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French Spring Chicken Pot

French Spring Chicken Pot


  • 4 pieces skinless, boneless chicken breasts

  • 2 onions, 1 halved and 1 chopped

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 3 tablespoons butter

  • 1 baking potato, peeled and cut into small cubes

  • 2 carrots, peeled and cut into small cubes

  • 3 small ribs celery, cut into small cubes

  • 1/3 pound white mushrooms (a couple of generous handfuls), quartered

  • 1/3 pound thin green beans (a couple of generous handfuls), cut on an angle into 1-inch pieces

  • Salt and pepper

  • 2 tablespoons flour

  • 1/2 cup dry white wine

  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth

  • 1/2 cup frozen peas

  • 3 tablespoons fresh tarragon, chopped

  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

  • 1/3 cup heavy cream

  • Grainy rolls or crusty whole wheat bread, for dunking


In a large, heavy pot or Dutch oven filled with simmering water, cook the chicken, halved onion and bay leaf until cooked through and tender, 15-20 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and cut into bite-size pieces or, using 2 forks, shred in a bowl.

Wipe out the pot, add the butter and melt over medium heat. One vegetable at a time, stir in the chopped onion, potato, carrots, celery and mushrooms. Cover the pot, lower the heat and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the green beans and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the flour into the pot and stir for 1 minute. Stir in the wine, scraping the browned bits from the bottom of the pan, and cook until slightly reduced, about 1 minute. Stir in the chicken broth and bring to a simmer. Stir in the peas, tarragon and mustard and simmer for 5 minutes.

Add the chicken to the vegetables. Stir in the cream and heat through. Serve with the bread.