Buttery-Lemon Tarragon Chicken

Check out this awesome Buttery Lemon Tarragon Chicken from Melissa’s Southern Style Kitchen. Fresh Tarragon – grilled lemons – moist chicken – what’s not to love? The pan drippings are so flavorful. The lemons roasted in the pan add an incredible zest to the final pan drippings. Fresh Tarragon not only bring color, they also imparts a distinct flavor that is unmistakable.

I like to play around with recipes, make alterations and change things up to suit my family’s particular tastes. The only change I made from Melissa’s original recipe was to add a little white wine to the pan drippings – not much more than a splash or two. Just a weakness on my part – whenever possible, I add wine.

This dish is not only quick and easy, making it perfect for busy cooks on the go, it is elegant enough to serve up to company without making any apologies. It is sure to get rave reviews. Served with Asparagus and Tomato Salad, it becomes a complete meal. Just whip up the salad earlier in the day, let it chill and finish with the dressing just before serving.

When entertaining, use one of Uncle Ben’s Quick Rice flavors (Rice Pilaf or Butter Garlic are excellent choices) for your bed of rice. Make the salad ahead of time. The chicken and sauce all cook up in a single pan. Your finished dish, covered with foil  will hold well in a warm oven. That just leaves one pan to wash, so clean up is a snap. Greet your guests, sit back and enjoy the rest of your evening. No company? That’s okay, too. Conversation with family around the dinner table is always a joy.

Buttery-Lemon Tarragon Chicken
3 (6 oz) chicken breasts, split
½ cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons lemon pepper
1 teaspoon garlic salt
½ teaspoon onion powder
1 large lemon, sliced
4 tablespoons butter, divided
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
⅓ cup chicken stock
1 tablespoon (or so) white wine
2 Tablespoon fresh tarragon, divided

Place 1 boneless chicken breast on a cutting board and split lengthwise to create 2 thin breasts. Repeat with remaining breasts. (Think butterfly, only cut all the way through to create 2 thin breasts. If you don’t have a good, sharp knife, place 1 breast between two sheets of plastic wrap and pound thin – in which case you will need 6 breasts. Another alternative would be to buy thin cut, which ever works best for you).

On a sheet of waxed paper, mix together the all-purpose flour, lemon pepper, garlic salt and onion powder. Dredge the chicken pieces one at a time in the seasoned flour, shaking off any excess. Set breasts aside.

Heat 1 tablespoon of butter and a couple of drizzles of olive oil in a large skillet. Fry the chicken in batches (3 at a time to avoid overcrowding the pan) for 2-3 minutes per side until golden. Remove to a platter and hold in a warm oven. Repeat with 1 tablespoon butter and a couple of drizzles of olive oil for the second batch. Transfer breasts to the platter. Tent loosely with foil to prevent chicken from drying out.

Place the lemon slices in the pan and brown on both sides. Remove from the pan and place with the breasts.

Add the remaining 2 tablespoons butter, chicken stock, lemon juice, wine and 1 tablespoon chopped tarragon to the pan to deglaze. Scrap any brown bits off the bottom of the pan. Allow everything to simmer and reduce slightly.

Remove platter from oven, return chicken to the pan along with any juices that may have gathered in the platter. Stir to blend. Place lemons on top of chicken, one slice per breast. Tilt pan and spoon the pan sauce over top of chicken.

To the now empty platter, spread a fluffy bed of rice pilaf or butter-garlic rice (your favorite recipe or from a box – Uncle Ben’s Quick Rice Pilaf makes a great bed because it cooks up in 90 seconds per pouch – a double batch is more than enough). Arrange chicken over bed of rice, garnish with lemon slices. Sprinkle the remaining tablespoon of fresh tarragon over chicken and rice. Serve immediately.

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The mark of a successful dinner – nothing left!

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When entertaining, a great way to end the evening would be with a rich dessert such as Mousse au Chocolat Nori or a selection of fine pastries from a good French Bakery.

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