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Tarragon Through the Ages

The history of tarragon (Artemisia dracunculus)stretches back to ancient times, where it was used for its medicinal properties. The herb made its way across continents, valued by various cultures for its ability to stimulate the appetite and aid digestion. In the medieval era, tarragon found its place in the gardens of monasteries, used by monks to produce remedies. Today, it remains a favorite in culinary and herbal traditions, celebrated for its unique flavor and health benefits. There arer two types of tarragon; French and Russian. It is difficult to distinguish between the two unless you take a leaf and chew it. French tarragon is the one you are looking for. It has a sweet anise or black licorice flavor. Russian is tasty, but it is more grassy with no anise flavor.

Tarragon in Cooking

Tarragon is a key ingredient in the French kitchen, where it’s famously incorporated into sauces like béarnaise, lending dishes a subtle, yet impactful depth of flavor. Its versatility doesn’t stop there; tarragon enhances salads, egg dishes, and chicken recipes, providing a fresh, anise-like taste that’s hard to replicate with any other herb. Whether used fresh or dried, tarragon’s presence in a dish transforms the ordinary into the extraordinary.

Health Benefits: More Than Just Flavor

Beyond its culinary appeal, tarragon boasts a variety of health benefits. It’s rich in antioxidants, which help combat free radicals and support overall health. Tarragon also has mild sedative properties, making it a traditional remedy for insomnia and anxiety. Its ability to improve digestion is another reason this herb is cherished in herbal medicine, offering a natural way to soothe an upset stomach.

Growing Tarragon: Tips for Your Herb Garden

Incorporating tarragon into your garden is a fantastic way to have a fresh supply of this aromatic herb at your fingertips. Tarragon prefers well-drained soil and plenty of sunlight but can also adapt to partial shade. With its resilience and low maintenance, tarragon is a joy to cultivate, rewarding gardeners with its lush growth and aromatic leaves. I usually start my day nibbling a few tarragon leaves as I begin harvesting whatever herbs are ready.

Innovative Uses of Tarragon in the Home and Kitchen

Experimenting with tarragon can open up a world of culinary creativity. Consider infusing oils or vinegars with tarragon to create dressings with a twist. Tarragon also pairs beautifully with seafood and vegetables, offering a burst of flavor that elevates simple ingredients to gourmet status. Beyond the kitchen, tarragon can be used in homemade herbal remedies to tap into its medicinal properties.

Tarragon Chicken


  • 4 chicken breasts (boneless and skinless)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons fresh French tarragon, chopped
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon


  1. Prep the Chicken: Start by patting the chicken breasts dry with paper towels. This helps get a nice sear. Season both sides with salt and pepper.
  2. Cook the Chicken: Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the chicken breasts. Cook for about 5-7 minutes on each side or until golden brown and cooked through. Transfer the chicken to a plate and cover it with foil to keep it warm.
  3. Make the Tarragon Sauce: In the same skillet, add a bit more oil if needed and sauté the minced garlic for about 1 minute until fragrant. Add the chicken broth to deglaze the pan, scraping up any brown bits from the bottom. Stir in the heavy cream, Dijon mustard, and chopped tarragon. Let it simmer for a few minutes until the sauce begins to thicken. Finish by stirring in the lemon juice, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Combine: Return the chicken to the skillet, spooning the sauce over the breasts to warm them up.
  5. Serve: Enjoy your Tarragon Chicken with a side of your choice—rice, pasta, or a simple green salad works great.


  • Tarragon’s Flavor: Fresh French tarragon is preferred for its superior flavor, but if you can’t find it, dried tarragon can work in a pinch. Just use 1 teaspoon of dried tarragon instead of 2 tablespoons of fresh.
  • Side Suggestions: For a heartier meal, consider serving with roasted potatoes or over a bed of creamy mashed potatoes.

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