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Roast chicken salad with cider, apple and witlof

Australian Gourmet Traveller recipe for roast chicken salad with cider, apple and witlof.

By Emma Knowles
  • 20 mins preparation
  • 50 mins cooking plus cooling
  • Serves 4 - 6
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Roast chicken salad with cider, apple and witlof
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
  • Juice of ½ lemon
Roast chicken
  • 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


  • 1
    For 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.
  • 2
    Add celery and leaves, apple, witlof, frisée and tarragon to chicken, toss and season to taste.
  • 3
    Combine 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.