Roasted chicken, braised celery, bois boudran, fingerling potatoes

Roasted chicken, braised celery, bois boudran, fingerling potatoes

New Classics
Mark Roper

This is a Roux brothers recipe, created when they were personal chefs to the Rothschild family in their early careers. The Rothschilds would picnic in the forest of Bois Boudran, hence the name. My version is close to the original and is very dear to me, and not just because there’s lots of tarragon involved! You can substitute the chicken for quail or even fish or crayfish. I like to serve anything involving this sauce at room temperature; as it would originally have been served at a picnic.


Quantity Ingredient
250g butter
4 sprigs thyme
1 litre Chicken stock
2 x 1.2kg chickens, trussed
salt and pepper
2 large onions, sliced into 1 cm thick slices
1kg kipfler or small new potatoes
extra-virgin olive oil
chervil, chives and tarragon leaves, for garnish

Bois boudran sauce

Quantity Ingredient
150ml light olive oil
50ml tarragon vinegar
90ml tomato sauce
1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
5 drops tabasco
80g shallots, very finely diced
1 tablespoon chives, finely chopped
1 tablespoon chervil, finely chopped
25g fresh tarragon, finely chopped
salt and pepper


  1. To make the bois boudran sauce, combine all the ingredients thoroughly and adjust the seasoning. Set aside at room temperature.
  2. Preheat the oven to 190°C. Cut the celery off about 10 cm from the base. Remove the outer dark green stalks. Trim the base. Slice in half lengthways. Melt 100 g of the butter in a flameproof baking dish and add the thyme. Place the celery, cut side down, and pour in enough stock to cover the celery. Press a piece of baking paper on the surface then cover with foil. Place in the oven while you prepare the chickens.
  3. Rub the chicken with the remaining butter and season well with salt and pepper. Heat a large frying pan or heavy-based saucepan over medium heat. Lay in the onion slices then place the chickens on top. Add about 250 ml chicken stock or water and roast for 30 minutes. Check the doneness by piercing a thigh. If the juices run clear they are cooked. Invert the chickens so the cavity is upwards. Cover loosely with foil and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Remove the string from both the chickens, then carve off the legs and then the breast. Separate the legs and thighs and carve the breasts in half. Put all the pieces into a dish and spoon over the bois boudran sauce. Allow to marinate for at least 30 minutes at room temperature.
  4. Remove the celery from the oven and let it cool in the stock.
  5. Boil the potatoes in salted water until tender enough to pierce easily with the tip of a knife, about 10–15 minutes. Drain and toss with some extra-virgin olive oil.
  6. To serve

    Cut the celery again lengthways into thin slices and arrange on a platter, then add the chicken and potatoes. Spoon any excess sauce over the chicken and serve. Garnish with chervil, chives and tarragon leaves.
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