Roast Chicken Salad with Sweet Corn and Beans

3:10 pm on 31 January 2014


  • 1 x size 14 free-range chicken
  • Pared rind of 1/2 orange
  • 1 tbsp chopped tarragon, plus 2-3 sprigs
  • 30g butter
  • 1 large clove garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • sea salt
  • 500ml chicken stock
  • 1 punnet fleshy cherry tomatoes, sea salt, caster sugar, extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 fresh sweet corn
  • 350g fresh green beans
  • 1 small buttercrunch or cos lettuce, washed, dried and torn into bite-sized pieces
  • char-grilled bread or steamed baby potatoes to serve, optional


4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp tarragon vinegar
1 tbsp creamy Dijon mustard
3/4 tsp salt


Preheat oven to 180°C (fanbake).

Remove any fat from inside chicken cavity, then rinse inside and out with running water. Drain briefly so any water can run out of cavity, then pat dry with paper towels. Put orange peel and a spring of tarragon in cavity.

Mix just a little more than half the butter with the chopped tarragon, garlic and 1/4 tsp salt. Slip your fingers between the chicken skin and breast meat to form two pockets and squeeze in the herb butter, massaging it gently until smooth. Tie chicken legs and parson’s nose together then loop the string around the chicken and tie in a bow (the bow makes it easy to remove after cooking).

Transfer chicken to an oven dish that fits it snugly, smear the top with the remaining butter and sprinkle with sea salt. Pour 1 cup of stock around chicken. Strew with remaining tarragon sprigs and drape with a piece of baking paper. Roast chicken for one and a half hours, discarding paper after 30 minutes, then baste often, and adding more stock as required to prevent juices scorching. Remove chicken form oven but leave it in the roasting tin to cool for 45-60 minutes.

Increase oven temperature to 225°C (fanbake). Cut tomatoes in half and place cut side up in a shallow roasting tin (I use a Swiss roll tin), lined with baking paper. Sprinkle with sea salt and caster sugar then drizzle with oil. Bake tomatoes for about 20 minutes, or until collapsed and showing signs of light charring.

Make the dressing by whisking together all the ingredients. Strip corn cobs of husks and silks and boil cobs for 10 minutes in unsalted water. Drain, drape with paper towels and cool. When cool enough to handle, slice kernels off the cobs with a sharp knife. Trim beans, cut in half and cook for a few minutes in a pot of boiling salted water. Drain.

Remove chicken from tin and take out the string. Pull chicken apart into joints; where possible slip out bones. Cut the breast meat. (If only serving 4, reserve some chicken meat for a second meal).

Put prepared lettuce on a large platter, then chicken pieces, beans, tomatoes and corn. Re-whisk dressing and spoon on top. Toss everything very gently, just once or twice, then serve. To make the meal go further serve with char-grilled bread or steamed baby potatoes.

From Afternoons with Jesse Mulligan

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