Scallops with Tarragon Cream Sauce

Scallops with Tarragon Cream Sauce

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A tarragon infused cream sauce is one of my favourites.  It’s so good on chicken and plump, juicy scallops.  Scallops with Tarragon Cream Sauce makes a wonderful appetizer, first course or even an entrée served over mashed potatoes.   As with most seafood, the scallops cook in minutes for a quick dish that’s simple to prepare but looks and tastes much more elaborate.  Your guests will be impressed.

Seared scallops in a stainless steel pan resting on a metal trivet in preparation for Scallops with Tarragon Cream Sauce

The key to this dish is to make sure the scallops get a good sear. The sear not only adds depth of flavour but helps to seal in the juices from the scallops. This is achieved by making sure the scallops are dry by patting with a paper towel and also by using a hot pan with hot oil. The other very important thing is not to overcook the scallops.  Overcooked scallops are tough and rubbery and it takes no time at all to go from perfectly cooked to overdone.  So have all your ingredients and equipment ready before you start and be focused on the dish while cooking to ensure they are not only seared properly but cooked for only a couple of minutes per side.  In other words, there’s no room for a bathroom break once those scallops hit the pan.

But don’t be put off by a smidge of fussiness, this dish is very simple and uses the basic technique of deglazing the pan after removing the scallops, adding heavy cream and tarragon and reducing to create a gloriously silky sauce that will have you wanting to lick your plate.  Enjoy!

Scallops with Tarragon Cream Sauce arranged on a metal platter that sits on a table napkin.

Scallops with Tarragon Cream Sauce arranged on a metal platter that sits on a table napkin.
Scallops with Tarragon Cream Sauce
Print Recipe
    Servings Prep Time
    4 appetizers 15 minutes
    Cook Time
    13-15 minutes
    Servings Prep Time
    4 appetizers 15 minutes
    Cook Time
    13-15 minutes
    Scallops with Tarragon Cream Sauce arranged on a metal platter that sits on a table napkin.
    Scallops with Tarragon Cream Sauce
    Print Recipe
      Servings Prep Time
      4 appetizers 15 minutes
      Cook Time
      13-15 minutes
      Servings Prep Time
      4 appetizers 15 minutes
      Cook Time
      13-15 minutes
      Ingredients
      Servings: appetizers
      Instructions
      1. Pat scallops dry on both sides with a paper towel.
      2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot add scallops and cook for approximately 2 minutes per side depending on size. Flip scallops and cook for an additional 2 minutes.
      3. Remove scallops to a plate and cover with foil.
      4. Over medium-high heat add wine to the pan and whisk to pick up any caramelized bits in the pan. Allow wine to reduce for 2-3 minutes.
      5. Whisk in heavy cream and tarragon and continue to reduce for about 5 minutes until sauce is reduced by half and has thickened. Remove from heat and stir in salt and pepper.
      6. Arrange scallops on a platter or serving dishes and drizzle each with a tablespoon of sauce. Serve immediately.
      Recipe Notes

      -makes about 3/4 cup of sauce.

      -you can use stainless steel, cast iron or non-stick skillets.  The key to a good sear is having the pan and oil hot and not overcrowding the scallops.

      -also delicious served as a main course over mashed potatoes.

      -makes 4 appetizer servings or 3 main-course servings.

      -using fresh tarragon is a must for this recipe.

       

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      Tarragon Chicken Salad

      Tarragon Chicken Salad

      Tarragon Chicken Salad is piled high and topped with lettuce on a golden bun. The bun sits on a stack of plates garnished with cucumber slices.

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      Here’s to having plenty of summer days that are too hot to want to cook.  Tarragon Chicken Salad is perfect for just such days.  No need to cook when tender chicken pairs up with mustard and creamy mayo for a wonderful salad that’s amazing on a crusty roll, croissant, lettuce wrap or cracker.

       

      Cooked diced chicken rests on a wooden cutting board and is surrounded by dried tarragon and whole grain mustard in preparation for Tarragon Chicken Salad.

      Start with cooked chicken, preferably leftovers or even a pre-cooked roaster chicken for convenience.  While I’m all for making as much homemade as possible, it’s hard to deny the lure of a plump, juicy roast chicken that’s ready when you need it.  Whatever chicken you use, chop it chunky and avoid over mixing it after adding the other ingredients. Overmixing tends to break down the fibres of the chicken a little too much for my liking, so be gentle.

      Along with the crisp chopped celery, I also like to add a few of the celery leaves for a bit of freshness.  I have left out adding any onions to this chicken salad, however, thinly sliced scallions would be a nice additional touch if desired.

