Delia’s Roast chicken with Riesling, grapes and tarragon

Posted: April 4, 2010 by nietize in British

From Waitrose recipes online
Serves: 4


1 x 1.35kg essential Waitrose small British chicken
225g seedless white grapes
1 x 25g packet fresh tarragon leaves
1 medium shallot
425ml Riesling or dry white wine
200ml tub half-fat crème fraîche

You’ll also need a medium-sized solid-based flameproof roasting tin, lightly oiled.


Preheat the oven to 230°C, gas mark 8. First of all, the chicken and the grapes need to be at room temperature, so remove them from the fridge about an hour (half an hour on a hot day) before cooking. Snip off the strings and open out the chicken.

Reserve four sprigs of tarragon for later, then strip off the leaves and chop them, reserving a tablespoonful. Now cut the grapes in half and finely chop the shallot. Next, in a bowl, combine the shallots, chopped tarragon and about two-thirds of the grapes, then place the whole lot inside the body cavity of the chicken.

Then season the chicken and place it in the roasting tin into the lower third of the oven and roast for 1 hour – without opening the door. (Because ovens vary, test the thickest part of the chicken with a skewer and if the juices run clear it’s cooked, if not give it another 5–10 minutes).

What you now need to do is spoon out the grape stuffing and keep on one side. Then put a wooden spoon into the body cavity and using a spatula to hold the breast end, tip the chicken and let all the juices run out into the roasting tin. Transfer the chicken to a carving board and leave in a warm place to rest for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, place the tin over direct heat, add the wine and let the whole lot bubble and reduce by half – this will take about 5–6 minutes. Then whisk in the crème fraîche, add the stuffing and the rest of the grapes, and let it gently bubble for another 8 minutes. Finally add the reserved chopped tarragon, carve the chicken, spoon the sauce over and garnish with sprigs of tarragon.

Delia Smith is cooking this dish on British telly as part of an advertising campaign for Waitrose. And since it’s Easter and I wanted a roast for Sunday lunch, I decided to do it as well. The grape stuffing makes the chicken nice and moist inside although I am still not convinced that grapes goes with chicken despite all the recipes I have seen, particularly from the French. To me, they just don’t seem to go together. That said, chicken was wonderfully roasted and juicy and so I got my nice sunday roast.


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