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Tarragon Roasted Chicken with Easy Bearnaise Sauce

I’m obsessed with this recipe. I love roasted chicken so much, and I’m always trying new rubs or seasonings, and this one is a win! I usually serve it with a whole steamed artichoke, and this effortless Bearnaise sauce makes everything come together. It’s sure to impress! Don’t let the sauce intimidate you. It’s fail-proof, and you use an immersion blender. You can also serve the chicken with any vegetables you have roasted around the chicken in the pan. Potatoes, mushrooms, and fennel are great additions. When I first started making this recipe, my friend Lindsey coined it as “Rowdy Chicken,” and for whatever reason, I still call it that. The marinade would also be great on my Sous Vide Steaks.


For the Chicken:

  • 1 3-4 lb whole chicken
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 Tbsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp fennel seed
  • 3 whole cloves or 1/4 tsp ground clove
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 grapefruit zested, and the juice of 1/2 (you can also use lemon if you don’t have grapefruit)
  • 4 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Tbsp Red Wine Vinegar (I use marinated onion oil here in place of the oil and vinegar)
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 2-3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 bunch or 2 large sprigs of tarragon
  • 1 tsp coarse black pepper

For the Bearnaise Sauce: 

 Hollandaise base

  • 1/2 cup melted butter (or ghee)
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • dash of cayenne pepper (optional)

  Shallot reduction

  • 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 1/2 shallot, diced
  • 1 Tbsp fresh tarragon, chopped
  • pinch of salt

Serve with: steamed artichoke, roasted potatoes or vegetables, or a salad.


The first thing you’re going to do is make the marinade. Add all ingredients (minus the chicken, obviously) to a blender and blend till smooth. Set aside, and get ready to spatchcock or butterfly your chicken. Here’s a good video on this method if you’re unfamiliar. **Save the backbone and roast it along with your chicken, then freeze it for chicken stock.**

Once your chicken is cut and in a roasting pan, flip it over skin side down, get a sharp paring knife and poke some holes all over the chicken. This will help the marinade soak into the meat. Pour about half, or a little less of the marinade on the chicken, then flip over. Flatten out your chicken and pour the rest of the marinade over the skin.

Make sure you fully cover as much of the bird with the marinade as you can. Especially between the thighs and legs, and don’t forget the wings!  Sprinkle a little more salt and fresh cracked pepper on the skin, and it’s ready to marinate. Leave uncovered in your fridge for at least 24 hours, ideally 48-36. This helps dry out the skin and ensures a really crispy chicken skin. I have a song about crispy chicken skin, but more on that around the holidays.

Ready to cook!?

When you’re ready to cook your chicken, preheat the oven to 425°. I highly suggest cooking roasted chicken with a meat probe thermometer, so you can always know the temperature. Time always varies from chicken to chicken, but a good estimate is 45 minutes – 1 hour. Once your oven is preheated, put the chicken in and set a 15-minute timer. After 15 minutes, turn the oven down to 350° (convection is a great option here if you have it), start steaming your artichokes, or add your veggies to your roasting pan (toss with any fat/marinade in the pan and salt them!). Now, on to making your Bearnaise sauce.

Sauce Time!

To make the sauce, grab a jar, measuring cup, or anything wide enough to fit an immersion blender down into (I prefer a wide mouth mason jar) and melt your butter on low. Do not get it too hot. Set this aside, along with your egg yolks, lemon juice, and cayenne. Put a saucepan over medium-low heat and add the olive oil. Sweat down the shallot for about 10 minutes with a pinch of salt until they’re translucent. Add your vinegar (do not try and smell the sauce at this point or you will choke and almost die – not that I’ve done this…Narrator: she had). Reduce vinegar by half, turn off the heat and let cool. You can pour it into a separate bowl if you want.

Back to the foolproof Bernaise. Add egg yolks, lemon juice, a pinch of salt, and cayenne to your melted butter. Put immersion blender down to the bottom of the jar, and blend. Voila, Hollandaise. Mix the two sauces and the chopped tarragon once the shallot vinegar reduction is cool enough not to scramble the eggs. Tip: We keep ours in an insulated tumbler with the lid on so it stays warm till service.

Pull your chicken out of the oven once your thermometer reaches 165° and let it rest for 15 minutes before carving. 

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