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Tarragon Chicken with Prunes Recipe

Updated on December 7, 2012
My French husband's family tarragon chicken with prunes, served here on his great grandmother's handpainted China
My French husband's family tarragon chicken with prunes, served here on his great grandmother's handpainted China | Source

At the turn of the 16th century, King Henry IV was one of the most popular kings France had ever known and he loved his subjects in return. Once he swore "If God keeps me, I will make sure that there is no working man in my kingdom who does not have the means to have a chicken in the pot every Sunday!"

Unfortunately, God didn't keep him. He was assasinated for his tolerant religious views by a fanatical Catholic. Yet his wish for his people largely came true. When my husband was growing up in Paris, there was always a chicken on the table after mass on Sunday. Usually the chicken was roasted whole and his father made French fries. But sometimes his mother got involved and made chicken with prunes. Poulet aux pruneaux was the first dish he ever made me, and we've carried on the tradition ever since.

Try it and rate it!

5 stars from 4 ratings of Tarragon Chicken with Prune

Cook Time

Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 1 hour
Ready in: 1 hour 15 min
Yields: Serves 6


  • 1 whole chicken, cut up
  • 1 cup (250 g.) whole plump prunes
  • 2 red onions
  • 1 tablespoon tarragon
  • 1 large garlic clove (optional)
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Rub the salt, pepper and dried tarragon onto the chicken. Fry the chicken to brown.
  2. While the chicken is browning on one side, chop red onions and sauté separately in another pan. Mince garlic and add to onions. Sauté until translucent.
  3. When browned on one side, turn over to brown on other side. Tuck prunes in between the pieces. Add the onions.
  4. When golden brown on both sides, add chicken stock, cover and simmer. Total cooking time should be about 1 hour.


Rabbit can easily be substituted for the chicken if you're not squeamish like me.

Prunes: anti-oxidant miracle

A food's antioxidant properties are measured on what's called the Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) scale. Research has shown that high-Orac foods boost the body's antioxidant capabilities by 10-25 percent. Prunes rate highest on the scale. More than twice as high as the next runner up (raisins).

For more on this, read this wonderful article.

Serving Suggestions

We usually make this simple dish with rice or new potatoes, but turnips are another nice option. Their slight bitterness is offset by the sweetness of the prunes.

You won't want a fruit dessert with this main course, but anything nutty works well. Try my chewy hazelnut cake for instance. Better yet, keep it in the family and try my mother in law's golden almond "financier" cakes.


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    • LetitiaFT profile image


      6 years ago from Paris via California

      Hello Om. Tarragon is a fantastic herb, isn't it?

    • Om Paramapoonya profile image

      Om Paramapoonya 

      6 years ago

      YUM! This recipe sounds like a must-try. The tarragon is one of my favorite herbs.

    • LetitiaFT profile image


      6 years ago from Paris via California

      Thanks Jenubouka! It is an amazing combination, isn't it?

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Ironically I have loved the combination of prunes and tarragon for quite some time. It is soooo awesome to find another incredible foodie who illustrates how wonderful these two foods pair. Awesome!

    • LetitiaFT profile image


      6 years ago from Paris via California

      Great, Mrs. Menagerie! I'm sure with your gourmet skills this will come out even better!

    • Mrs. Menagerie profile image

      Mrs. Menagerie 

      6 years ago from The Zoo

      Ooooh, I never would have thought to cook chicken with prunes. I'm trying this recipe for sure!

    • LetitiaFT profile image


      6 years ago from Paris via California

      Thank you Vespa, Spy and Kelley. I was in the mood for a fruit & poultry dish for Sunday lunch. I'd planned to do Orange Duck (brighter to photograph on a dark rainy day!), but the butcher was out of duck, so I fell back on one of our old favorites. It is delicious and I'm looking forward to what few leftovers remain tonight! Glad you like the idea.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Beautiful pictures! This recipes sounds interesting. I might have to try this one! Voted up! Kelley

    • unknown spy profile image

      Not Found 

      6 years ago from Neverland - where children never grow up.

      im sooo hungry again...the food looks very delicious!

    • vespawoolf profile image


      6 years ago from Peru, South America

      This sounds healthy and delicious! As always, love your photos.


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