Thomas Keller’s Tarragon Chicken and Creamy Potato Salad

This is one of those really fancy tasting meals where you take a bite and think to yourself “wow, did I really cook this at home?” Well guess what – you did. Tarragon seems to have that effect on me – every time I have it it makes me feel like I’m eating something really luxurious. Unfortunately I’ve only really ever had it on chicken – any other ideas of where I could be using it?

We served this delicious tarragon chicken with a side of creamy ranch green bean potato salad, which is  as easy to put together as reading the name of the salad! The two flavors actually went together quite well, with the coolness of the ranch in the salad mimicking the cool deep flavor of the tarragon chicken.

Give this one a try next time you need to impress!

Making the Dish

What You’ll Need
For the Chicken
2 chicken breasts, butterflied and pounded down to about 1/2 an inch thick
1/4 cup flour
4 tbsp canola oil
1 shallot, diced
2 tbsp fresh chopped tarragon
1/2 cup white wine

For the salad
4 – 5 red potatoes
1/2 lb green beans
2 cloves garlic
1 tbsp black peppercorns
2 bay leaves
4 tbsp chopped chives
1 cup ranch dressing
2 tsp ground pepper
1 shallot, diced

Start everything off by cooking up the potatoes. Bring a pot of water to a boil and add in the peppercorns, bay leaves, and garlic. Then add in the potatoes and cook until they are fork tender.

Remove the potatoes from the water and then blanch the green beans for about 3 – 4 minutes. Remove and then rinse in cool water. Quarter the potatoes when they are cool enough to handle. Cut the green beans into one inch pieces

Add the ranch dressing to a bowl and add in the ground pepper. For the ranch dressing, we made our own but it was a lot of work and ended up tasting just like it would have if we had used a good pre-made one, so we recommend doing that and just adding the pepper to give it a little kick.

Add the potatoes, green beans, chives, and diced shallot to the bowl with the ranch dressing. Stir everything together, and then place in the fridge to cool.

To make the chicken, once you’ve pounded the chicken flat, dredge each piece in flour so that it’s lightly coated, and pat off the excess. Heat up the canola oil in a large non-stick skillet until it is very hot. Then carefully place each piece of chicken in the pan, searing it on each side, about 2 – 3 minutes per side.

You may need to do this in batches so that you don’t crowd the pan.

Once you’ve seared the chicken on each side, remove it from the pan and let it rest on a paper towel. Remove all but 2 tbsp of the oil from the pan. Then return the pan to heat, with the remaining oil and the browned chicken bits, and add in the diced shallot and the diced tarragon.

Stir everything together and let the shallots soften and the flavor of the tarragon infuse. When the shallots have softened a bit, add in the wine and bring everything to a boil. Stir around and let it thicken slightly. When it has thickened slightly, return the chicken to the pan and cook for a minute or two longer on each side until the chicken has cooked through and absorbed the flavor.

When the chicken is done, place it on each plate and drizzle the pan sauce over it. Garnish with a sprig of tarragon, and serve the cooled salad on the side!