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Mary Berry’s Roast Chicken with Tarragon Butter and Melting Onions

This flavoursome twist on classic roast chicken from Mary Berry's brand new BBC2 series Simple Comforts is made with tarragon butter and meltingly soft onions.

From the book


Roast chicken seems to me to be the ultimate comfort meal for all the family. It’s something everyone loves and it brings family and friends together to share stories and memories.

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50g (2oz butter, softened
1 garlic clove, crushed
2cm (¾in) knob of fresh root ginger, finely grated
1 tbsp chopped tarragon
zest of ½ lemon
1.8–2kg (4–4½lb) free-range oven-ready chicken
2 large onions, very thickly sliced
olive oil, for drizzling
salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the gravy:
50g (2oz) flour
100ml (3½fl oz) white wine
500ml (17fl oz) chicken stock
Worcestershire sauce, to taste
1 tbsp redcurrant jelly
gravy browning (optional)
1 tbsp chopped tarragon


1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/Gas 6.

2. Measure the butter, garlic, ginger, tarragon and lemon zest into a small bowl, season and mix well. Place the chicken on a board. Loosen the skin over the breast and pull it up to make a pocket (but do not pull the skin off ). Push the butter mixture under the skin and use your hand to spread the mixture out into an even layer. Push the skin back down. Put any tarragon stalks into the cavity of the chicken.

3. Transfer the chicken to a roasting tin and scatter the onions around it. Drizzle a little oil over the skin and legs, rub it in, then season the chicken with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for about 1½ hours.

4. To test if the chicken is cooked, insert a small, sharp knife or a skewer into the thickest part of the thigh; if the juices run clear, it is done. Transfer the chicken to a board, cover with foil and leave to rest for 5 minutes. Spoon the onions into a hot serving bowl.

5. Place the roasting tin with the cooking juices over a medium heat. Sprinkle over the flour and whisk until smooth. Add the wine, stock, Worcestershire sauce, redcurrant jelly and the gravy browning, if using. Whisk over the heat for 5 minutes until well combined and thickened. Check the seasoning, pour the gravy through a sieve into a warm jug and stir in the tarragon.

Carve the chicken and serve with the meltingly soft onions.


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From the book: Simple Comforts

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