Chicken Riviera

, This is an excellent and unusual chicken salad with an interesting contrast in textures and flavours. If you like, the chicken may be roasted the day before and kept, zurapped in aluminium foil, in the refrigerator.

1 x 4 lb. chicken

½ teaspoon salt

3 tarragon sprigs

2 tablespoons butter

8 fl. oz. water

1 large Cos lettuce, washed and drained

2 oz. walnuts, quartered

1 teaspoon mustard

1 teaspoon sugar

2 teaspoon freshly ground black

pepper

½ teaspoon salt

6 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons vinegar

2 fl. oz. single cream 14 oz. canned, stoned cherries, drained

1 teaspoon dried tarragon

Preheat the oven to moderate 350°F (Gas Mark 4, 180°C).

Rub the chicken, inside and out, with the salt. Put the tarragon and 1 tablespoon of the butter inside the bird. Rub the remaining butter over the bird. Place the chicken in a roasting tin and pour the water around it. Put the pan in the oven and roast the chicken for 1

½ to 2 hours or until the chicken is tender. Test it by piercing the thigh with a skewer-the juice that runs out should

be clear. Baste frequently and, halfway through the cooking, turn the chicken over so that it browns on all sides.

When the chicken is cooked, remove it from the oven. Allow it to cool completely and then carve it into 8 serving pieces.

Refrigerate the chicken pieces for about 30 minutes, so that they will be very cold.

Skim any fat from the surface of the cooking juices in the roasting pan. Pour the juices through a strainer into a jug.

Reserve 5 fluid ounces .

To make the sauce, put the mustard, sugar, pepper and salt in a small bowl. With a fork, beat in the oil and vinegar. Stir

in the cream and the reserved cooking juices. (If the juices have jellied, melt them over very low heat and allow to cool

slightly.) Add the cherries and the tarragon.

Put the lettuce leaves on a serving dish or 4 individual dishes. Remove the chicken pieces from the refrigerator and arrange them on the bed of lettuce. Spoon the sauce over the top. Garnish with the walnuts and serve.

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