Tarragon & mustard roasted free-range chicken

A succulent chicken roast, full of herby flavour – the mustard adds a great new taste

  • Ready in about 2 hours
  • Serves 6
  • More effort

Nutrition per serving

  • kcal 583
  • fat 32g
  • saturates 10g
  • carbs 1g
  • sugars 0g
  • fibre 0g
  • protein 61g
  • salt 0.93g


  • 1 large bunch tarragon, leaves chopped and stalks reserved
  • 2 large onions, cut into large chunks
  • 2 large carrots, cut into large chunks
  • 3 sticks celery, roughly chopped
  • 1 head fennel, roughly chopped
  • 100ml olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1 garlic head, roughly chopped (skin and all)
  • 2 x 1½ kg free-range chicken
  • 1 lemon, quartered
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard, plus 1 extra tsp
  • ½ bottle hearty red wine
  • 500ml chicken or vegetable stock


  1. 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.

  2. While the vegetables are cooking, remove any string from the chickens, sprinkle the cavities with salt and pepper and stuff the lemon quarters inside.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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