Grilled Chicken with Tarragon-Mustard Marinade
Grilled Chicken with Tarragon-Mustard Marinade has that French Tarragon flavor I love, and if you let this chicken marinate all day it has even more flavor!
It’s been a wild spring in Utah, with cold weather, wind, and even snow in June! I did lose some cucumber plants so I’m so glad my other garden plants are making it. And this year I have some herbs that are absolutely thriving! One of them is my bushy French Tarragon plant, which inspired me to make this Grilled Chicken with Tarragon-Mustard Marinade and take photos for a long-overdue photo update!
This recipe is a cousin to the Rosemary Mustard Grilled Chicken that’s popular in my family and also on the blog, but using chopped French Tarragon instead of rosemary in the marinade gives the recipe a completely different twist. I renewed my appreciation for French Tarragon last summer when I made Broccoli and Cauliflower Salad with Feta and Tarragon Vinaigrette, and this grilled chicken infused with tarragon flavor reminded me again how much I really love tarragon!
Fresh Tarragon has a distinctive flavor that isn’t duplicated by dried tarragon, and if this is your first time trying fresh tarragon I might use a bit less. But if you’re a confirmed tarragon fan, this Grilled Tarragon Chicken is a recipe where long marinating time will really infuse the chicken with amazing tarragon flavor.
What does French Tarragon Taste Like?
French Tarragon has a flavor that’s somewhat similar to basil with but with more licorice flavor notes, and it’s stronger than basil so you only need a small amount of chopped fresh tarragon to add a lot of flavor to a recipe. Tarragon goes well with chicken, eggs, fish, and a few vegetables, but in the last few years I’ve noticed creative cooks are combining it with many more things.
What if you don’t have an outdoor Grill?
This chicken can be easily cooked on a stove-top grill pan with ridges (affiliate link) or even a George Foreman Grill (affiliate link) if you don’t have an outside grill. Remember the George Foreman Grill cooks both sides at the same time, so the cooking time will be less.
How to make this recipe:
(Scroll down for complete recipe with nutritional information.)
- Here’s a photo of the lovely French Tarragon that’s growing like a weed right now in my herb garden! If you’re picking tarrgon from the garden, wash and spin dry or dry with paper towels.
- Chop up enough tarragon to make two tablespoons (or maybe a bit less if you’re a tarragon newbie.)
- Whisk together the mustard, lemon juice, garlic, chopped tarragon, olive oil, and Spike Seasoning (affiliate link) to make the marinade.
- Trim chicken to remove fat and undesirable parts and make slits in the chicken. (I shared the technique for cutting thin slits in chicken breasts in my post on How to Make Juicy Grilled Chicken breasts. You might want to read that if you haven’t seen it.)
- Let the chicken marinate for 6-8 hours (or longer) if you can to get the full impact of the tarragon flavor in the marinade.
- When it’s time to cook drain chicken and let it come to room temperature while you spray grill with nonstick grilling spray and heat to high.
- To get nice criss-cross grill marks, lay chicken breasts at a diagonal to grill slats. (Turn the temperature down to just above medium-high when you put the chicken on.)
- After about 4 minutes lift a piece of chicken to check for grill marks. If you see them, rotate chicken 90 degrees to get criss-cross marks on the top side.
- Cook about 4 more minutes or until second set of grill marks show on the top side.
- Then turn and cook on second side, about 4-6 minutes more or until chicken feels firm, but not hard to the touch, and is well browned.
- For best results, use an Instant-Read Meat Thermometer (affiliate link) and cook chicken until it reaches 165F/75C.
- Actual cooking time will vary depending on grill temperature, but I cooked the chicken in the photo 14 minutes at medium-high most of the time.
- Serve hot.
Make it a Meal:
More Grilled Chicken for Summer Dinners:
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 2 T chopped fresh tarragon
- 2 T Dijon mustard
- 1 T fresh lemon juice
- 1 tsp. minced garlic or garlic puree
- 1 tsp. Spike Seasoning (see notes)
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- Trim all visible fat and tendons from chicken breasts. (I like to trim the chicken pieces to a fairly uniform shape, saving the scraps to make chicken stock.)
- Cut small crosswise slits down the length of each piece of chicken, being careful not to cut too deep.
- Wash tarragon and dry with paper towels and chop tarragon very finely.
- Combine mustard, lemon juice, garlic, Spike Seasoning, chopped tarragon, and olive oil and whisk together.
- Put chicken into Ziploc bag or flat plastic container with a snap on lid and pour marinade ingredients over.
- Let marinate in refrigerator 6-8 hours.
- To cook, spray gas or charcoal grill with non-stick spray, then preheat grill to high. (You can only hold your hand there a few seconds at that temperature.)
- Let chicken come to room temperature while grill heats.
- To get nice criss-cross grill marks, lay chicken breasts at a diagonal to grill slats. (I turn the temperature down to slightly above medium-high when the grill marks first start to show.)
- After about 4 minutes (or when you see grill marks) rotate chicken 90 degrees to get second set of marks.
- Cook about 4 more minutes on first side (until second marks show) then turn and cook 6-8 minutes on second side.
- Chicken is done when it feels firm, but not hard to the touch, and is well browned.
- Actual cooking time will vary depending on grill temperature, but I cooked the chicken in the photo 15 minutes at medium-high most of the time.
- Serve hot.
I'm a big fan of Spike Seasoning (affiliate link) but you can use any seasoning blend that's good on chicken.
Recipe created by Kalyn.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 365Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 18gCholesterol: 102mgSodium: 672mgCarbohydrates: 2gFiber: 1gSugar: 0gProtein: 38g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated by the Recipe Plug-In I am using. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee 100% accuracy, since many variables affect those calculations.
Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
Grilled Chicken with Tarragon-Mustard Marinade is a perfect main dish for any phase of the original South Beach Diet or most any other kind of low-carb eating plan, including Paleo.
Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use Grilling Recipes to find more recipes like this one. Use the Recipes by Diet Type photo index pages to find more recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You might also like to Follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.
Historical Notes for this Recipe
Grilled Chicken with Tarragon-Mustard Marinade was first posted in 2012, when I had lots of French Tarragon in the herb garden. The recipe was updated with better photos and improved in June 2020, when the French Tarragon was thriving at the new house!