- 2.4kg whole free range chicken
- 1½ garlic bulb
- A handful of tarragon
- 300g crème fraîche
- 1½ tbsp Dijon mustard
- Sea salt
- Freshly ground pepper
Preheat the oven to 230°C/Fan 210°C/Gas 8. Take out the giblets and freeze to use in gravy another time. Halve the bulb of garlic. Tuck half the garlic into the cavity, along with a sprig of tarragon. Pop the chicken in a snug roasting tin.
To keep the breasts extra tender, tie the ends of the legs together with string (where they crisscross over the breasts), pointing upwards. Pat the chicken dry all over (this helps crisp up the skin). Dust with salt and pepper.
Roast for 1 hr then turn the oven down to 180°C/Fan 160°C/Gas 4. Add the other garlic bulb half to the tin. Roast for 30 mins more till golden and the juices run clear when you pierce the thickest part of the thigh with a skewer.
While the chicken cooks, strip the leaves from the remaining tarragon. Finely chop the leaves. Swirl into the crème fraîche with the mustard.
Remove the chicken from the oven. Place the chicken on a platter. Let it rest a good 30 mins to 1 hr before carving. Serve with the tarragon crème fraîche.
GOOD GRAVY You can either serve the cold tarragon crème fraîche with your chicken as is, or you can turn it into a creamy gravy. To do this, strain the pan juices into a pan. Press the roasted garlic from inside and outside the chicken through the sieve, too. Simmer for 5 mins, then stir in the crème fraîche. SUPER SIDES Make Vichy carrots. Slice carrots in half lengthways. Put in a pan with some butter, 1 tsp honey and some bay leaves if you have them. Season and cover with sparkling water. Bring to the boil and simmer, uncovered, for 15 mins till most of the liquid has evaporated and the carrots are tender. ANY LEFTOVERS Shred any leftover chicken and use it in our Pulled Chicken with Ruby Grapefruit & Charred Romaine. Find it at abelandcole.co.uk/recipes