Chicken with Tarragon-Mustard Sauce

Pleasant Hill Grain was kind enough to ask me if I’d be interested in testing out one of the pressure cookers they sell. I hadn’t ever used one, but it’s something I’ve been wanting to learn about for a while so I jumped at the chance.

The model I received is the 5.0 L Duromatic Top Model. Along with the cooker, I received a copy of Pressure Cooking for Everyone. I have lots of recipes in this book marked to try. They all sound delicious and most are accompanied by beautiful photographs.

I’m embarrassed to say that the Kuhn Rikon Pressure Cooker was so simple to use that I couldn’t figure it out at first. I thought, “it has to be more complicated then that.” I couldn’t understand what I was supposed to do with the dial on top of the lid and how exactly to control the pressure of the cooker even though I had read the user manual thoroughly. Guess what? Pleasant Hill Grain is so helpful that they have a full image tutorial on the pressure cooker. If you still have questions, check out the FAQ on pressure cookers. Still need help? Pleasant Hill Grain is very helpful! Lucky, I didn’t need quite that much help. I was just over thinking the process.

Inside the cooker are helpful 1/2 and 2/3 markings to guide you when filling the pot according to your recipe instructions. The lid locks on so easily and once you learn how to gauge the pressure you’ll feel silly for ever thinking it was ever difficult or confusing to use a pressure cooker. I am definitely not an expert on pressure cooking, but I have used my cooker several times now and it’s something I’m glad I know how to do, especially on busy nights.

I know some people worry about the possibilities of exploding pressure cookers. The Kuhn Rikon is entirely different than pressure cookers of the past and is equipped with several great safety features to insure that exploding doesn’t ever happen. Pressure cooker has never been easier or safer.

Now, about the recipe. This was so simple to put together. It might look like a long list of ingredients and complicated instructions, but you can literally start dinner less than 30 minutes before dinner without much prep-time. Once you have the method of pressure cooking down you’ll be even faster. The chicken is so unbelievably tender, you’d think you’d slaved the day away on it and the sauce has tons of flavor.

Chicken with Tarragon-Mustard Sauce
adapted from Pressure Cooking for Everyone

  • 1 teaspoon dried tarragon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, plus more to taste
  • 2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup chopped shallots
  • 16 ounces sliced mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 2 stems fresh tarragon
  • 2 tablespoons half and half
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, for garnish

Sprinkle the dried tarragon, salt, and pepper all over the chicken.

In a 5-7 quart pressure cooker, heat the oil over medium-high heat. In batches, cook the chicken turning once, until lightly browned on both sides, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate and set aside.

Remove any remaining oil. Add the butter and heat over medium heat. Add the shallots and stir until softened, about 1 minute. Add the mushrooms and saute about 1 minute. Pour in the wine and bring to a boil, scraping up any browned bits in the cooker. Stir in the stock and add the fresh tarragon.

Return the chicken to the cooker. Lock the lid in place. Bring to high pressure over high heat. Adjust the heat to maintain the pressure. Cook for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and quick-release the pressure. Open the lid, tilting it away from you to block any escaping steam. Transfer the chicken to a serving platter and cover with foil to keep warm. Discard fresh tarragon stems.

Skim any fat from the surface of the cooking liquid. Bring to a boil, uncovered, over medium heat. In a small bowl, combine the half and half, mustard, and cornstarch. Whisk in the cornstarch mixture until completely dissolved. Cook until just thickened. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Pour sauce over chicken, sprinkle with parsley, and serve.