It is a French Provencal dish that is healthy, hearty, aromatic, and not to mention wonderfully delicious.
The ingredients are pretty basic, which is a definite plus in my book. The first time I ever came across chicken tarragon was in a cookbook (Betty Crocker’s International Cookbook) that was given to me as a birthday gift MANY years ago. This is actually the book that sparked my interest in ethnic cooking. As a matter of fact, I think Chicken Tarragon was the first thing that I ever made out of this book.
The herb that shines through in this dish is of course tarragon! The botanical name for tarragon is Artemisia dracuncula. The name comes from Artemis, the Greek goddess of wisdom and draconis, the word for dragon in Latin. Unlike other herbs in antiquity tarragon’s medicinal uses appear to be somewhat restricted. The ancient Greeks used it to cure toothaches. Another common use for tarragon was as a treatment for snake bites. Huh? Snake bites? Really? Yes, really. Sounds weird I know. This use actually stems from a medieval medical belief that a plant’s shape was an indication of what is was good for from a medical standpoint. Tarragon has a serpentine shape, thus the assumption that it was an adequate remedy for snake bites. This medical theory was known as the Doctrine of Signatures. So now you can impress your friends with this little trivia tidbit
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