Crispy Roast Chicken With Riesling, Grapes and Tarragon

Total Time
1hr 35mins
Prep 5 mins
Cook 1 hr 30 mins

Crispy roast chicken is served with a creamy Riesling, shallot and grape sauce - elegant enough for a dinner party or simple enough for a family meal, this really is a great recipe. This is a new Delia Smith recipe that she devised for Waitrose, and it is simply stunning! I have made it twice now and with great success. Delia says: "Now that roasting chickens are generally smaller, the absolute best way to roast them is fast. If you've not tried this yet, you simply have to, because once you've tasted the crispy outside and the succulent juiciness inside, you'll never roast a chicken any other way." I totally agree, and my only stipulation would be to make sure that you use a good organic chicken from a reputable farmer's market, butcher or supermarket.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 8, 230°C or 450°F.
  2. First of all, the chicken and the grapes need to be at room temperature, so remove them from the fridge about an hour (half an hour on a hot day) before cooking. Snip off the strings and open out the chicken.
  3. Reserve four sprigs of tarragon for later, then strip off the leaves and chop them, reserving a tablespoonful. Now cut the grapes in half and finely chop the shallot. Next, in a bowl, combine the shallots, chopped tarragon and about two-thirds of the grapes, then place the whole lot inside the body cavity of the chicken.
  4. Then season the chicken with salt and pepper and place it in a roasting tin into the lower third of the oven and roast for 1 hour - without opening the door. (Because ovens vary, test the thickest part of the chicken with a skewer and if the juices run clear, it's cooked. If not, give it another 5-10 minutes.).
  5. What you now need to do is spoon out the grape stuffing and keep on one side. Then put a wooden spoon into the cavity and, using a spatula to hold the breast end, tip the chicken and let all the juices run out into the roasting tin. Transfer the chicken to a carving board and leave in a warm place to rest for 20 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, place the tin over direct heat, add the wine and let the whole lot bubble and reduce by half - this will take about 5-6 minutes. Then whisk in the creme fraiche, add the stuffing and the rest of the grapes, and let it gently bubble for another 8 minutes. Finally add the reserved chopped tarragon, carve the chicken, spoon the sauce over and garnish with sprigs of tarragon.
  7. Notes on ingredients: For a 1.76kg chicken it will take an extra 10 minutes and may smoke a little because of the extra fat content but it's nothing to worry about.
Most Helpful

Didn't have any creme fraiche, so we made some the day before by leaving 1 cup cream + 2T buttermilk on the kitchen counter for the day. Fun little science experiment for the kids to watch it thicken. so the creme fraiche was full fat and the tarragon package i could find was only 19 g, but other than that I followed the directions exactly. The chicken was perfectly cooked, tender and moist w/ an amazing crispy skin. We thought the tarragon was overpowering though. Made for ZWT6--Whine and Cheese.

helowy May 28, 2010

Oh, yum! This was just amazing. I had never thought to use grapes in savory dishes, but this worked beautifully. The chicken was moist and tender on the outside, with skin so crisp that it crackled when you cut into it. The sauce had the most amazing flavor- tarragon is my new favorite herb! I had to make a couple of substitutions- there was no creme fraiche available, so I used sour cream, and the riesling I had was not drinkable, so I tossed it and used a sauvignon blanc. Overall, this was easy to make, delicious, and will definitely be made again. Thanks for posting an outstanding recipe! Made for ZWT6.

IngridH May 27, 2010

This is HEAVENLY! The skin puffed up and got so crispy I could have made a meal on it alone, all by itself and myself! (We don't usually eat like this.) But I'm making this for my next dinner party or for special guests!) The sauce was to die for! All that fresh tarragon was wonderful and added such flavor. I could go drink what's leftover! We only have 5 grocery stores in my town and I went to 4 before I could find green grapes, I don't know what's up with that, and my grapes were a bit TART! :) Having not tasted the grapes, I bought a dry Riesling and it was still fabulous! If I would have realized how TART! they were I might have bought a sweeter Riesling, but we are not fans of sweet wines. TRY THIS! You will LOVE it! Oh, I should add that over here they plump up the chickens with some wierd solution and we don't get small ones, but I just cooked it an extra 15 minutes. And the house did get just a little smokey. It was well worth it. If I could give this more stars, I would! Delicious!

Chef PotPie May 25, 2010