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May 30, 2007 12:40 PM

tarragon tips?

I’m in Armenia right now, where the produce is incredible, and I bought about a kilo of tarragon for 30 cents (no choice but to buy in vast quantities...) It's flavorful, potent stuff.

So, besides omlettes, what tarragon preparations (preferably which use lots) do you recommend?

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  1. Well, tarragon is a rather strong (to me) herb, so I would see it easily becoming too much in a dish. I suggest various forms of preserving it. Dry it, make vinegar and perhaps flavor an oil with it. Oh yes, an tarragon mayo is very nice to have in the summer and I have seen tarragon mustards.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Quine

      Have you ever tried fresh tarragon? I too find the dried stuff overpowering (a little pinch is plenty in an omelet), but was quite surprised to find the fresh leaves much milder, with an almost anise-like flavor.

      1. re: BobB

        Ah Yup. I always chose fresh or dried. But still a kilo is a huge amount of any herb.

    2. Tarragon pairs beautifully with chicken. Chicken Cordon Bleu, Chicken breasts in a creamy tarragon sauce....
      Make Tarragon vinegar. In fact you should preserve it in white wine vinegar
      Grilled lamb with mustard tarragon marinade
      It also pairs well with shellfish and salmon
      It's excellent in sauces from bernaise to tartar
      Put some in your scrambled eggs
      Pair with fines herbs, not strong aromatics like rosemary, sage and thyme

      3 Replies
      1. re: monavano

        yup, chicken with a tarragon cream sauce would be among my favorites, a classic.

        i like mussels with white wine & tarragon as well, & can't go wrong with any egg/tarragon preparation. tarragon vinegar is a great tip to use the herb up!

        1. re: soupkitten

          Me too, me too...chicken is great with's a really easy and delicious recipe from epicurious which also uses fresh plum tomatoes which you will probably have access to since you said the produce is amazing, Chicken Louisa:

        2. re: monavano

          I love tarragon in a simple chicken salad. It's also surprising nice with shrimp - I do a marinade and then grill/broil them.

        3. The recipe linked below, from Gourmet Magazine, for "Poached Salmon with Tarragon Sauce and Fingerling Potatoes," is excellent. The tarragon sauce is to die for, and works equally well with fish, potatoes, and chicken.

          If you have Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking, her recipe for Chicken with Tarragon is really delicious as well.

          1. Tarragon is also great with pork. I like to take pork chops, brown them in butter, remove and add to the pan orange juice, lemon juice, honey, tarragon, and maybe a little more butter depending on how much fat the chops released (all amounts according to taste). Once the sauce thickens a little, put the chops back in to finish cooking to your desired doneness. Serve with buttered noodles or mashed/roasted potatoes and roasted green beans. Easy and delicious.

            2 Replies
            1. re: mojoeater

              Took the words right out of my mouth Mojo!

              Also tarragon is great with sauted shrooms with a touch of goat cheese on really good bread.

              1. re: starlady

                mmmm I want to make that right now! fantastic idea. I like to add a touch of cream and I usually add thyme when I do mushrooms this way but I will definitely check it out next time I buy tarragon!*

            2. You could infuse oil--Thomas Keller's technique in TFL cookbook works well. I think it will last refridgerated for a month. Truth is, a little goes a long way, so I kilo is quite a bit to work with. Bearnaise sauce is good on fish, chicken, and, while I typically don't adulter steak, it complements steak really well.