Pippa Middleton, Prince George’s aunt, ‘wrote’ her party book ‘Celebrate’ just before her nephew was born, and to be fair, she acknowledges in the foreword that she was seizing the moment and milking her connection to her sister Kate and brother-in-law Prince William.
Unfortunately, those connections weren’t enough to make the book a success and after disastrous sales (just 2,000 in the first week), the price was slashed from £25 to just £6.25 by WH Smith.
Pippa was reportedly paid a £400,000 advance for the book – so surely it must have some value in it?
And, actually, yes it does: this Pot Roast Tarragon Chicken, for example, was a winner – a perfect addition to any Easter lunch table this Sunday.
In the book Pippa, says: “This is a great way to cook a whole chicken while keeping the meat juicy. This recipe serves four people but is easily doubled if you have room in the oven. The chicken can be shredded in its sauce (reduce if it’s too runny) and will make a great pie filing.”
If it’s good enough for the Royal family this Easter, then it’s certainly good enough for the rest of us plebs, eh?
Ingredients (slightly modified from Pippa’s):
- 1.6kg free-range chicken
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 lemon, halved
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 4 spring onions, chopped (Pippa used an onion)
- 2 celery sticks, roughly chopped
- 2 carrots, chopped (Pippa doesn’t use carrots)
- 2 garlic cloves, squashed
- 125ml white wine
- 250ml chicken stock
- Half bunch fresh tarragon
For the sauce:
- 1 large Portobello mushroom, chopped (Pippa used button mushrooms)
- 20g butter
- 200g creme fraiche
- 1-2 tbsp wholegrain mustard (optional)
- 2 tbsp chopped tarragon leaves
1. Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas 4. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and stuff the lemon halves into the cavity.
2. Add the oil to a large frying pan and saute the the spring onion, celery, carrot and garlic for 2-3 mins.
3. Transfer to a slow cooker and sit the chicken on top of the vegetables.
4. Pour in the white wine and chicken stock before adding the tarragon. Cook on LOW for 3-4 hours until the chicken is very tender. Test by wiggling the drumstick. If it’s loose, it’s done.
5. Remove the chicken from the slow cooker and transfer to a roasting tin.
6. Preheat the oven to 200C/Gas 6 and roast the chicken for 15-20 mins to crisp and brown the skin.
7. Strain the onion, tarragon and celery through a sieve. Let the remaining liquid sit for a few minutes before skimming any fat from the surface.
8. In another pan, brown the mushrooms in the butter. Remove from the pan and set aside. Pour in the reserved liquid gradually, then whisk in the creme fraiche, mustard and tarragon. Stir well until combined and cook until starting to thicken, before finally adding the mushrooms.
9. Serve the chicken whole to the table in the pot and carve, or joint the rested chicken and serve in a dish with the sauce poured over. Serve with roast potatoes, roast carrots and broccoli.
For more recipes go to Keith’s Reluctant Housedad’s Recipe Shed blog.