Tarragon Roasted Chicken and Root Vegetables

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Roast chicken has to be one of my favourite comfort food dinners, ever. 

That crispy skin, juicy meat and all those starchy root veggies cooked in the same tray. 

I mean, seriously. Look at it. 

I'm writing this with the rain lashing down outside in big, ploppy drops and have my biggest, thickest jumper on along with thick grey and pink slipper socks with white bobbles on. My Jack Russell terrier has burrowed underneath my duvet, upstairs. It's cold, wet and grey. 

And I totally need a roast dinner like this.

Chicken and tarragon is a classic combo - although I also love tarragon with egg yolk, in a mayonnaise, and also with lamb, where its aniseed sweetness cuts through the fattiness of the meat. But I do love this. 

The chicken is cooked along with the veggies, which gives them a soft tenderness and a deep, rich flavour, after sizzling gently for an hour and a half in all that chicken fat and juices. Plus, cooking them all in the same tray reduces the amount of washing up you have to do (always a bonus, right?). 

And, don't forget, you can always change up the veggies you use. Leave out the potatoes if you like and use parsnip chunks instead - sweet potato, celeriac, carrots, butternut squash - it will all work well here. 

Treat yourself. 

Tarragon Roasted Chicken and Root Vegetables
Serves 4
2 large sweet potatoes, cut into large chunks
8 small new potatoes, washed well
2 large carrots, washed, trimmed and chopped into big chunks
1 tbsp olive or avocado oil
1.2kg whole chicken, giblets removed
2 tbsp olive oil (or avocado oil)
1 tbsp dried tarragon
quarter teaspoon garlic salt
pinch of sea salt

First, prep the veggies. Cut the sweet potatoes into large chunks and clatter them on a large roasting tray. You can line the roasting tray with foil to make washing up easier, if you like, first. Add the new potatoes, if using, and the carrot pieces. Make sure to leave the pieces quite large, otherwise the vegetables will cook too quickly and turn to mush. 

Drizzle with a little oil and put to one side. 

Mix together the dried tarragon, garlic salt and the remaining 2 tbsp oil until you have a loose paste. Rub this all over the skin of the chicken, making sure to get it over the legs and wings and underside, too. Place the chicken on top of the vegetables and slide into an oven, preheated to gas mark 5/190C/375F. Roast for one and a half hours, or until the chicken is fully cooked through and there are no pink juices remaining. 

Once everything is cooked, season with a pinch of salt and then carve the chicken, serving it with the beautifully soft vegetables underneath. 

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