- 1 large bunch tarragon, leaves chopped and stalks reserved
A popular and versatile herb, tarragon has an intense flavour that's a unique mix of sweet…
- 2 large onions, cut into large chunks
Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…
- 2 large carrots, cut into large chunks
The carrot, with its distinctive bright orange colour, is one of the most versatile root…
- 3 sticks celery, roughly chopped
A collection of long, thick, juicy stalks around a central, tender heart, celery ranges in…
- 1 head fennel, roughly chopped
- 100ml olive oil, plus more for drizzling
Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…
- 1 garlic head, roughly chopped (skin and all)
Part of the lily, or alium, family, of which onions are also a member, garlic is one of the most…
- 2 x 1½ kg free-range chicken
Chicken's many plus points - its versatility, as well as the ease and speed with which it…
- 1 lemon, quartered
Oval in shape, with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile fruits…
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard, plus 1 extra tsp
- ½ bottle hearty red wine
- 500ml chicken or vegetable stock
Preheat the oven to fan 180C/ conventional 200C/gas 6. Put the tarragon stalks, vegetables, olive oil and garlic in a heavy roasting tin. Place on a high heat and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables start to brown.
While the vegetables are cooking, remove any string from the chickens, sprinkle the cavities with salt and pepper and stuff the lemon quarters inside.
Lay the chickens, breast-side down, on top of the veg. Season with salt and pepper, scatter over half the chopped tarragon leaves, then drizzle with a little olive oil. Roast for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, mix 1 tbsp mustard with the remaining chopped tarragon leaves.
Remove the roasting tin from the oven, turn the chickens over and spread with the mustard mixture. Return the chickens to the oven and roast for a further 40 minutes or until the juices run clear when a thigh is pierced with a skewer.
Remove the chickens to a dish or 2 large plates and cover each one with an upturned bowl. Skim any excess fat from the roasting tin. Place the tin on a high heat, pour in the wine, and boil for 8-10 minutes until the wine has almost completely reduced. Now pour in the stock and bring to the boil, then simmer for 5-7 minutes until reduced by half. Stir in 1 tsp mustard, season to taste and strain into a gravy boat.