Monday, February 11, 2013

Poulet a L'estragon

 I have been reading Elizabeth David recently , how inspirational! To think she wrote in the 1950's and 1960's a time in post war Britain when Olive Oil, Aubergines, even Courgettes were unheard of. She was very much a pioneer in bringing the colours tastes and aromas of the Mediterranean to our table.
Such an endearing character , a National Treasure. Her writing is beautifully crafted , there is a Waugh, Woodhouse style to it which is wonderfully nostalgic and a pleasure to read.
I was very keen to attempt Poulet a L'estaragon, as Elizabeth David puts it "Tarragon has quite a remarkable affinity with Chicken" beautifully put and so true

Taking a plumb Roasting Bird I made a stuffing for the cavity of Garlic a handful of fresh Tarragon chopped and mixed it into about 100gm of Butter added some salt and Pepper and put in the cavity along with a hot stabbed whole Lemon.

Generously covered the bird with Olive Oil and Seasoned well. Put the bird into a preheated Oven at 200c on its side, after twenty minutes baste and flip to the other side after a further 20 minutes put the bird Breast side up for another 25 minutes.
After the hour and five minutes take the bird out of the oven and add a ladle of flamed Brandy over the whole Bird and return to the oven for five minutes.

Take the bird out and tip it up to let all that Tarragon butter run into the juices in the tray and set the bird to one side covered in tin foil to let it rest.

Spoon off any excess fat and add a wine glass or so of fresh Cream, and stir, I then tipped into another pan and reduced, added a splash of Madeira and some fresh Tarragon.

The result is sumptuous it lifts a basic Roast Chicken into a dish of Escoffier proportions. I was surprised how good it was, definitely in my top ten favourite dishes.


  1. This looks delicious! I m a huge fan of Elizabeth David and I too have had a lot of fun exploring her recipes. Living in France myself I find it so interesting to recreate authentic dishes. She is a legend.

  2. This is one of my favourite ways to roast a chicken. Just looking at these pictures is making me salivate.