Annie Bell's Buttery Herby Chicken with Wine Gravy

Richly aromatic and temptingly fragrant, our herby beauty captures the essence of the season.


1. Preheat the oven to 220C/200C fan/425F/gas 7. Sit the chicken breast up on a large plate. Blend the herbs with 50g of the butter and half a teaspoon each of salt and pepper in a bowl. Starting at the neck end of the bird, slip your fingers under the skin covering the breast to loosen it. Smooth the herb butter over the breast meat then pat the skin back into place, spreading the butter out evenly.
2. Rub the remaining 25g butter all over the chicken. Season. Place the chicken in a roasting dish that holds it snugly. Pour the wine into the dish and if necessary add stock or water to bring the liquid to a depth of 2cm. Roast for 50 minutes: there should be plenty of juices left at the end, but check halfway through and add a drop more water if necessary. Rest out of the oven for 15 minutes.
3. Transfer the chicken to a plate, tipping any juices from inside the bird back into the roasting dish. Skim off the surface fat and simmer for a minute or two, stirring, until slightly thickened. Sieve into a bowl or jug. Carve the chicken and serve with the gravy.

NOTE For the herb butter, we used a mixture of parsley, chives, tarragon and chervil.

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