"We watched a nature documentary on television the other evening. A lioness captured and killed an antelope, after which the whole pride pounced on the body and fought each other to win their pound of flesh and gristle. I thought, what a good thing it is that we've organised ourselves in a slightly better way!"
- Jeffrey Smart
Extract from The Artist's Lunch. More

Average: 4.5 (5 votes)


1 whole chicken
1 bunch shallots
Fresh tarragon
Sea salt
Mixed peppercorns
Green beans

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


The day before, debone a roast chicken and put pieces of meat on a plate. Use the carcass to make a chicken stock.

Roast some shallots. Once cool, peel and quarter.

Béchamel sauce
Make a roux by melting some butter in a heavy frying pan and slowly adding a little flour. Cook until the mixture becomes a biscuit crumb, and then start adding the vermouth. Slowly add the stock.

Grind fresh tarragon, sea salt, and mixed peppercorns with a stone pestle and mortar.

The chicken
Brown the chicken meat, add the tarragon with seasoning, béchamel sauce, cream and then simmer.

Serve with rice and green beans.