How to make truffle-crusted roast chicken with celeriac and leeks

Celeriac is the unlikely star of this delicious roast chicken dish from Melanie Johnson.

Celeriac, says our kitchen garden cook Melanie Johnson, is a humble root vegetable that deserves a little more attention.

While in the recipe below it is accompanied by chicken, it can stand alone — or almost alone.

Whole-roasted celeriac is an option, for example: wash a whole celeriac and stand it on a double-layered piece of parchment, then whisk together two tablespoons each of olive oil, wholegrain mustard and maple syrup, together with three cloves of sliced garlic,  brush all over the celeriac before adding two rosemary sprigs, wrapping the paper around it, sealing the top with string and baking at 160˚C fan (180˚C/350˚F/gas mark 4) for two hours. Unwrap and serve for a fine treat.

Recipe: Creamy celeriac with baby leeks and truffle-crusted roast chicken


Serves 4

  • 20g dried porcini mushrooms
  • Truffle oil
  • 4 chicken breasts, skin removed
  • 20g chopped hazelnuts
  • 2 slices white sourdough, crusts removed, finely chopped or processed to crumbs
  • 1 sprig rosemary, leaves finely chopped

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For the purée

  • 1 celeriac
  • 1 potato
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 300ml milk
  • 200ml chicken stock
  • 40ml double cream
  • 1tspn Dijon mustard
  • 8 baby leeks
  • Watercress to serve


Preheat your oven to 160˚C fan/180˚C/350˚F/gas mark 4.

Place the porcini mushrooms in a small bowl and just cover with boiling water. Leave to stand for 30 minutes and then drain.

Add a splash of truffle oil to an ovenproof dish that can snugly hold the chicken breasts and add them to it, tossing them in the oil until evenly coated.

In a medium-sized bowl, mix together the hydrated mushrooms, hazelnuts, breadcrumbs, chopped rosemary and some seasoning. Scatter over the chicken breasts and dot the tops with butter. Place in the oven for 25–30 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.

Make the celeriac purée by peeling the celeriac and potato and cutting into even-sized pieces. Add to a saucepan with the whole rosemary sprig and then pour over the milk and stock. Simmer until tender. Remove the rosemary sprig and add the cream and mustard before processing until smooth.

Steam the baby leeks (either in a saucepan or in a microwave for a few minutes). You could char them on a hot grill for a few minutes if you don’t mind washing up the extra pan.

To serve, spoon the celeriac purée onto plates, add the chicken breasts and their golden crust and arrange a couple of baby leeks. Add some peppery watercress and serve immediately.