Grow Tarragon for French Recipes and Herb Vinegar
White wine vinegar with tarragon
How to Make Tarragon Vinegar
Tarragon vinegar is perhaps the best known herb vinegar. For anyone who has not made herb vinegar, let's just do it now and have that one successful accomplishment on the shelf.
If you are not a fan of tarragon, choose any other herb.
- 2 cups of white wine vinegar - or vinegar of your choice.
- sprigs of tarragon – two sprigs tarragon, 3-4” long
- a pint jar - a piece of plastic wrap big enough to drape over all sides of the pint jar – a 4 or 5” square.
Open the clean jar, drop tarragon springs, fill with vinegar. Cover top of jar with plastic, screw on lid. Wait one week, taste the vinegar. Reassemble, lid and continue to marinate tarragon in vinegar for another week. Taste vinegar.
Ta da! Homemade tarragon vinegar for pennies.
Now, what do I do with Tarragon Vinegar?
- Recipe Tarragon Chicken*
- Add a splash over cooked greens (spinach, kale, chard)
- Salad dressing the simplest of all: 1 part herb vinegar to 2 parts olive oil
What to know more about herb vinegar? See Making herb vinegars
Tarragon Chicken Recipe
A lighter French inspired recipe to showcase fresh tarragon from your garden. Quick to fix entré simple enough for weekday meals and tasty enough for a special occasion.
Fresh tarragon is essential for this recipe.
Tarragon Chicken Ingredients
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 2 chicken breast halves, with bone in and skin
- 2 shallots, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup tarragon vinegar
- 1 cup chicken broth, canned is fine
- 2 springs fresh tarragon, for garnish
Tarragon Chicken Instructions
- Add oil to heated medium skillet over medium-high heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper.
- Add to skillet and cook until golden, about 4-5 minutes per side. Set chicken aside. Add chopped shallots and sauté 30 seconds.
- Add tarragon vinegar; boil until reduced to glaze, about 2 minutes. Pour in chicken broth. Return chicken, skin side up, to skillet. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until cooked through, about 12 minutes.
- Transfer chicken to 2 plates. Add fresh, chopped tarragon leaves and chopped shallots to liquid in skillet. Increase heat to medium-high; boil uncovered until liquid is slightly reduced, about 2 minutes. Spoon sauce over chicken. Serve.
- Garnish plate with fresh tarragon leaves. Optional (but who can resist?).
Dinner for Two
Tarragon May Help You Sleep
Tarragon tea is sometimes served to cap a fine dinner. This aromatic herb is believed to be detoxifying.
Associated with serenity and calm, tarragon tea may help cure insomnia. Consider adding a tablespoon of the dainty green leaves to hot water for tea. Some people with insomnia combine tarragon with chamomile herbs in a tea to promote restful sleep.
Make tarragon tea by infusing a tablespoon of the herbs into a cup of near-boiling water. Let the mix steep for ten minutes, strain and drink. Next time you have trouble sleeping, head to the kitchen spice cabinet.
Herbes Fines the Classic French Combo
Herb Garden Foursome
Herbes Fines, a blend of chervil, chives, parsley and tarragon are best fresh. These plants are easy to find as starter plants online or in nurseries. They will thrive in a container garden and can appreciate some afternoon shade.
The fresh herb recipe is perfect for omelets or scrambled eggs. Add the fresh combo to spring greens and salads.
It's a favorite for herb butter. Make several batches while the herbs are at their best. Freeze for later use.
Herbes Fines white wine vinegar captures the essence of spring. Long after these tender herbs are gone because of the heat, Herbes Fines herb butter and wine vinegar become your garden gold.
It makes a great vinaigrette for mild cole slaw or spinach salad.
The herbal foursome makes a delicious and light herb vinegar.
An excellent way to preserve your summer herbs for use in fall and winter.
• ½ cup butter, softened
• 1⁄4 cup chopped fresh tarragon
• 1 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
Stir together all ingredients in small bowl.
Spoon into a small serving bowl or chill 15 minutes and shape into a log. At the end of the season, make several herb butter logs and freeze to use
Try steamed green beans topped with a slice of tarragon butter.
Mad dogs and dragons
Tarragon has antibacterial properties. In ancient times, tarragon was used to treat mad dog and dragon bites.
Grow your own
French tarragon (Artemisia dracunculus)
I can't say why tarragon grows so well in my garden. French tarragon (Artemisia dracunculus) is growing in the well drained soil of a sunny raised bed.
In the winter, add a heavy cover of chopped leaf mulch. Tarragon goes dormant and disappears in winter. In the spring it comes back bigger and more beautiful.
If you want to add tarragon to your herb garden, you must buy a starter plant. Tarragon has rhizomatous roots, which is how it reproduces, from the rhizomes. It seldom produces flowers and when it does, the seeds are sterile.
Tarragon has antibacterial properties. In ancient times, tarragon was used to treat mad dog and dragon bites. In folk medicine, tarragon has been used for digestive problems and intestinal worms. Since I have never had a need for this type of medical care, I can't speak to it's effectiveness.
What to know more about spring greens? Jumpstart your garden season.