New This Month

Poached Chicken with Tarragon Sauce and Peas

Poached chicken is prepared with no added fat -- just water, garlic, herbs, and pepper.

  • Servings: 4

Photography: Lisa Hubbard

Source: Martha Stewart Living, July 2004


  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 6 ounces each)
  • 1 1/2 pounds garden peas, shelled (1 1/2 cups), or 1 1/2 cups frozen peas, thawed

For the poaching liquid

  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 6 whole black peppercorns
  • 3 cups loosely packed fresh flat-leaf parsley, plus a few sprigs

For the sauce

  • 1/2 cup loosely packed fresh tarragon, plus more for garnish
  • 3 thin slices white bread, crusts removed, bread torn into large pieces
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons drained capers, rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

For the seasoning

  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • Freshly ground pepper


  1. Put chicken, garlic, bay leaf, peppercorns, and a few parsley sprigs in a Dutch oven. Fill almost to the top with cold water; bring to a boil. Reduce to a bare simmer. Cook until chicken is no longer pink in the center, 18 to 20 minutes; transfer to a bowl. Add enough poaching liquid to cover; let cool. Reserve garlic and 1/2 cup remaining poaching liquid from pot.

  2. Process tarragon, bread, capers, reserved poached garlic, and parsley in a food processor until smooth, about 15 seconds. With processor running, add oil and reserved 1/2 cup poaching liquid. Stir in salt, and season with pepper.

  3. Bring a small pot of water to a boil; add peas. Cook fresh peas until bright green and crisp-tender (or frozen peas until heated through), about 2 minutes; drain. Spoon 2 tablespoons sauce onto each of four plates. Cut each breast half into 5 or 6 pieces. Divide among plates; scatter peas on top. Garnish with tarragon; serve with extra sauce on the side.

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