I didn’t manage to get any photos of the cooking process here sadly, and only just remembered to get a picture before it all vanished. I mentioed this recipe on here years ago, but have never got round to writing it up.

This is all very rich, but well worth it.

You will need

  • A whole chicken
  • A bunch of tarragon
  • A good knob of butter
  • Potatoes, scrubbed and cut into inch and a half cubes
  • Onions, peeled and quartered
  • A lemon, maybe two
  • Carrots, scrubbed and battered quarters
  • A head of garlic slices through but not separated into cloves
  • Single cream
  • Salt and pepper
  • A good slug of white wine

Do

  1. Fine chop 3/4 of the tarragon, zest the lemons and mix with the butter and a good dose of black pepper
  2. Spatchcock the chicken by cutting down one side of the breast bone right through, flipping over, whacking flat and popping the joints (hip and wing)
  3. Nick the skin in a few places, push a finger in and loosen the skin, then squeeze herby butter into the gaps. Massage from the outside to move the butter around plenty. Salt the outside.
  4. Put all the veg into a roasting tray and put the chicken on top, caverty down and spread flat
  5. Roast at 180 for about an hour by which time the chicken should be well browned and the veg swimming in butter and chicken juices.
  6. Lift the chicken off to a separate tray and break up into pieces the right size for serving.
  7. Slice the lemon into wedges and sadd the rest of the tarragon, a glass of white wine and a good glug of cream to the chicken. Stir it all round and pop it into the low rack of the oven.
  8. If the veg is still swimming in liquid, pour off enough to leave about a centimetre in the tray. I imagine this makes amazing gravy.
  9. Return the veg to the top shelf an whack the temperature right up.
  10. Give it about 15 minutes by which point the veg should be browned on the top and the cream bubbling up round the chicken
  11. Serve. Remember to give the veg tray a really good scraping for delicious stuck on bits.

Result

The chicken should be super tender, exposed bits crispy, anything under the cream unctious and rich. The lemon helps balance the cream and the rich tarragon comes through. The veg has sticky bits, crunchy bits, super savoury “cooked in chicken stock” bit, it’s dinnerpartytastic.

You are lucky to even see this much