- Preparation and cooking time
- Serves 8 - 10
Choose your favourite herb for this beautifully moist springtime chicken dish - fresh basil or mint would be ideal
- STEP 1
Heat oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5. Put the pancetta in a heavy-based frying pan and gently fry until crisp – if you start the pancetta slowly from a cold pan you shouldn’t need to add oil. Lift out with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add shallots to the pan, there should be some pancetta fat left, then fry for 10-15 mins until golden and starting to soften. Tip the shallots into your largest roasting tin.
- STEP 2
Rub the olive oil over both chickens, season well with salt and pepper, then snuggle the chickens into the tin. Roast for 1 hr 20 mins until golden and cooked through. To check they’re cooked, pierce the thighs through to the bone – the juices should run clear. Lift the chickens onto a plate or another tin, cover with foil and rest while you finish the veg.
- STEP 3
Put the roasting tin directly on the hob and stir in the stock. Bubble for a few mins, scraping up any stuck bits, then stir in the peas, pancetta and most of the chopped tarragon. Bubble for a few mins more until the peas are cooked, then season and sit the chickens back on top, or transfer everything to a serving dish if you want a smarter presentation. Scatter the chickens with the remaining tarragon, and serve with potatoes – mashed, jacket or roasted, or boiled new potatoes.