Do you not like tarragon?

I don't use it that often but as I have it growing I decided to look for a recipe to use it. It surprised me to see so many people either not personally liking it or knowing other people who didn't like it which made me feel unsure about offering a tarragon dish to dinner guests. Maybe some cooks add too much of it. Anyway, I ended up making a simple Chicken breasts in dijon mustard, tarragon and cream sauce. although I cut back on both the dijon and the tarragon because I wasn't sure I would like so much of either in the sauce and I'm glad I did. A dessertspoon of dijon and a teaspoon of tarragon really is enough. So easy and so delicious.

Chef_paora-tm, Mar 14, 6:57 pm

One of the few things I haven't really warmed to either. Whenever I have had it when eating out, I haven't enjoyed the sauce at all.

Chef_socram, Mar 14, 7:02 pm

I agree.
Nigella, Nigel et al, all said tarragon was the herb to use with chicken,but I dislike it and feel the same way about fennel, and five spice for that matter. I do like pastis,ouzo and aniseed, and other similar strong tastes.
Maybe it's just the alcoholic version that appeals.

Chef_eastie3, Mar 14, 7:20 pm

I love tarragon and use it almost every day in the season. It's one of my favourite herbs.

If anyone would like some recipes that use it let me know.

Chef_davidt4, Mar 14, 7:49 pm

Russian Tarragon is the poor relation of the French Tarragon & I've never seen French Tarragon for sale, only the Russian one.
I do have some French Tarragon, only because I nicked if from a restaurant herb garden. I recognised it as the real 'McCoy' & got caught by the chef in the act of getting a rooted piece, (very embarrassing) but he was only too happy because he knew that I would value it & yes, I use it when a recipe states, but wouldn't bother with it's poor relative as a substitute.
Signed Ms thief. ;o)

Chef_samanya, Mar 14, 7:52 pm

We have French - from Kings Plant Barn.

Chef_paora-tm, Mar 14, 10:40 pm

Heck, why not. Please. Thank you. :)

Chef_paora-tm, Mar 14, 10:40 pm

Chicken, tomatoes, tarragon (Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall)

serves 6

1 large free range chicken, jointed
2 tab olive oil
125 ml white wine
juice of ½ lemon
500g tomatoes, halved or quartered
large bunch of tarragon, leaves only, coarsely chopped
salt and pepper

Heat oven to 190 C. Heat large frying pan. Season chicken, brown in olive oil, transfer to baking pan.

Deglaze frying pan with wine, add to pan with lemon juice and more seasoning. Cover and bake 30 min.

Add tomatoes, nestling them cut side up among the chicken pieces. Bake uncovered 20 - 30 min until chicken is tender and tomatoes soft and blistered.

Scatter most of the tarragon over, toss to mix, leave to stand a few minutes. Sprinkle remaining tarragon over to serve.

Parsley works well instead of tarragon - three times the quantity.

Chef_davidt4, Mar 15, 9:46 am

Roasted Mushrooms with Tarragon & Crème Fraîche

serves 4

12 large flat mushrooms

80 ml olive oil
2 tab lemon juice
4 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tab parsley, finely chopped
60 ml crème fraîche
2 tsp lemon juice
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 tsp tarragon, chopped

Heat oven to 200C.

In large roasting tin combine oil, lemon juice and garlic. Add mushrooms and turn to coat well. Season to taste and arrange in a single layer, Roast 30 min, turning occasionally.

Combine crème fraiche, lemon juice, garlic and tarragon.

Serve mushrooms hot in a flat dish with cooking juices spooned over, parsley and crème fraiche drizzled over just before serving.

Chef_davidt4, Mar 15, 9:46 am

Gosh, I have never seen it for sale down here & I looked for a long time before I 'acquired' mine. I have a feeling the it has to be propagated by root division as it doesn't grow too well from seed . not 100% sure though.

Chef_samanya, Mar 15, 11:48 am

Yes, French tarragon does not set seed and is propagated by root division only.

Chef_davidt4, Mar 15, 11:51 am

Perfect, thank you. Easy preparation and not too many ingredients suits me. Cheers.

Chef_paora-tm, Mar 15, 11:56 am

I dislike all the aniseed flavoured herbs.
And garlic.

Chef_lythande1, Mar 15, 4:20 pm

I have used and eaten almost all herbs but never tried tarragon. Used it a few months ago - it was so vile, I wouldn't touch it again with a barge pole !

Chef_gearbox1, Mar 15, 4:55 pm

Ahhhhh, but do you? I have been growing Tarragon for decades and many people think they have French when they actually have Russian. It is a Russian herb so it all gets very confusing lol this is an interesting article:

Chef_awoftam, Mar 15, 8:38 pm

Tarragon is good in vinegars stir into cream sauce and serve with chicken.

