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Julia Child's Casserole-Roasted Chicken with Tarragon

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  • Prep 15 min
  • Total 1 hr 45 min
  • Servings 4
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This is another favorite Julia Child recipe I like to make. The French name is: Poulet Poele a l'Estragon. It takes a bit of work as there is some basting, but the chicken is tender and flavorful.
by: TBSP Geoff
Updated May 7, 2015
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For Seasoning Of Chicken

  • 1 (3 pound) roasting chicken
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons butter

For Browning Chicken

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

For Vegetables

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup sliced onions
  • 1/4 cup sliced carrots

For Final Roasting

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

For Brown Tarragon Sauce

  • 2 cups brown chicken stock, or 1 cup canned beef bouillon and 1 cup canned chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch
  • 2 tablespoons Madiera or port or sweet red wine
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh tarragon (or 1/4 teaspoon dried tarragon)
  • 1 tablespoon softened butter


  • 1
    Preheat oven to 325° F. Thoroughly dry the chicken. Season the cavity of the chicken with salt, pepper and 1 tablespoon of butter. Insert the tarragon sprigs or sprinkle the dried tarragon. Rub the remaining tablespoon of butter on the outside of the chicken.
  • 2
    Heat a heavy, fireproof casserole dish over medium-high heat. Add butter and oil. When the butter foam has begun to subside, lay in the chicken, breast down. Brown for 2 to 3 minutes, regulating heat so butter is always very hot but not burning. Carefully turn the chicken to another side, using 2 wooden spoons. Be sure not to break the chicken skin. Continue browning and turning the chicken until it is a nice golden color almost all over, particularly on the breast and legs. This will take 10 to 15 minutes. Add more oil if necessary to keep the bottom of the casserole filmed.
  • 3
    Remove chicken from casserole and set aside. Pour out the browning fat if it has burned, and add fresh butter. Cook the carrots and onions slowly in the casserole for 5 minutes without browning. Add the salt and tarragon.
  • 4
    Salt the chicken. Set it breast up over the vegetables and baste with the butter in the casserole. Lay a piece of aluminum foil over the chicken, cover the casserole, and reheat it on top of the stove until you hear the chicken sizzling. Then place the casserole in preheated oven.
  • 5
    Roast for 1 hour and 15 minutes, regulating heat so chicken is always making quiet cooking noises. Baste once or twice with the butter and juices in the casserole. The chicken is done when the drumsticks move in their sockets, and when juices run clear.
  • 6
    Remove the chicken to a serving platter and discard trussing strings (if used). Add the stock or bouillon and broth to the casserole and simmer for 2 minutes, scraping up coagulated roasting juices. Skim off all but a tablespoon of fat. Blend in the cornstarch mixture, simmer a minute, then raise heat and boil rapidly until sauce is lightly thickened. Taste for seasoning, adding more tarragon if you feel it necessary. Stir in tarragon and butter. Strain before serving.
  • 7
    Serve chicken with sauce along with additional sprigs of fresh tarragon.

Expert Tips

  • tip 1
    for a fancier presentation, truss the chicken using butcher's twine by folding the wing tips under back of the chicken and tying the drumsticks (you can find a how-to videos online).
  • tip 2
    recipe from Julia Child, Mastering The Art of French Cooking, Volume One (Vol 1)

Nutrition Information

No nutrition information available for this recipe
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