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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.
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.
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.