Tarragon & Mascarpone Chicken

Each month, Matthew Jukes gives you a simple but stunning starter or main course recipe to serve with either Jukes 1, 2, 5, 6 or 8. 

This month is Tarragon & Mascarpone Chicken (for 4 people) with Jukes 1.

This is one of the easiest recipes in our Jukes culinary repertoire, and it is a stunning precise match, too.  With very little preparation time and barely any effort needed to plate up your bounty, this is a perfect dinner party dish.

Ingredients 

1 medium-sized organic free range Chicken

80g Mascarpone 

1 Lemon – with half of the zest finely grated

1 bunch of fresh Tarragon 

1 small glass of dry white Wine or good quality Chicken stock

Sea Salt and cracked black Pepper

Butter

 Method

Ensure the chicken is room temperature before you start. In a bowl, mix the lemon zest, mascarpone, and 5g of finely chopped tarragon leaves with a pinch of salt and lots of black pepper.

Place the chicken in a roasting pan, loosen the skin by pushing your fingers gently under the skin around the breast and, with a teaspoon, push the mascarpone mix little by little under the skin, smoothing it around and down the chicken as you go. 

Squeeze half the lemon over the chicken and leave the squeezed lemon inside the chicken’s cavity along with a few twigs of tarragon.  Smear butter, by hand, all over the outside and inside the chicken and sprinkle over a pinch of some salt flakes and lots of cracked black pepper.

Cover with foil and roast for an hour at 160C.  After an hour, remove the foil and baste the chicken with the juices in the bottom of the pan. Continue roasting for another 30-45 mins depending on the size of the chicken. 

Once the chicken is golden brown and cooked through, remove it from the oven and keep it warm under the foil.  Let it rest for 20 minutes before serving.  Deglaze the pan with a small glass of white wine or chicken stock and reduce it well.  Check this gravy for seasoning and serve it alongside the carved chicken.

This dish works exceptionally well with a simple white bean and herb salad or new potatoes dripping in butter with crunchy green veg of your choice.