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 pale frisée leaves (loosely packed)
- ½ cup coarsely chopped tarragon
- 2½ tbsp olive oil
- 1½ tbsp cider vinegar
- 40 gm crème fraîche
- 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
- 1For 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.
- 2Add celery and leaves, apple, witlof, frisée and tarragon to chicken, toss and season to taste.
- 3Combine 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.