Tarragon is a beautiful, flavorful, and underused herb. Many people at market are surprised by the bright, strong anise flavor of tarragon. Sometimes that flavor profile scares people. What they don’t realize, is that once cooked the flavor mellows into something amazing.
That is one of the really cool traits of tarragon. It can be punch-you-in-the-face-black-licorice when fresh, but once cooked it takes on a sultry-have-another-martini-jazz-singer persona.
I really enjoy fresh tarragon to finish a salad or a more recent favorite on top of eggs Benedict. The recipe below is my ultimate roast chicken. Roast chicken does not get better than this. Trust me.
Tarragon & Garlic Roast Chicken
- 1 whole chicken
- 1/2 stick softened butter
- 12 sprigs fresh thyme
- 9 sprigs fresh tarragon
- 1/2 lemon
- 2 large heads garlic, cloves separated (but not peeled)
- 1 cup large Nicoise or Kalamata olives
- 1/2 tsp Kosher salt, divided
- Fresh ground black pepper
- Olive oil
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
- Place softened butter in a small bowl with 1/4 tsp Kosher salt, a couple turns of fresh ground pepper, leaves from 6 sprigs thyme, and leaves from 3 sprigs tarragon. Stir together.
- Loosen chicken skin from the breast and spread the herb butter all over under the skin.
- Place 1/2 lemon, 3 sprigs each thyme and tarragon, and 4-6 cloves garlic inside chicken cavity. Tie legs together with cooking twine.
- Place chicken in a small roasting pan. Add remaining herbs, garlic, and olives. Drizzle with olive oil, probably 2 tablespoons. Sprinkle with 1/4 tsp Kosher salt, a couple turns of fresh ground pepper.
- Roast, uncovered, for 1 1/2 hours. Serve with roasted olives and roasted garlic cloves. Spoon pan juices over chicken. Serve with toasted slices of B&G Produce rustic bread to soak up the pan juices and also to spread with roasted garlic cloves!