Epic tarragon and roast chicken recipe

Generously drizzle the skin with olive oil and work it into all the nooks and crannies

It’s the sauce of this chicken that really sets it apart: tarragon, cream and a proper dollop of mustard, which when combined with the cooking juices, garlic and wine creates a truly epic mouthful.


Prep time: 15 minutes, plus 1 hour to bring to room temperature and 15 minutes’ resting time 
Cook time: 1 hour 10 minutes




  • 1 organic chicken

  • 3 tbsp olive oil

  • 1 whole head of garlic

  • 250ml double cream

  • 20g fresh tarragon, stalks removed, roughly chopped

  • 1 heaped tbsp Dijon mustard

  • glass of dry white wine

julius roberts
Roberts previously worked as a chef in London, but says, 'ultimately I’m just a home cook'


  1. Preheat your oven to 240C/220C fan/gas mark 9 and start by spatchcocking the chicken. To do this, turn it over and cut along one side of the spine from the tail to the neck. Then turn it over, open out the two sides and press down hard to flatten it. Your butcher will gladly do this for you. Lay the chicken in a large, high-sided roasting tray, season generously with salt on both sides and leave for an hour at room temperature so it loses the chill of the fridge.

  2. Generously drizzle the skin with olive oil and work it into all the nooks and crannies. Smash the head of garlic and hide the cloves underneath the chicken, then roast in the oven for 20–30 minutes, until the skin begins to turn golden brown. Mix the cream, tarragon and mustard in a bowl and season well.

  3. After 20-30 minutes, turn the oven down to 160C/140C fan/gas mark 3, take out the chicken and pour a generous glass of white wine into the tray.

  4. Then pour the tarragon cream all over the chicken and place back in the oven for 30-40 minutes until it’s ready. To judge when it’s cooked, I check the deepest part of the thigh with a temperature probe, looking for 65-70C. If you don’t have one, prod this point with a skewer and ensure the juices run clear.

  5. Remove from the oven and leave to rest for 15 minutes, covered loosely with a bit of foil.

  6. Carve straight into the tray and serve with lots of the sauce, garlic and a zingy green salad.

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