French tarragon chicken with crispy little potatoes and a citrus rocket salad

Roller coaster weather over the spring/summer of 2015/2016 proved a blessing for Hawkes Bay’s Sacred Hill winery which ultimately produced a soft-textured 2016 Reserve Chardonnay featuring citrus, and stonefuit flavours with an added touch of nuttiness and creamy complexities.

Perfect with seafood and poultry, Sacred Hill suggests pairing this elegant wine with French tarragon chicken. See recipe below:

French tarragon chicken with crispy little potatoes and a citrus rocket salad

Serves 4


4 chicken breasts, skinless
4 medium sized agria potatoes, peeled

For the French tarragon sauce:

2 tbsp butter
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 tsp dried tarragon
1 tbsp chopped fresh tarragon (if available or add a little more dried tarragon)
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/4 cup white wine
1 cup cream
Salt and pepper to taste

For the salad:

100g rocket
2 oranges
2 tbsp slivered almonds


Preheat the oven to 180∞C (fan bake).

To cook potatoes: Cut potatoes into 2cm cubes. Place in a pot and just cover with cold water. Add 1/2 tsp of salt and bring to the boil over a high heat. Once boiling reduce heat to medium and boil for 8 mins. Drain and allow to steam out for several mins. Spread the potatoes out on an oven tray lined with baking paper and drizzle over 1 tbsp of cooking oil and season with salt. Jiggle the tray to coat well. Cook in oven for 15-18 mins or until crisp.

To make the French tarragon sauce: Melt the butter in a small pot over a medium heat and once melted stir in the garlic and allow to cook for 30 secs. Then add the tarragon and white wine and reduce the white wine by 1/2 before stirring in the lemon juice and mustard. Lastly add the cream and bring up to a simmer. Simmer for 2-3 mins to thicken. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

To cook the chicken: Remove the chicken breast from its packaging and pat dry with a paper towel. Slice off the tenderloin which is the loose piece of meat on the underside of the breast. Then slice the breast in half lengthwise down the middle to create two strips.

Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a non-stick frying pan over a medium-high heat and once hot add the chicken pieces and cook for 3-4 mins on each side to colour and cook through. Reduce the heat to medium-low and pour over the French tarragon sauce. Allow to simmer for 1 minute to heat the sauce through.

To prepare the salad: Place almonds in a small pan over a low heat and gently toast them by jiggling the pan continuously to prevent burning. Place rocket in a bowl. Peel the orange and then cut into segments. Scrape any orange juice from board over the salad. Arrange in the bowl with the rocket. Drizzle with 2 tbsp of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle over toasted almonds.

To serve: Arrange potatoes on plates or in a side dish. Place chicken pieces in bowls and pour over French tarragon sauce. Serve rocket, orange and almond salad on the side or as a garnish on top of the chicken.

This dish has been perfectly matched to Sacred Hill’s 2016 Reserve Hawke’s Bay Chardonnay, a full-bodied wine with aromas of hazel and cashew nuts, lemon meringue and vanilla. Available from selected wine stores and supermarkets, RRP $24.99.