Crème Fraîche Roast Chicken

Roast chickenFirst of all, happy 2016! After a few days’ break, I really managed to recharge my batteries and am now looking forward to whatever this new year brings — hopefully many good things!
Today was the first day back to work/school for my family and I, and I must admit that it was somewhat difficult. No more waking up at 10:30, or lazy brunches and wine and nibbles as a midday snack (instead of the usual green tea and fruit, which I’m having as I write this blog), no more overindulging and claiming that calories don’t count during the holidays. All good things must come to an end, which makes me think of a Dr. Seuss quote: “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”

I don’t know about you, but I don’t really believe in new year’s resolutions. I don’t like to force things upon myself just because the calendar has a different number, and I don’t think you can suddenly change from one day to the next. Any major change involves a gradual process, in my humble opinion.
So no, no diets or post-holiday ‘detoxing’ for me. I know those extra pounds will melt away in a week or two. They always do. It’s just a matter of picking up where I left off. The same happens when I go to France in the summer and eat/drink as though it’s my life’s purpose. Back in Holland it’s water, oats, green tea, fruit, salads and ‘normal’ dinners again.
And a ‘normal’ Sunday dinner, no matter what the time of year, usually means roast chicken. Nothing beats putting a good French chicken into the oven and sitting back to enjoy the aromas that waft through the house as it cooks.
Yesterday I roasted my first chicken of 2016 — enough reason for a blog post sharing what I truly believe is a recipe you will love.
For this recipe you will be rubbing the chicken with a mixture of thick crème fraîche, tarragon, garlic (lots of it!), grainy mustard and salt and pepper (also don’t skimp here!). The cream rub makes the chicken incredibly moist and gives it a mild, beautiful flavor. Much more elegant than chicken rubbed with butter or olive oil.
I served it with pan-fried potatoes and brussels sprouts, but if you want to take a lazier approach, buy yourself a good baguette and serve with a simple salad.
May 2016 be delicious!

Crème Fraîche Roast Chicken
Serves 4

  • 3 tbsps crème fraîche
  • 1 tbsp, plus a bit more, dried tarragon
  • 1 tbsp grainy mustard
  • 5 cloves of garlic, pressed
  • fleur de sel
  • freshly cracked pepper
  • 1 organic chicken (approx. 1 1/2 kilos)
  • 100ml white wine

Take the chicken out of the fridge half an hour before roasting it and place on a roasting tray. Preheat the oven to 180C and combine the crème fraîche, tarragon, mustard, garlic and salt and pepper. Rub half of this mixture over the chicken and put the other half in the chicken’s cavity. Roast the chicken for half an hour. Remove from the oven and pour the wine into the tray (not over the chicken). Cover the chicken with foil and return to the oven. Allow to cook for another hour, but baste twice. Remove the foil and allow to cook for 15 more minutes. Take the chicken out of the oven and allow it to rest for about 10 minutes before carving.

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