A little french poulet stew today! This lovely French  Chicken Stew recipe is a weekend favorite of mine.  On a Friday night on the way home from work, I’ll pick up the ingredients and cook the stew on Saturday morning.  The stew will last all weekend! 

If you enjoy this recipe, you might also like my easy chicken bouillabaisse, classic chicken and bisquick dumplings stew.

Bowl of french chicken stew on blue stripe napking with ladly in background.

Main Ingredients Notes

Chicken thighs, broth, seasoning, onions, carrots, and potaotes on marble counter.

The full list of ingredients, detailed instructions, and the recipe notes for tarragon french chicken stew are included in the recipe card below.

  • Chicken Breast– use one large boneless skinless breast and cut it into large pieces. The recipe can also be made with chicken thigh meat.
  • Baby Red Potatoes – I mean the really tiny baby red potatoes if you use anything larger, half or quarter to a uniform size to make sure the potatoes cook evenly.
  • Carrots If you use frozen carrots, put them in during the last 15 minutes of cooking to avoid mushy carrots.
  • Garlic – fresh minced garlic is preferred, but you can also use the tubed Chunky Garlic paste.
  • Stewed Tomatoes – I like Muir Glen or Hunt’s stewed tomatoes. If you don’t like the taste of stewed tomatoes then use a low-sodium diced tomato. If you have a bunch of fresh tomatoes that might go to waste then you can substitute fresh for canned.
  • Apple Juice – I keep small bottles of Martinellis in the pantry to use for recipes.
  • Chicken Broth – If you have homemade chicken broth that will always be the best to use. When cooking small, I frequently only need a smaller portion of chicken broth and don’t want to open and waste a can of broth, so I always have a jar of organic “better than bouillon” in my fridge.
  • Herbs – In this stew, dried thyme and tarragon are better than fresh.

What should you do with leftover sauce from the French chicken stew?

If you have any sauce left over after the chicken and potatoes are long gone, freeze it for later use. The sauce is also great over cooked rice or used as a dipping sauce with fried zucchini.

What’s the difference between French chicken stew and chicken fricassee?

Chicken fricassee is a French dish typically made with chicken that has been cut into small pieces and cooked in a white sauce made with butter, flour, and chicken broth. The chicken is usually browned in butter before being simmered in the sauce, which may also include vegetables such as onions, carrots, and leeks. The finished dish is typically served with the sauce poured over the chicken and vegetables.

On the other hand, a French chicken stew is a dish similar to a traditional beef stew, with the chicken being cooked in a liquid with vegetables until it is tender. The liquid used to cook the chicken is typically a combination of broth and white wine; however, my recipe omits the wine. The finished dish is typically served with chicken and vegetables in the broth.

So, the main difference between the two dishes is that chicken fricassee is made with a white sauce, while French chicken stew is made with broth and white wine.

Can I add white wine to the recipe?

Yes, reduce the water by a half cup and substitute with a half cup of white wine.

French chicken stew simmering in stainless steel skillet.

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bowl of checken stew in blue rimmed plate and striped nakin on table.

French Chicken Stew

This lovely French  Chicken Stew recipe is a weekend favorite of mine.   The stew will last all weekend! 
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: French
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 652kcal
Author:Sydney Dawes


  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast divided into 4 pieces
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 cup onion chopped
  • 12 baby red potatoes
  • 2 carrots sliced thick
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 (14-ounce) can stewed tomatoes
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ cup apple juice
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • ¾ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ¾ teaspoon dried tarragon
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper


  • In a heavy skillet or dutch oven melt the butter. Sprinkle some of the herb mixtures on the chicken and brown in the skillet.
    1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast, 1 tablespoon butter, ¾ teaspoon dried thyme, ¾ teaspoon dried tarragon, ¼ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • Add onions and garlic and saute for another minute stirring constantly so as not to burn the garlic.
    1 cup onion, 3 cloves garlic
  • Add the tomatoes, water, apple juice, and chicken broth and bring to a simmer. Lower heat to a slow simmer and continue cooking for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
    1 (14-ounce) can stewed tomatoes, 1 cup water, ½ cup apple juice, ½ cup chicken broth
  • Add the carrots and potatoes and cook for another 30 minutes or until the carrots and potatoes are tender. Check chicken with a meat thermometer to make sure chicken is thoroughly cooked. season with salt and pepper to taste.
    12 baby red potatoes, 2 carrots


  • Use chicken thighs or legs as these cuts of chicken are more flavorful and stay juicy during the slow cooking process. You can use bone-in, skin-on pieces for added flavor.
  • Browning the chicken not only gives the chicken a great color but also creates a rich flavor base in your pot. Remove the chicken, and then cook your vegetables in the same pot.
  • Tarragon is the star of this dish. Use fresh tarragon if possible, as it has a superior flavor to dried. Add some early in the cooking process, and save some to stir in fresh at the end for a burst of tarragon flavor.
  • Allow the stew to simmer gently on the stovetop, this slow cooking process allows all the flavors to develop.
  • The stew is perfect on its own or served with a small green salad and bread.
  • If you have any sauce left over after the chicken and potatoes are long gone, just freeze the remaining sauce for later use. The sauce is also great over cooked rice or as a dipping sauce with fried zucchini.
  • BONUS TIP: After you’ve browned the chicken and sautéed the vegetables, deglaze the pan with a little white wine, scraping up the flavorful brown bits from the bottom. If you prefer not to use wine, you can use a bit of your broth to deglaze.
Store leftovers in a covered container and refrigerate for up to two days. Any leftover sauce can also be stored for up to one month.


Calories: 652kcal | Carbohydrates: 113g | Protein: 37g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 81mg | Sodium: 552mg | Fiber: 13g | Sugar: 15g
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Recipe Rating

One Comment

  1. 5 stars
    Thank you sharing this French chicken stew recipe. The Tarragon, carrots and apple juice gave the stew a unique touch of sweetness — loved it. The leftovers were even better! Looking forward to trying some of your other recipes :).