Poached Chicken Breasts with Lemon Vinaigrette

Both the vinaigrette and the poaching liquid for the chicken are prepared with fresh tarragon. (When buying this herb, look for true French tarragon, which has a delicate anise flavor, rather than the coarser Russian variety.)

  • Servings: 4

Source: Martha Stewart Living, April 2000


  • 6 to 8 stems fresh tarragon, leaves reserved for vinaigrette
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 1 cup sherry
  • 1 celery stalk, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 white onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, split in half
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Lemon Vinaigrette to Make 3/4 Cup


  1. Make a bouquet garni: Tie tarragon stems, thyme, bay leaves, and peppercorns in a small square of cheesecloth. Place bouquet garni, sherry, celery, onion, and 5 cups water in a medium pot, and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat, and let simmer for 5 minutes.

  2. Season chicken breasts on both sides with salt and pepper. Add to the gently simmering liquid, and cook until firm and juices run clear when pierced with a two-pronged fork, 10 to 12 minutes.

  3. Remove chicken from poaching liquid, and arrange on serving plates. Drizzle with lemon vinaigrette.


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