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Tarragon Chicken Kiev



 I am in love with Chicken Kiev. The tender chicken wrapped in breadcrumbs reveal a peppery anise flavored butter filling. The boneless chicken breasts are flattened and then rolled up with a butter filling. The tarragon butter infuses the chicken with a wonderful flavor and this dish is simply extraordinary!  


Look for fresh French tarragon which has narrow dark green leaves on slender stems. Tarragon is a hardy perennial and is a member of the the daisy family. 


The two-inch leaves are shaggy, yet delicate. French Tarragon is superior and has a more complex flavor. It is a key flavor in mayonnaise, mustards, pickles and sauces. 


Tarragon gets its name from the French word: "esdragon" or "little dragon." This name was given because of the serpentine root system. The plant itself is bushy and grows up to 3 feet tall. It grows well in sandy soil and full sun. 


This herb is best fresh and dried tarragon pales in comparison. Classic Green Goddess dressing also relies on Tarragon for its distinctive taste. 




8 skinless, boneless chicken breasts


Tarragon Butter

1/2 cup butter 

1 tablespoon minced fresh French tarragon


Egg Dip

2 eggs

1/4 cup fat-free milk


Flour Mixture

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground Tellicherry peppercorns



1 cup plain dry bread crumbs



1/2 cup butter for frying


Lemon Butter Sauce

1/3 cup butter

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

Pinch mustard

2 cups warm water

2 teaspoons chicken base

1 teaspoon lemon zest

1 tablespoon lemon juice

2 egg yolks

Seasoning salt and pepper to taste



1 1/2 cups white Jasmine rice

3 cups water


Lemon or lime slices for garnish



1.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 

2.  In a medium bowl, blend the butter with the minced tarragon. 
     Cover and place in the refrigerator. If you have time, divide the butter into 
     8 tablespoons and freeze on a baking sheet. 



Place herbs in a small bowl and

use a scissors to snip away at them

until they are finely chopped up or "minced."


Henckels Twinshear Kitchen Shears, Black



3.  Make the egg dip and set aside. Mix the flour with the salt and pepper in a 
     shallow bowl. 
Pour the bread crumbs onto a plate. Flatten the chicken to 
     1/8-inch thickness. 




The best tool for flattening chicken breast

with the least effort. Place the chicken inside

a plastic bag, then cover the bag with a towel.

This keeps the chicken juices from splattering

all over the kitchen counters for sure!





OXO Good Grips Meat Tenderizer



4.  Place a tablespoon of the tarragon butter on each flattened chicken breast 
     and roll up to form
a log. Tuck in the ends and secure with two toothpicks. 


5.  Roll each chicken log in the flour and then dip it into the egg mixture. 
     Roll in the breadcrumbs. Set
all the rolls on a plate.





Setting everything up before rolling the chicken is

very helpful. Set a plate nearby for the filled rolls. 

Chicken breast, egg dip, flour and breading.



6.  Heat the butter for frying in a 5-quart sauté pan. Fry the chicken until golden, 

     turning now and then. You don't want to fully cook the chicken, but do 
     brown the breading on all sides. 


7.  Place the chicken in a 13 x 9 x 2-inch glass baking dish or drain the butter 

     out of the pan and place the whole pan in the oven. The pan and handles 
     "must" be oven proof to 350 degrees. Bake for 20 minutes. 


     Put rice  and water in a rice cooker or cook according to 
     package directions on the stove top.



Calphalon quality with a stay cool handle!

The pan can also be placed in the oven for the 

second part of this recipe. Do drain out the 

leftover butter before setting it in the oven.




8.  Lemon Butter Sauce: Melt the butter in a 2-quart saucepan. Use a whisk 
     to stir in the flour and mustard powder. Stir the chicken base, lemon zest 
     and juice into the water, then add all at once, stirring until the sauce thickens. 


     Stir a bit of the hot sauce into the egg yolks, stir back into all the sauce, 
     heat for at least 1 minute, Season to taste with seasoning salt and pepper 
     and then strain into a serving dish. 


9.  Remove the toothpicks and place chicken on each plate and slice. 


     Drizzle with lemon sauce and serve with rice. Garnish with lemon or lime slices.


     Hint: After making this dish the first time, you can adjust the amount 
     of tarragon or even add tarragon to sauce for more flavor. If you are using a 

     French tarragon, 1 -2 tablespoons should be enough. 


     Makes 8 delicious buttery chicken rolls



An herb lovers dream cookbook. 

The prose itself is delicious!

The Herbfarm Cookbook : A Guide to the...



Prose as delicious as the recipes!, December 30, 2000

After visiting the Herb Farm quite a few times, I was very excited to hear that Jerry Traunfeld was writing an Herbfarm Cookbook. I waited patiently for what seemed like years, and finally the wait paid off. Jerry Traunfeld is the Executive Chef at the Herbfarm Restaurant, which has actually changed locations since the publication of this book. Jerry still relies on herb-inspired menus and has penned one of the most useful books about cooking with culinary herbs. This is the book you will turn to for inspiration and for a whole new world of fresh herb flavors.

