Roast Chicken, Spatzle and Madeira Sauce

Richard Phillips' succulent roast chicken rings the changes - instead of potatoes, he serves German-style spatzle, made with poached and fried dough strips
By Richard Phillips
Roast Chicken, Spatzle and Madeira Sauce
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4-6
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Prep Time:
  • Effort: medium


For the stuffing

  • 1 bunches mixed herbs, such as chervil, chives, tarragon, parsley and sage
  • 250 g butter
  • 150 g dried breadcrumbs
  • 1.5 kg chicken

For the spatzle

  • 500 g strong bread flour
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 35 ml olive oil
  • 50-100 ml water
  • 1-2 tbsp butter, for frying the spatzle

For the sauce

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 1 sprigs thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 100 ml madeira
  • 150 ml chicken stock
  • 150 ml double cream


1. Preheat the oven to 200C/gas 6. Combine the herbs, butter, breadcrumbs and salt and pepper.

2. Push this stuffing between the meat and the skin of the whole chicken. Place in a roasting tin and roast for 1 hour - until the skin is golden and the meat is tender.

3. For the spatzle, combine the flour, eggs, yolks, olive oil and water until they come together as a firm paste.

4. Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil and push the spatzle through the holes of a colander into the water. Cook for one minute before draining in a colander.

5. Heat the butter in a frying pan over a moderate heat, and fry the spatzle, stirring frequently, until golden.

6. To make the sauce, heat the oil in a saucepan and gently fry the shallots until soft but not coloured - about 5 minutes.

7. Add the thyme, bay leaf and Madeira to the shallots, and cook down until reduced by two-thirds.

8. Pour in the chicken stock and reduce by a further two-thirds. Stir in the cream and cook-down for another 5 minutes. Season to taste and pass through a fine sieve.

9. Carve the chicken into eight joints, drizzle over the sauce, and serve with the spatzle.

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