       

      Ingredients for Tarragon Chicken Salad are measured into a glass bowl and ready to be stirred. A basket of buns sits in the background.

      The tarragon is a wonderful flavour to go with chicken and mustard. You’ll find that the longer it sits in the salad the stronger the flavour will be.  It does take a little time for it to meld with everything.  By all means use fresh tarragon if you can, using about 3 times the amount of the dry, so in this case, I’d use a tablespoon of fresh.  The fresh won’t require the same amount of melding time, simply mix and enjoy!!

       

       

      Tarragon Chicken Salad is piled high and topped with lettuce on a golden bun. The bun sits on a stack of plates garnished with cucumber slices.
      Tarragon Chicken Salad
      Print Recipe
        Servings Prep Time
        2 1/3 cups 15-20 minutes
        Passive Time
        15 -120 minutes
        Servings Prep Time
        2 1/3 cups 15-20 minutes
        Passive Time
        15 -120 minutes
        Tarragon Chicken Salad is piled high and topped with lettuce on a golden bun. The bun sits on a stack of plates garnished with cucumber slices.
        Tarragon Chicken Salad
        Print Recipe
          Servings Prep Time
          2 1/3 cups 15-20 minutes
          Passive Time
          15 -120 minutes
          Servings Prep Time
          2 1/3 cups 15-20 minutes
          Passive Time
          15 -120 minutes
          Ingredients
          Servings: cups
          Instructions
          1. Add all ingredients to a medium size bowl starting with 1/3 cup of mayonnaise. Stir gently until combined adjusting creaminess with additional mayonnaise and seasoning to taste with salt and pepper.
          2. Cover and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes and up to several hours to allow flavours to meld.
          Recipe Notes

          -The tarragon flavour will become more pronounced the longer the chicken salad sits.

          -A precooked roaster chicken that has been chilled works wonderfully.

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          Affiliate Disclosure

          I may receive compensation for purchases made through this site, at no cost to the purchaser. Compelled to Cook is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com
          Tarragon Chicken Cutlets

          Tarragon Chicken Cutlets

          So let’s talk chicken, chicken breasts to be exact. Unless they’re bone in, skin on, it’s hard not to overcook them. Everyone’s been there if they’re honest with themselves. Myself included, more than I care to admit. This is why I am a huge fan of making chicken breasts into cutlets. Because by splitting them and pounding thin, a tender cutlet is formed that takes mere minutes to cook, leaving little chance of them turning into sawdust. Tarragon Chicken Cutlets are a fantastic use of such cutlets with a tangy buttery tarragon sauce that just happens to be splendid with mashed potatoes.

          Naturally not all chicken dishes can be made using cutlets, but when given the opportunity, it’s the path I will take. Not only because because they’re tender but because they cook quickly, making them great for busy weeknights. Additionally, they can be paired with almost anything. For example, marsala sauce, piccata, creamy mushroom and the list goes on. Tarragon Chicken Cutlets are a classic pairing of tarragon and chicken, adding a splash of Dijon and butter makes for a simple yet drool worthy sauce. So versatile and delicious!

          Recipe source for Tarragon Chicken Cutlets:  Compelled To Cook

          Tarragon Chicken Cutlets
          Print Recipe
            Servings Prep Time
            3-4 people 20 minutes
            Cook Time
            20 minutes
            Servings Prep Time
            3-4 people 20 minutes
            Cook Time
            20 minutes
            Tarragon Chicken Cutlets
            Print Recipe
              Servings Prep Time
              3-4 people 20 minutes
              Cook Time
              20 minutes
              Servings Prep Time
              3-4 people 20 minutes
              Cook Time
              20 minutes
              Ingredients
              Servings: people
              Instructions
              1. In a shallow bowl stir together flour, salt and pepper. Set aside. Cut off fillet from chicken breast if attached. Slice each chicken breast horizontally into two pieces. Cut each piece in half, giving 4 pieces of similar size per chicken breast, plus the fillet if included. Place each piece, including fillet between two pieces of parchment paper. Pound with a flat mallet until 1/4" thick.
              2. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Toss chicken pieces in flour and shake off excess. Fry half of the chicken pieces 2 minutes per side and remove to plate and keep warm. Repeat with remaining oil and chicken.
              3. Reduce heat to medium and add 1 tbsp of butter to the pan, add chopped shallot and sauté for 1 minute until softening but not browning. Add wine, stirring and scraping the pan to remove all the cooked bits. Stir in broth and reduce for 3-4 minutes until about 1/2. Whisk in mustard and remaining butter, small chunks at a time, allowing each to incorporate before adding more. Stir in lemon juice and tarragon. Season with salt and pepper. Add chicken cutlets back to pan and spoon with sauce. Serve immediately.