Saute of free-range chicken with potatoes and shallots

all details

The preparation is done either the day before you wish to serve the chicken or in the morning. Remove all wrappings from the bird and place uncovered in the refrigerator for at least an hour or so to dry out the skin.

Saute of free-range chicken with potatoes and shallots
Photo: Marina Oliphant


  • 1 x 1.8kg free-range chicken
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 3 tbsp Dijon-style mustard
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • generous quantity of coarsely chopped French tarragon (spring and summer) or stripped lemon Thyme leaves (winter)
  • 500g smallest waxy potatoes (or large ones cut into chunks)
  • 12 shallots
  • 4 cloves garlic, unpeeled
  • extra virgin olive oil for baking dish
  • For stock
  • 1 carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 1 stick celery, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 onion, peeled and chopped
  • thyme, bay leaf, parsley stalks
  • Chicken back and bony scraps
  • 2 tab dry white wine or dry vermouth
  • extra herb used in the saute


Carefully remove the legs and thighs. Separate each into two pieces. Cut out the backbone and drop it into the stockpot. Separate the two breast fillets, keeping them on the bone, being careful not to dislodge the skin. Cut away the wing bone where it joins the breast meat. You should now have 8 pieces. Season the pieces well with salt and pepper.

Add the stock vegetables and herbs to the pot with the chicken carcass scraps. Barely cover with cold water and bring to simmering point. Skim. Reduce heat to a murmur and cook stock for at least 3 hours.

Strain and chill. Remove all fat. Measure out 2 cups of the stock and reduce rapidly to two-thirds of a cup. Reserve until needed.

If using large potatoes parboil them for 5 minutes, drain, cut into bite-sized chunks and toss them around the saucepan for a minute to roughen the edges.

Put the shallots into cold water and bring to boil. Strain and peel.

Select a baking dish that will comfortably hold the chicken pieces and the vegetables in a single layer without extra space. Lightly oil the dish

Mix the mustard with the oil in a small bowl. Using your hands massage the mixture into all sides of each chicken piece. Transfer mustard-coated chicken pieces to the baking dish. Scatter over the herbs. Tip in the potatoes and the shallots and the unpeeled garlic cloves.

The dish can be prepared to this point several hours before dinner.

Preheat oven to 200C. Remove baking dish from refrigerator. Roast 20 minutes. Turn all pieces carefully, and shake the vegetables loose.

Roast a further 20 minutes. Turn once more. The chicken pieces should now be skin uppermost.

Roast a further 10-15 minutes or until the skin looks golden-brown and the juices run clear from the thigh pieces when tested with a fine skewer.

Remove chicken, vegetables and garlic cloves to a heated serving dish. Pour off the fat from the baking dish. Deglaze it with the wine, let it bubble up. Stir well to dislodge all the yummy bits, then add the stock and stir and scrape until you have a small quantity of very delicious sauce. Spoon this over and around the chicken pieces, scatter with extra herbs and serve at once.

Serve either a separately-cooked green vegetable (baby beans or leaf spinach) or just a lovely green salad to be enjoyed on the same plates.

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  • Main Ingredients - Chicken
  • Cuisine - French
  • Course - Main-course


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