Pot roast chicken with a rosemary and walnut dressing

Pot roast chicken with a rosemary and walnut dressing

Leiths How to Cook
Peter Cassidy


Quantity Ingredient
1 chicken, about 1.35 kg
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion
1 small carrot
2 celery sticks
4 garlic cloves
2 thyme sprigs
150ml dry white wine
200ml Brown chicken and veal stock
freshly ground black pepper

For the rosemary and walnut dressing

Quantity Ingredient
30g walnuts
1 shallot
1 rosemary sprig
1/2 lemon
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon clear honey
50g pitted black olives


  1. Cut off the first 2 wing joints of the chicken and reserve. Tie the legs together loosely (see note). Heat the olive oil in a lidded casserole or ovenproof dish big enough to accommodate the chicken. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and brown it all over, taking care when turning it not to tear the skin. This will take about 10 minutes. Remove the browned chicken to a plate and set aside. Pour off the fat from the casserole.
  2. Heat the oven to 200ºC. Place the walnuts for the dressing on a baking tray and lightly toast them in the oven for 10 minutes, taking care not to burn them. Tip onto a plate and set aside to cool.
  3. Halve, peel and slice the onion; peel and slice the carrot; de-string and slice the celery; peel the garlic. Add the vegetables to the casserole with the thyme and chicken wing tips and sauté over a medium heat until lightly coloured and starting to soften. Add the wine and reduce by half, then add the stock and bring to a simmer. Place the browned chicken on top of the vegetables, cover with a lid and roast in the oven for 50 minutes.
  4. To make the dressing, coarsely chop the toasted walnuts. Halve, peel and finely dice the shallot and finely chop enough rosemary leaves to give you ¼ tablespoon. Juice the ½ lemon. Combine the shallot, rosemary and extra virgin olive oil in a small saucepan and heat gently to infuse for 2–3 minutes. Whisk in 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Taste and adjust the flavour as necessary, adding honey to provide a little sweetness and more lemon juice if required. Season with salt and pepper. Add the walnuts and the olives and set aside.
  5. Remove the casserole from the oven and carefully lift out the chicken. To check that it is cooked, place the chicken on a white plate and insert a skewer into the thickest part of the thigh, leave it for 10 seconds, then remove and check it against your inner wrist; it should be hot and the juices should run clear. Return the chicken to the oven if it is not cooked.
  6. Once the chicken is cooked, remove to a board and keep warm. Strain the liquid through a fine sieve into a jug, discarding the vegetables. Taste the liquid, return to the pan and reduce over a medium heat until syrupy with a good concentration of flavour. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
  7. Carve the chicken or joint it. Divide the chicken between 4 plates and pour a little of the sauce around the chicken. Spoon a little of the rosemary and walnut dressing over the chicken.


  • Trussing chickens before roasting pushes the legs and thighs close to the body, which prevents hot air from circulating around them and cooking them properly. Instead, we simply tie the legs together loosely to help keep the shape of the chicken.
Leiths School of food and wine
cookery course
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