Chicken forestière is a classic French dish my version features breast cooked over a mushroom ragout finished with brandy, cream & tarragon.
Cooking this delicious dish is really simple, it’s just browning some chicken, sauteeing some mushrooms and garlic and then chucking it all in the oven, before finishing with cream.
Chicken Breast with Tarragon, Cream and Mushroom Sauce
French food is often associated with complex fancy “cordon bleu” style dishes. Whilst the French excel at that sort of thing, they also rock hardcore comfort food too!
This chicken forestière is the latest in my archive of wonderous French-inspired dishes.
Featuring a succulent and perfectly cooked chicken breast cooked with earthy mushrooms and tarragon in a silky cream sauce this is a stonkingly good munch.
It is a recipe that is easy enough to be an “everyday” meal. But it is also special enough to get dressed up for a fancy dinner party.
Throw some greens on the side and off you go on a trip to France in your mind even if you can’t be there in body!
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I use chicken legs?
Yes, they taste great in this recipe, but they will need to be cooked for a little longer. Depending on size they will need to stay in the oven for 25-35 minutes.
Can I use a different type of dried mushroom?
Yes, traditionally a forestiere sauce would have used morel mushrooms, they are expensive and need soaking longer than porcini mushrooms.
I use dried porcini mushrooms because I think they give the best balance between cost and flavour, you can choose where to draw that line.
Can I use different types of fresh mushrooms?
Yes, use whatever looks good, and this will vary depending on where you shop!
Do I have to use alcohol in the sauce?
No, not at all but it does add an additional level of flavour to the recipe.
I would add a splash of acidity with something like red wine vinegar or sherry vinegar if I were to omit the brandy.
Do I have to use a meat thermometer?
No, but it really does help identify when your meat is perfectly cooked. As a cook I am really not a gadget “freak” but my quick-read meat thermometer is one that I would hate to be without!
I like to keep the sides for my chicken forestière recipe really simple. Here it is pictured served with some charred baby leeks.
I begin by searing them in a bit of butter, pouring in some stock, adding a lid, and then letting them cook on low for 10 minutes or so. You will get perfectly tender leeks that match well with this chicken in mushroom sauce recipe.
Potatoes make a nice side, and pomme Parisienne is often seen served with this dish.
I only mention brands of equipment if I think that they make a material difference to a recipe. But if you have any questions feel free to ask them in the comments section below the recipe.
- 28cm or 11″ skillet or frying pan with a lid.
- Kitchen tongs, stirring and serving spoons.
- Chopping board.
- Kitchen knife.
- Small mixing bowl.
- Kettle for boiling water to soak the mushrooms.
- Weighing scales and or measuring jug, cups and spoons.
- Quick read meat thermometer, this is optional but I recommend using one.
Chicken and mushrooms in a mushroom, tarragon and cream sauce or forestière style is a wonderful easy recipe inspired by classic French ideas that tastes divine!
- 2 (250-275g Each) Large Skin On Chicken Breasts
- 10g (¼-⅓ Cup) Dried Porcini Mushrooms
- 75ml (⅓ Cup) Boiling Water
- 150g (1½-2 Cups) Chestnut Mushrooms
- 150g (1½-2 Cups) Oyster Mushrooms
- 35g (1 Medium) Banana Shallot
- 4 Garlic Cloves
- 50ml (3 Tbsp) Brandy
- 125ml (½ Cup) Chicken Stock
- ½ Tsp Salt
- 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 35g (2 Tbsp) Butter
- 75ml (⅓ Cup) Double Cream
- 20g (¼-⅓ Cup) Fresh Tarragon
- Pour the boiling water over the dried mushrooms and set them aside to steep whilst you prepare the remaining ingredients.
- Clean and trim the chestnut mushrooms and then cut them into 5-6mm (¼") slices.
- Clean and tear the oyster mushrooms into strips about 1cm (½") thick.
- Cut the shallot in half, peel it and then dice it as finely as you can.
- Peel the garlic cloves and chop them as finely as you can.
- Heat a 28cm or 11" oven-proof frying pan or skillet (with a lid) over a medium-high heat and when it is hot add the olive oil and butter.
- Season the chicken with the salt then place it skin side down in the oil and butter mix and fry until nicely golden (which will take 3-4 minutes) then flip and cook for 2-3 minutes on the other side, then remove.
- Remove the dried mushrooms from the liquid (do not throw away the liquid) and roughly chop them.
- Add the shallots to the pan and cook for 1-2 minutes or until they begin to go golden.
- Add the garlic to the pan and cook for 30 seconds.
- Throw in the chestnut and oyster mushrooms, then cook for 4-5 minutes keeping the mushrooms moving all of the time.
- Pour in the brandy and cook for 1-2 minutes stirring all of the time.
- Add the chopped dried mushrooms and pour in the chicken stock and the steeping juices from the dried mushrooms and give everything a stir. Have a taste now and add a little more salt if required.
- Place the seared chicken breasts on top of the mushroom mix, add a lid and then transfer to an oven and cook at 180°C or 350°F for 15-18 minutes or until the chicken has reached an internal temperature of 68°C or 155°F. Then remove from the oven set aside the chicken and cover with foil to rest.
- Whilst the chicken is cooking strip the tarragon leaves from the stems and roughly chop them.
- Return the pan to a high heat, and reduce the liquid by a third, then pour in the cream and add the tarragon, stir to incorporate and cook for 5 minutes stirring regularly.
- Check that the chicken has reached an internal temperature of 73°C or 165°F before carving.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 1007Total Fat: 58gSaturated Fat: 25gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 28gCholesterol: 315mgSodium: 1087mgCarbohydrates: 18gFiber: 4gSugar: 8gProtein: 90g
Calorific details are provided by a third-party application and are to be used as indicative figures only.