Roast chicken, tarragon and gorgonzola salad

Roast chicken, tarragon and gorgonzola salad

Andy Sewell

In some ways this salad seems almost like a cliché, but I love it. I’ve always been enamoured with the American Cobb salad – a similarly glorious and colourful combination that includes chicken, bacon and blue cheese. As for all these salads, the ingredients need to be of really good quality, and care and attention must be paid at every stage of both the cooking and assembly. Look to balance the flavours, tasting and adjusting as necessary, to ensure you achieve a perfect harmony.


Quantity Ingredient
1 organic free-range chicken
1 lemon, halved
a small bunch thyme
2 bay leaves
3 garlic cloves, halved
olive oil, to drizzle
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

For the salad

Quantity Ingredient
3 tablespoons homemade mayonnaise
a small bunch thyme, leaves only
1 lemon, finely grated zest and juiced
8 slices pancetta
2 inner celery stalks, (the paler stalks around the heart)
3 ripe tomatoes
1 ripe avocado
20 freshly shelled walnuts, lightly toasted and roughly chopped
100g gorgonzola
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 radicchio, finely shredded
a handful rocket leaves
1 tablespoon chopped chives
1 tablespoon tarragon
1 tablespoon basil
1 tablespoon flat-leaf parsley


  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Put a lemon half into the chicken cavity with the thyme, bay leaves and garlic. Squeeze the juice from the other lemon half over the chicken, then drizzle with olive oil. Season generously with salt and pepper, inside and out.
  2. Place the chicken in a roasting tray and roast for 15 minutes, then lower the setting to 180°C and roast for a further 45 minutes or until cooked through. To test, pierce the thickest part of the thigh with a skewer – the juices should run clear. Transfer to a board to cool.
  3. Take the meat off the chicken and pull it apart by hand into large bite-sized pieces. Place the chicken in a bowl and add the mayonnaise, thyme leaves and a little lemon juice. Toss together gently, using your fingertips.
  4. Preheat the grill to high and grill the pancetta until just crisp, then chop roughly.
  5. Cut the celery and tomatoes into 1cm pieces. Halve, stone and peel the avocado, then cut into 1cm cubes.
  6. Place the celery, tomatoes, avocado, toasted walnuts and pancetta in a bowl and crumble in the gorgonzola. Dress with lemon juice and 2 tbsp olive oil, and season with a little salt and pepper.
  7. Place the radicchio in a bowl and dress separately with the remainder of the olive oil and lemon juice. Add the rocket and herbs and toss lightly together.
  8. To serve, layer the salad ingredients, starting with the shredded radicchio, rocket and herbs, followed by the tomatoes, pancetta and gorgonzola mix, then the chicken. Repeat the layers once or twice, then serve, sprinkled with a little lemon zest.
Skye Gyngell
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