Sun-dried tomatoes and tarragon come together with wine, onions, Dijon mustard, cream, chicken, and fettucine to make a luxurious weeknight dinner. A rich and creamy dish that is ready in about 30 minutes and is great as leftovers. What’s not to love?
Ahhhhh…fall is here. Yes, that wonderful time of the year where the leaves slowly begin to turn to various shades of yellow, orange, red, and brown. The days begin to cool. Pumpkin or apple flavored products suddenly become acceptable again. It is a time where morning walks are filled with the sound of crunchy leaves underfoot and a thin layer of frost sparkles on every surface. Except in Seattle where it’s 80 degrees and summer is still bumping beyond the equinox. As most Seattleites, I am thoroughly enjoying the longer summer that we get to take advantage of here in the Pacific Northwest.
With that, I am still cooking dinners and meals of a more summer-inspired nature. Or at least ones that can and should be enjoyed as much as possible al fresco, preferably with a glass of wine, and hopefully accompanied by either Pink Martini or Penguin Café Orchestra softly playing in the background. One of these dishes is my childhood favorite: sun-dried tomato chicken pasta with tarragon. Though this is something I am making and enjoying as a late summer meal right now, I highly encourage folks to make this throughout the year. This is so creamy and rich that it can work perfectly into the dinner routine all year long .
The great thing about this recipe is how easy and fast it is to make. This is something that was frequently a weeknight staple in my house growing up because the whole thing takes about 30 minutes to pull together with only a handful of ingredients. It also makes amazing leftovers.
Another note, I can’t officially claim this recipe as kid-friendly because I have not personally test-driven this recipe recently with any kids myself (babysitting in college I’m sure is not recent enough), but I like to think that this recipe is worth trying with kids. When I was little, this was probably my most frequently requested birthday dinner, and that is saying a lot considering that my parents would probably describe me as a kid as an incredibly picky eater. It did take my parents a couple times making it before I would really even give the sun-dried tomatoes the time of day, but once I did I was in love and this is still one of my favorite meals.
Last item, there is wine in this dish, which should mostly if not entirely cook off, but including regardless may bother some folks. If you are one of those people, I would recommend that as an alternative to wine, you substitute the wine for a low sodium chicken broth.
Sun-Dried Tomato Chicken Pasta with Tarragon
- ½ medium yellow onion, small diced
- ½ cup julienned sun-dried tomatoes, chopped roughly once more
- About 1 cup of chardonnay or another dry white wine
- 1 to 1 ½ lbs. chicken breast, trimmed and cut into bite sized pieces
- Let’s be real. The chicken breast packs at the store never come in just 1lb sizes and I am not about to break out a scale to precisely measure out chicken breast.
- 1 tbsp Olive Oil, plus a little more to toss the pasta in.
- 2 tbsp butter, divide
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tsp dried tarragon, crushed
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 lb. fettucine pasta
1.Boil water to prepare pasta as directed per package for al dente pasta. I recommend going for the al dente texture as it will not get overcooked as part of the final steps for assembly. Once the pasta is done cooking and has been drained, sprinkle a tiny amount of olive oil over the noodles and toss to coat. This will help prevent them from sticking together.
2. While the pasta is cooking, you can prepare the sun-dried tomatoes. Place the sun-dried tomatoes in a small, microwave-safe bowl or measuring cup. Pour the wine over the tomatoes until they are complete submerged. Place the tomatoes and wine into the microwave and zap for 30 seconds on high power. Remove from microwave, set aside.
3. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil and half the butter over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook stirring occasionally until chicken is cooked through and beginning to brown. Reduce heat to low and carefully remove the chicken from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside.
4. Add the other tablespoon of butter to the pan and reheat pan to medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until soft and slightly translucent, about 5 minutes.
5. While the onion is cooking, remove the sun-dried tomatoes from their wine bath and squeeze out the excess wine so they are moist but not wet. While doing this, preserve the wine, you will need at least ½ cup of sun-dried tomato infused wine for the rest of this recipe. Have both the wine and tomatoes on standby for the next couple steps.
6. Once the onions have softened, stir in the Dijon mustard, followed by the sun-dried tomatoes and tarragon. Sauté for 1-2 mins to warm all the ingredients back through.
7. Slowly add ½ cup of the reserved wine into the pan and bring to a simmer.
8. Slowly add the cream and bring back to a simmer.
9. Add the chicken and the pasta to the sauce in the pan and toss to coat. Continue cooking the pasta in the pan over medium heat until all ingredients are hot, approximately 3-4 minutes.
10. Serve immediately. Preferably with more wine.