Most of us are content to use dried herbs until we discover fresh herbs. The bonus in Jerry's new book is that he also explains the growing process. You will love the charts of Latin herb names, real-life herb names, family life cycles, heights, pruning requirements and special growing requirements. I loved the in-depth information on angelica, anise, hyssop, basil, bay, chervil, cilantro, dill, fennel, lavender, lemon balm, lemon verbena, lovage, marjoram, mint, oregano, parsley, rosemary, sage, savory, scented geraniums, sorrel, sweet cicely, tarragon and thyme.

To find these wonderful plants, all you have to do is order seeds or plants from the sources on page 434. You will also see an address for the Herb Farm which was founded by Lola and Bill Zimmerman. Their son Ron Zimmerman and his wife Carrie first had the idea to start a world-class restaurant. Jerry Traunfeld helped to make their dream a reality.

If you do start to grow your own herbs, you might be wondering what to do with so many fresh herbs when you take them into the kitchen. With The Herbfarm Cookbook, you will find yourself enchanted by recipes for soups, salads, pastas, vegetables, poultry, fish, meats, breads, desserts, sauces, chutneys and vinegars. Information on how to make candied flowers adds a fun creative touch to an already extraordinary compilation.

The first recipe I tried was the Lavender Shortbread on page 288. The recipe is simply butter, lavender, sugar and flour. The taste...much more complex. If you love lavender half as much as I do, you will love Jerry Traunfeld's new cookbook. He makes the best lavender cookies and is also under lavender's spell as he includes many recipes using the intoxicating purple flowers.

I made the dough simply by grinding the lavender into the sugar and then creamed it with the butter. I used a wooden spoon to stir in the flour. The whole experience of grinding lavender into sugar with a mortar and pestle is seductively primal. The scent of the lavender is almost intoxicating even when using dried lavender. A heady scent of warm lavender will fill your whole kitchen as the cookies are baking. Sometimes cooking is more fun if you use just a wooden spoon and a bowl to make cookies. Making lavender cookies should be more romantic and old fashioned.

"I'm addicted to it." --Jerry Traunfeld, admitting his addiction to Lavender. He continues by saying: "I find it nearly impossible to walk by a lavender plant in full bloom without bending over to pick a stem, roll it around in my fingers, and inhale the heady scent."

The cookies may also be packaged and given as gifts. I use a round biscuit cutter with a curly edge. It gives the cookies a nice shortbread look. The dough seems suited for a cookie mold, which would be very pretty. I found the recipe is also good with chopped pecans pressed into the top of the cookies before baking them. Now, dipping them in chocolate makes them even better! You can also use the recipe without the lavender or substitute anise seeds or lemon thyme for the lavender buds.

Lavender seems to almost have a savory flavor which was in a way quite surprising, given you would expect a flower to have a more sweet flavor. I was pleased to find a recipe for "Potatoes with Lavender and Rosemary." Page 396-398 also contains information on how to grow and cook with lavender.

This cookbook is filled with 200 herb-inspired recipes. You could serve the "Coriander-Orange Scones" for breakfast. "Tomato and Fennel Soup," Pumpkin and Shrimp Bisque" and "Herbed Clam Chowder" are delicious examples of the soups in the first chapter. Green Goddess Grilled Chicken salad contains creamy avocados, garlic and a mesclun mix (young salad mix). If you are looking for a great basic "Fresh Egg Pasta" recipe, Jerry supplies one on page 99. You can then toss your freshly made pasta in the "Classic Basil Pesto." Say goodbye to boring vegetable side dishes and say Hello! to "Snap Peas with Mint and Chervil" or "Grilled Marjoram-Scented Corn."

For a taste of the Northwest, there are recipes for Salmon Fillets. The one with tarragon looks especially tempting. For dinner, you might want to try the "Rosemary Gilled Chicken." Rosemary is a classic herb to pair with roast chicken. Just when you think you have made pork every way you can imagine, you will find a "Maple-and-Herb brined Pork Roast." The "Lemon Verbena Ice Cream" looks just yummy.

As I sip a cup of peppermint tea, I salute you Jerry Traunfeld. Thank you for the gift of your knowledge. I hope your cookbook will be the most sought after cookbook in the year 2001. Your book had found a permanent place of honor in my kitchen! It is not often that you find a chef whose writing is as delicious as their cooking! There are 11 beautiful color pictures in this book, but the true beauty of this cookbook is in the writing. Jerry has translated his excitement for life and cooking into delicious prose. This is a true book collectors dream cookbook. If you love to cook with fresh herbs, you will love it even more! I can't wait to try more of the tempting recipes.

~The Rebecca Review




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