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Roast Farm Chicken with Cep Fricassée

  • Roast Farm Chicken with Cep Fricassée

    Master the art of roasting a chicken with cep fricassée to perfection with the help of John Burton-Race.

    Serves 8

    • 2 x 1.5 kg Chickens (e.g. Black legged chicken or poulets des landes)
    • Fine sea salt & pepper
    • 30 ml vegetable oil
    • 1 kg fresh chips
    • 1 small onion, peeled & chopped
    • 2 garlic cloves, peeled & chopped
    • 1 sprig fresh thyme
    • 1 sprig fresh tarragon
    • A handful of parsley stalks
    • 500 ml chicken stock
    • 50 ml double cream
    • Juice of 1/2 lemon
    • 2 shallots, peeled & finely chopped
    • 30 g unsalted butter
    • 2 sprigs flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped

    1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.

    2. Season the chickens. Place in a roasting tin and pour most of the vegetable oil over them. Cook in the oven for  about 40 minutes.

    3. Wipe the ceps thoroughly with damp kitchen paper. Scrape out the gills. Separate the heads for garnishing and the stalks for the sauce. Dry both thoroughly on kitchen paper. Slice the stalks.

    4. Remove the chickens from the oven. With a fork, lift each of them from the roasting tin. Tip the onion, half the garlic, the thyme, tarragon, cep and parsley stalks into the tin. Place the chickens on top and return them to the oven for another 30 minutes, basting occasionally. (In all, they should take 1 hour 10 minutes to cook.) The cep stalks will absorb all the fat and juices from the birds.

    5. When the chickens are cooked (pierce to check that the juices run clear), transfer them to a board to cool before dividing them into portions.

    6. Put the roasting tin with the cooked cep stalks and its other ingredients on the stove and add the chicken stock. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and gently simmer for a further 10 minutes.

    7. Strain the liquid through a very fine sieve into a smaller pan and bring to the boil. Add the cream, squeeze in the lemon juice and check the seasoning.

    8. Heat a small frying pan with the remaining oil. When the oil begins to smoke, tip in the cep caps, shallots and remaining garlic in one go. Add the butter and, when melted, cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring continuously. Sprinkle the parsley over the ceps.

    9. Divide the chicken into portions (4 legs, 4 breasts) and cover each portion with some of the fricassée. Pour a little of the sauce around the chicken and serve. Good accompaniments are steamed French beans and some thick, fresh pasta.

    To book a table, please call 01803 294 373 or email