Poached Chicken with Thyme and Tarragon Sauce

Cook Time: 1 hour
Prep Time: 20 minutes

Difficulty Level: Lead Chef

When you think of poaching something, I’m sure you probably think of poaching eggs. I do too, but did you know that poaching was actually perfected by the French to cook delicate things, like fish, poultry, and fruit?

The liquid you poach in can be water, stock, or wine. In this recipe I used white wine and homemade chicken stock. I believe it is extremely important to have a flavorful liquid because, to be perfectly honest, when your chicken, fish, or whatever you’re cooking, is can turn out very bland.

When something is poached it is begging to have a sauce with it. And the best kind of sauce is made from the poaching liquid, like we have here!

Here’s what you’ll need:

For The Chicken:

  • 1 1/4 cup white wine
  • 2 cups chicken stock (preferably homemade)
  • 2 celery sticks, sliced
  • 1 large carrot, cut in matchsticks
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 2 sprigs each: thyme, rosemary and tarragon
  • 2 large bay leaves
  • 4 ounces bacon
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 2 tablespoons chicken bullion (or 2 cubes)
  • 2-3 pounds of chicken breasts, tenderloins, or a mixtureimg_20180412_171159604_hdr1731306473.jpg

For The Sauce:

  • 2 egg yolks
  • 5 ounces heavy whipping cream
  • small handful tarragon (I used dried)
  • small handful fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • juice of 1 lemonimg_20180412_1738324491671190590.jpg

To Make The Chicken:

Put wine, chicken stock, veggies, herbs, bay leaves, bacon, peppercorns, and bullion in a large pan. Bring to a boil, turn down to a simmer for 10 minutes.


Put chicken into liquid.


Return to a boil then turn the heat down to low. Cover and cook until chicken is done and feels tender, 20-30 minutes depending on what part of the chicken you’re using. Remove from heat and let stand 15 minutes in the liquid.


Remove the chicken from the pan and put it on a plate and cover.

Strain the liquid into a bowl and fish out the carrots to use as a side. Pour the liquid back into the pan, turn heat up to medium high and reduce by half. This will take about 10-15 minutes.


Beat together egg yolks, heavy whipping cream, thyme, and tarragon.


Ladle in 1/4 of the liquid, drop by drop, into the cream mixture while whisking to bring it up to temp. Pour back into the liquid and turn the heat down.

Mix the cornstarch with a little bit of water and add to the liquid. Remove from heat, stir in lemon juice to taste.


Pour some sauce over chicken and put the rest in a bowl.


Serve with rice and the carrots from the poaching liquid.


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