Chef_fifie, Mar 15, 9:47 pm

I just have to take King's word for that - they do label it as French Tarragon. How do you tell the difference?

Chef_paora-tm, Mar 16, 11:48 am

Russian tarragon is a bigger, more vigorous plant and has no particular flavour - it tastes like any green weed. French tarragon is a more delicate plant and has a strong aniseed taste and scent.

Chef_davidt4, Mar 16, 12:19 pm

I always sprinkle a small amount of tarragon into a mushroom based dish, or when cooking fish. The trick I think, is not to overdo it. It certainly does enhance these two flavours though.

Chef_strebor1, Mar 16, 2:02 pm

My business sells french tarragon. We stock most bunnings in the north island Under the herb Herbert brand. We only do french tarragon and is always done by cuttings

Chef_luvmykicks, Mar 16, 2:58 pm

Until I saw the debate in here and looked at pictures of Russian tarragon, I'd never heard of it. I have never, ever seen Russian Tarragon being sold as 'French Tarragon' in Auckland. In fact, I've only seen tarragon on sale once in my life so I snapped it up. My own plant is definitely French but it was only labelled 'tarragon' when I bought it. The vendor obviously either hadn't heard of Russian tarragon or he is more ethical than plant sellers south of Auckland.

Chef_buzzy110, Mar 16, 4:53 pm

I like it, but find that it tastes a bit tobacco-y if there's too much in a dish.

Chef_drommy, Mar 16, 5:29 pm

I have a little Tarragon plant growing happily in a pot. Last night I made a super fast dinner; sautéed onions, red peppers, zucchini in a pan with a little salt, then shredded some leftover poached chicken, added some crème fraiche, garnished with a tablespoon of tarragon and served it on some mung bean fettucine- it all took about 8 or 9 minutes and tasted delicious!

Chef_mazzy1, Mar 16, 5:35 pm

I don't think anyone said that retailers were selling the inferior Russian Tarragon as French Tarragon.
The point is. many people wanting to add to their herb garden, might not know that Russian is not what recipes require & are disappointed in the flavour if they use the Russian type.
I'd be wary of buying any plant labelled just 'Tarragon' thinking it was the real French variety. One has to be experienced in the use to recognise the genuine thing.
How did you ascertain that you did buy the genuine French herb?

Chef_samanya, Mar 16, 5:36 pm

You are so right. The Russian leaves are darker green, bigger, courser etc & the plant is way more robust, in my experience

Chef_samanya, Mar 16, 5:38 pm


Chef_awoftam, Mar 16, 7:36 pm

That's great . I've seen the Herbert brand.
Do you supply Mega10 in the SI?
It would be good if Bunnings in the SI would stock it.

Chef_samanya, Mar 17, 10:07 am

I'm 99.9% sure I have French. "Robust" & Vigorous" are definitely not words I would use to describe my plants and there certainly is good aniseed flavour in the leaves. Cheers

Chef_paora-tm, Mar 17, 2:31 pm

Oh fgs. So now you are the self-proclaimed expert with experience to correctly identify a plant for me. I am quite capable of doing that for myself with no experience at all. Distinguishing between French, Russian and Mexican tarragon is not rocket science.

Chef_buzzy110, Mar 17, 4:27 pm

Yep. Same here. I also was able to use photographs. How clever is that?

Chef_buzzy110, Mar 17, 4:29 pm

Settle petal.
You are reading far more into my post than was actually there!

Chef_samanya, Mar 17, 5:02 pm

Very clever indeed . you get the taste & flavour well that way.

Chef_samanya, Mar 17, 5:03 pm

I have a Cuisine magazine from years ago that has a page "What to do with tarragon" & I've been making a salsa verde with tarragon in it, serving with chicken breast that I slice down the middle & put a sprig of tarragon in, for years. One of my fav chicken dishes. I really should check out some more recipes to use the herb in though. It grows well in my garden in Auckland.

Chef_morrello1, Mar 28, 2:56 pm

It's really not that hard to tell the difference by sight, and if in doubt a quick rub of a leaf soon makes it clear.

Chef_flancrest, Mar 28, 3:40 pm

Well that is stupid. The taste and flavour come from the actual plant. Surely even and 'expert' can work that out.

Chef_buzzy110, Mar 28, 4:07 pm

What's with the 'expert' stuff.
It's rather infantile.
Do I call you that when you regularly expound your knowledge about your particular interests?
We all have subjects that we may know a little more than others, but only certain types would proclaim themselves to be an expert & I'm not one of them . OK?

Chef_samanya, Mar 29, 11:23 am

Yay ,just googled the photos of French Tarragon and it is identical to my plant.
I chop it up and add it to beef mince patties, always get heaps of compliments on how yummy mine are.
Must copy some of these recipes and try them.

Chef_mercury14, Nov 20, 10:42 pm

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