Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Chicken Cutlets with Tarragon Pan Sauce and Grilled Summer Squash

One day last week, I was coming in from the garden, and looked over at my herb beds. I saw my big tarragon bush, and though,

Why haven't I made anything with tarragon lately?"

I already knew how to make a pan sauce, and wanted to make it was something simple and easy. We were right in the middle of Vacation Bible School the week I made this, helping out in the kitchen (where else?), and making snacks. And let me tell ya...I was a little tired by the end of the week.

Tarragon has a wonderful, licorice-like flavor with a little bit of lemony tang...and is great with chicken. Dried tarragon works fine, and if you are close by, you are welcome to get some off my bush. As you can see, I have plenty to spare :-)

Chicken Cutlets with Tarragon Pan Sauce and Grilled Summer Squash

6 chicken breast cutlets (if you have regular chicken breasts, just pound them to 1/4 inch thickness)

Salt and black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup chicken broth
2/3 cup half and half
Juice and zest from 2 lemons
2 teaspoons chopped fresh tarragon (or 1 teaspoon dried)
1 teaspoon fresh chopped parsley (or 1 teaspoons dried)
2 small yellow squash, sliced 1/3 inch thick
1 teaspoon olive oil

In a large, nonstick skillet, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Heat your indoor grill pan or outdoor grill to "medium."

Tarragon has tall, sturdy stems, and we're only using the leaves. I just chop it up really small, like this:

Pat the chicken dry, and season both sides with salt and pepper. Season the yellow squash with some salt, pepper, and a little olive oil so it doesn't stick to the grates.

When the pan is ready, sear the chicken on both sides. It should take 4-5 minutes per side.

Remove the chicken to a plate, cover, and keep warm.

Maintain the heat on your pan.

Pour in the chicken broth and scrap all the browned bits from the bottom with a wooden spoon.

Once all the bits are incorporated, let the broth boil until reduced by half...about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, grill your yellow squash for 3-4 minutes per side. It won't take very long at all. You still want a little bite to it.

Back to our sauce. Turn the heat down to low. Very slowly whisk in the half and half. Add the tarragon, and bring the mixture back up to a gentle boil. (And you know what? I completely forgot to put the parsely in...just pretend I did, okay? Sorry about that :-). Let this cook for about 2 minutes until the sauce thickens slightly and the tarragon smell comes up and tickles your nose ;-).

Add salt and pepper to the pan sauce to taste. Slice the chicken on the diagonal. Spoon some of the tarragon pan sauce over, and serve immediately.

I made some brown rice on the side, and it was very good with some of the tarragon sauce over it, especially for my condiment-loving husband.

This was a great summer meal that didn't heat up the kitchen too much :-).

God bless your table tonight!


Alexis D. said...

Did I miss what you did with the parsley?

Kimberly said...

Yes...I did...forgot to put it in entirely! I'll edit that part...thanks for catching it Alexis!

David Reisinger said...

Botanical note--- Just in case a purist catches it...The tarragon pictured is actually Mexican Mint Marigold aka Texas Tarragon. It tastes the same as Tarragon, but grows in the heat of the South unlike traditional tarragon.

Kimberly said...

Thanks honey...I'm so glad you mentioned that! You're the best :-)

This is why I leave the gardening to my hubby...I just do the harvesting :-)