and cornichons is better. Like another poster, I used a bit of Calvados to intensify the apple flavor, and a dab more chicken broth to get the amount of liquid right. I think that if fresh tarragon is not in the picture, it might be delicious with a little fresh rosemary, but since that has a very strong flavor, maybe 1 tsp chopped rosemary leaves would be plenty. I’ll save that thought for next winter since the tarragon is so perfect. I don’t think the cornichons could be substituted–they add a wonderful briny taste that cuts through the richness of the sauce and a little crunchy surprise. Thank you so much for a terrific recipe.
So glad you enjoyed it, Janet :) Thanks so much!
Fantabulous meal!! We ate it outside in view of the full moon and city lights–sublime, Jennifer, thank you! (had to order cornichons on line; worth doing)
Sound like perfection, Jackie :) So glad you enjoyed it and I think you’ll find the cornichons are a great addition to other dishes, as well!
This is a really lovely Chicken Dinner. We had it for dinner last night and although I had to substitute some of the ingredients I still ended up with the right flavour. Didn’t have Caramelized Onion Cornichons but did have them separately – so they went in. No Apple Cider but did have some Calvados – in that went. Even with those changes it was a lovely dinner. Thankyou for the recipe.
So glad you enjoyed it and I best is was lovely with the Calvados!
Wow, Jennifer, what a great idea to add these delicious cornichons to chicken! I am imagining the flavours and I can’t wait to try it! Beautiful. Sharing :)
Thanks so much, Robyn :)
This looks absolutely mouthwatering, what a fabulous meal for fall!
Haha! I didn’t even NOTICE the pickles in the first photo! I totally had to scroll back up and do a triple take! ;) I am actually kinda obsessed with pickles… think, like a pregnant woman, minus the pregnancy kind of obsessed… so I am all sorts of giddy over this chicken!! I bet the pickles taste amazing with the mustard and tarragon! I NEED this dish in my life! Cheers, friend!
P.S. I had no clue cornichons helped chronic stress, low moods or anxiety disorders… hmm doesn’t explain why I am always stressed and I eat TONS of pickles. Maybe I’m eating the wrong kinds?? ;)
Thanks Cheyanne and I think you will love this one then. The cornichons are such a lovely taste profile. You might want to try eating these ;)
Oh my … this is brilliant! I will be making this and maybe even for a family Sunday dinner! We love mustard and everybody loves anything pickled so I have to find the Caramelized Onion Cornichons. I can always use a mood lifter anyway so eat more pickles! I am amazed … this is so creative and absolutely beautiful.
Thanks Tricia and I think you will love this. The flavours are just so wonderful together :)
This chicken dish sounds absolutely delicious Jennifer! I need to get some of those cornichons! I hope I can find them here. The mixture of the cider, mustard, tarragon and cream sounds wonderful.
Thanks so much, Mary Ann and I hope you can find them as well, although I think any Maille cornichon would be lovely in this dish. And yes, the combination of flavours was just beautiful :)