Roast chicken salad with cider, apple and witlof


  • Serves 4 - 6 people

There are many versions of chicken salad in French cuisine. This one channels the flavours of Normandy - cider, cider vinegar and apples - and combines them with crisp, cool witlof leaves and the anise flavour of tarragon. Walnuts would also make a fine addition.

  • 4 inner celery stalks with leaves, coarsely chopped
  • 3 Granny Smith apples, thinly sliced
  • 2 witlof, leaves separated
  • 1 cup (loosely packed) pale frisée leaves
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped tarragon
  • 2½ tbsp olive oil
  • 1½ tbsp cider vinegar
  • 40 gm crème fraîche
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • Roast chicken
  • 1 organic free-range chicken (about 1.8kg), at room temperature
  • 1 lemon, quartered
  • ½ bunch tarragon
  • 1 garlic head, halved horizontally
  • 300 ml semi-dry apple cider
  • 1½ tbsp olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
01   For roast chicken, preheat oven to 200C. Rinse chicken inside and out under cold running water, pat dry with absorbent paper, and stuff cavity with lemon and tarragon. Place in a roasting pan, add garlic, then pour cider in pan. Drizzle chicken with oil, season to taste and roast until browned and cooked through (45-50 minutes; juices should run clear when the thickest part of the thigh is pierced with a skewer). Cool, then coarsely shred meat (discard skin and reserve bones for stock) and transfer to a large bowl. Squeeze garlic cloves from skins into a separate bowl and mash with a fork.
02   Add celery and leaves, apple, witlof, frisée and tarragon to chicken, toss and season to taste.
03   Combine oil, vinegar, crème fraîche, lemon juice and mashed roast garlic in a screw-top jar, shake to emulsify and season to taste. Add a little to chicken salad, toss to coat and serve at room temperature with extra dressing on the side.
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