Roast chicken and tarragon sauce recipe

  • Serves 4
  • 15 mins to prepare and 1 hr 30 mins to cook
  • 940 calories / serving
  • Freezable
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This beautifully succulent chicken is served with a creamy sauce made with tarragon and crème fraîche for a delicious roast showstopper. 

Preheat oven to Gas Mark 6, 200°C, fan 180°C.

Season the chicken inside and out with salt and pepper. 
Put 3 sprigs of tarragon inside the chicken cavity.
 Squeeze the lemon juice over chicken and put the squeezed half inside the cavity. Smear the chicken with butter.

Cook in the preheated oven for 15 minutes, then lower the temperature to Gas Mark 4, 180°C, 160°C fan and cook for another 1 hour. Check the chicken is cooked through by inserting a sharp knife into the thickest part of the thigh - the juices should run clear.

Remove from oven, cover with foil and leave to rest in a warm place. Pour the fat and juices from the roasting tin into a small saucepan.

Deglaze the roasting pan by adding the Noilly Prat or wine to it, placing it over a moderate heat and scraping up all the sticky residue with a wooden spoon.

Add this to the pan of juices and boil until reduced to no more than 1 or 2 tablespoons. Add the stock and a sprig of tarragon. Bring to the boil again and boil until reduced by one-third. Stir in the crème fraîche and boil until reduced to a light coating consistency. Chop the remaining tarragon and add that with any juices that have come from the resting chicken.

Serve the carved chicken with the tarragon cream sauce.

*Inspired by Lucinda B. featured in the Realfood Cookbook

For top tips on protecting you and your family when preparing raw meat and poultry, visit Food Safety in the Home.

  • Ingredients

  • 1 whole chicken, about 1.5kg (3lb), preferably free-range or corn-fed
  • salt and pepper
  • 6 sprigs fresh tarragon
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • 50g butter
  • 1 glass Noilly Prat or medium-dry white wine
  • 250ml (8fl oz) chicken stock
  • 2 tbsp creme fraiche
  • Energy 3910kj 940kcal 47%
  • Fat 70g 100%
  • Saturates 26g 130%
  • Sugars 1g 1%
  • Salt 2.3g 38%

of the reference intake
Carbohydrate 1.1g Protein 72.7g Fibre 0.1g


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