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    Lemon Chicken Mayonnaise with Grapes and Celery

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    Lemon Chicken Mayonnaise with Grapes and Celery

    It is important that neither the cooked chicken or cooked rice hangs about at room temperature for long. The chicken can be roasted the day before. The rice salad should be made shortly before it is needed.

    • Preparation time: 60 minutes
    • Cooking time: 1½ hours for roasting chicken, plus cooling
    • Total time: 2.5 hours, plus cooling 60 minutes 60 minutes 30 minutes

    Serves: 6


    • 2 lemons
    • 1.6kg oven-ready organic chicken
    • Salt
    • Freshly ground black pepper
    • 3 sprigs tarragon
    • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
    • Rice Salad
    • 6 salad onions, sliced into small chunks
    • 300g basmati and wild rice
    • 1 pack chives, finely chopped
    • 1 pack parsley, finely chopped
    • ½ tsp finely chopped tarragon, plus extra sprigs for garnish
    • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
    • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
    • 150ml mayonnaise
    • 150g grapes, halved and seeded
    • 4 inner celery stems, sliced


    1. Preheat the oven to 190°C/gas 5. Halve one of the lemons and squeeze its juice over the chicken, then stuff the lemon halves into its cavity along with the tarragon. Rub the whole bird with 1 tbsp olive oil, liberally season and place, breast side down, in a roasting tray.
    2. Roast for 90 minutes, basting occasionally. Turn twice during roasting, liberally basting the chicken as you do so. Test whether the bird is cooked by inserting a skewer between its thigh and breast. If the juices run clear, it is cooked. Once the bird is cooked, remove and cool as quickly as possible. Pour off the juices from the roasting tray. Chill the chicken and its juices until needed.
    3. Put the rice in a pan with 750ml water and a pinch of salt. Bring to the boil, cover, then simmer for 20 minutes. The rice should have absorbed all the water and be tender and fluffy. Spread the rice out on two plates. Fluff up with a fork and leave to cool.
    4. Finely grate the zest of the remaining lemon and squeeze its juice. Mix the zest in a large bowl with the chopped herbs, white wine vinegar and 3 tbsp olive oil. Season and mix in the tepid rice.
    5. While the rice is cooling, prepare the cold chicken. Peel off its skin and prise its flesh away from the carcass. Dice the skinned meat and place in a large bowl with the mayonnaise and 2 tbsp lemon juice. Discard the fat from the roasting juices, then liquefy the dark jelly that remains by heating it very gently - just enough to make it liquid. Mix into the chicken. Add the grape halves, celery and salad onions and season to taste. When ready to serve, arrange the rice on a platter and arrange the chicken in the centre of it. Garnish with fresh tarragon leaves.

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