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What to do with a huge bunch of tarragon?

b
bex109 May 15, 2009 09:31 PM

I got a ton in my CSA box this week, and have no clue what to do with it. Last night I made a quick pasta with spinach, chicken-apple sausage and tarragon, and it was delicious, but I'm wondering what ideas you all have!

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  1. m
    mojoeater May 15, 2009 09:33 PM

    Pork with tarragon, orange and honey. Tarragon chicken salad. It's a beautiful herb and I'd freeze some for later!

    1. b
      baseballfan May 15, 2009 09:54 PM

      I would make a tarragon butter and freeze. If you soften the butter, add the tarragon and then roll into a log, you can freeze and cut off portions as needed. It is delicious on grilled seafood, pasta, baked potatoes etc.

      3 Replies
      1. re: baseballfan
        oakjoan May 15, 2009 11:24 PM

        I'd make Poulet au Vinaigre. Chicken with tarragon and white wine vinegar. Browned chicken parts with onions and garlic. Stewed in the vinegar, tarragon and some good stock. Fabulous with crusty bread and a big salad. I'm sure there are myriad recipes online.

        1. re: oakjoan
          v
          Val May 16, 2009 05:42 AM

          I like that compound butter idea of baseballfan's...and oakjoan suggests chicken which is great with tarragon. Epicurious has a lovely and easy dish called Chicken Louisa that includes tarragon, one of our favorites from that website.

        2. re: baseballfan
          k
          karykat May 22, 2009 11:09 PM

          I can say from experience that tarragon retains its vitality when folded into soft butter and frozen. We like to do that at the end of the season and then use it all winter.

        3. Fritter May 16, 2009 04:48 AM

          Infuse some vinegar with the tarragon. Just bring your vinegar up to temp, toss in the tarragon, cover the pot and pull it from the heat then allow it to steep until it is at room temperature. Strain the vinegar and your all set.

          1. j
            janniecooks May 16, 2009 06:15 AM

            Make tarragon roast chicken, or braised chicken with taragon:

            Tarragon Roast chicken
            Preheat oven to 425 degrees. To serve 8, use two chickens, about 4 pounds each. Put the chickens on a roasting rack, stuff the cavity of each chicken with 1/2 medium onion, cut in chunks, two quarters of a lemon, a a couple sprigs of fresh tarragon. Rub a tablespoon of butter all over the skin of the chickens and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 15 minutes, then lower the oven temp to 375 degrees and continue roasting until the juices run clear when pricked in the thickest part of the thigh, about one hour and 15 minutes longer. Let the chicken stand for at least 15 minutes, then carve and serve.

            Poulet a l'estragon:
            Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large skillet , add 2 chicken breast halves and two whole chicken legs, skin side down and season with salt and pepper. Cook over moderate heat until lightly browned, about 10 minutes, turn the chicken and pour off all but 2 tbsp of the fat. Add 1/2 cup of dry but fruity white wine, 1/2 cup chicken stock, 1 small onion, halved, and a bouquet garni made with 2 bay leaves, 2 thyme sprigs and 2 parsley sprigs tied in a bundle. Cover and simmer over low heat, turning a few times, until the breasts are barely done, about 20 minutes. Transfer the breasts to a plate, cover loosely with foil, and continue to simmer the legs, covered, about 10 minutes longer, until just cooked through. Transfer the legs to the plate and make the sauce: Discard the onion and bouquet garni and boil the cooking liquid until reduced to 3/4 cup. Meanwhile, blend a tablespoon of softened butter with a tablespoon of flour and whisk this paste into the reduced cooking liquid until smooth, and bring to a simmer. Add 1 cup heavy cream and simmer over low heat for 6 minutes, whisking from time to time. Stir in 1 tablespoon minced tarragon, return the chicken to the pan and turn to coat with the sauce. Cover and simmer until heated through, turning a few times, about 5 minutes. Season with S&P, transfer to a platter, pour the sauce over the chicken and serve at once.

            Finally, here's a link to Nigella Lawson's Tarragon Chicken, which uses 3/4 cup of tarragon and calls for marinating it overnight before roasting. Delicious!:

            http://events.nytimes.com/recipes/622...

            1. k
              Karen_Schaffer May 16, 2009 07:26 AM

              Add chopped tarragon to green salads -- a lovely effect. Great with eggs and fish too.

              It's hard to use up a LOT of tarragon, though. The vinegar infusion is about the best idea for using a bunch of it. I wonder how it would do stuffed inside the cavity of a roasted chicken?

              1. l
                LoN May 16, 2009 08:02 AM

                Pink grapefruit granita is an excellent way to use up some of your tarragon!! Delicious and easy.....can post or you can find with a search if you go back far enough....

                1. Channa May 16, 2009 10:02 AM

                  Green Goddess dressing. You can add a lot more tarragon than is normally called for, and it only gets better.

                  1. b
                    bex109 May 22, 2009 09:20 AM

                    Thanks everyone!! I ended up using some in salad, and some with chicken, and the rest went in compound butter. It was all fantastic!

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: bex109
                      j
                      jessicaharper May 22, 2009 12:01 PM

                      I have a great recipe for a soup, made with peas and leeks (it's very green), and tarragon,,,delicious...the recipe is here: http://thecrabbycook.com/?p=60.
                      Enjoy...

                    2. t
                      torty May 22, 2009 02:57 PM

                      Trader Joes used to sell a pasta salad with angel hair, dark meat chicken, chopped artichoke hearts and a ton of tarragon. The dressing was just slightly creamy. The combination was so fragrant and good. I just started growing tarragon and can't wait to try and recreate this. I have not tried in the past because there is never any at my farmers market, and the stuff in the grocery store always looks tired.

                      1. menuinprogress May 22, 2009 07:53 PM

                        Tarragon goes very well with salmon. We do a pan-fried salmon with tarragon mushroom cream sauce that is very nice. A lighter version without cream is still really good.

                        1. s
                          seagrace May 27, 2009 03:54 PM

                          Perhaps you could food process it with a small amount of olive oil (as in a pesto) and freeze it, then use it later in salad dressing?

                          1. s
                            spm May 27, 2009 06:04 PM

                            I'm for chicken stuffed with a bunch of tarragon plain and simple. A little salt, a little pepper,some olive oil. Bake at 350 degrees for an hour (3 pound bird). Elegant and so good.

                            1. Tom P May 27, 2009 06:38 PM

                              Here is a great Green Goddess recipe:

                              http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2008/08/essentials-green-goddess-dressing-recipe.html

                              And this calls for Marjoram, but it works beautifully with Tarragon as well (this is so easy and just terrific):

                              http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Tom P
                                z
                                zamorski May 30, 2009 07:17 PM

                                I love tarragon, too, though it is not the most versatile herb. I made the mistake one year of planting some (several plants--what was I thinking?). They grow...most vigorously...and they are not attractive plants (tend to get tall and spindly and fall over...). I kept hacking it back and struggled to think of things to do with it. I think 99% of it ended up in the compost heap.

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