Queen Camilla ‘isn’t a good cook’ but her ‘favourite dish’ is a British classic
Camilla talks about chicken recipe with chef’s approval
Queen Camilla and King Charles could have the finest ingredients turned into equisite meals for them, but the royal couple have simpler tastes, and enjoy growing their own produce, as well as cooking it.
Camilla is said to enjoy “proper food” as revealed in the ITV documentary Camilla’s Country Life which aired last summer.
The TV show saw Camilla help put together an edition of Country Life magazine, of which she was guest editor. She was asked to provide a family favourite recipe, and she chose her roast chicken.
While sitting down reviewing the pages, Camilla remarked: “You saw how I put the recipe? I’m afraid that’s how I cook, never weigh out things.”
Luckily, John Williams, Executive Chef at The Ritz, who was recreating Camilla’s roast chicken for the magazine, “approved”.
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The Editor-in-Chief and Managing and Features Editor of Country Life magazine were sitting with the then-Duchess of Cornwall reviewing the pages and said the chef “didn’t mind” Camilla’s organic recipe.
The recipe was tweaked slightly, with the addition of tarragon and cream. Chef John explained: “So, of course, this recipe has come from the [then] Duchess of Cornwall.
“She’s obviously a very, very good cook, and understands flavours. And the simplicity of this dish is really wonderful.”
Commenting on the recipe, and how Camilla chose quite a simple and humble dish as her favourite, the chef said: “It’s not showing off in any way. It’s proper, good food.”
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Camilla’s Roast Chicken
- One medium chicken (free range and preferably organic)
- One large lemon
- Two handfuls of tarragon
- A good glug of double cream
- A cupful of chicken stock
- Salt and pepper
- A large lump of butter
1. Squeeze one half of the lemon over the chicken and cut the other half into slices. Put the butter, a handful of tarragon and the lemon slices into the chicken’s cavity, seal with the squeezed lemon half and season.
2. Put the chicken in a baking tin and roast it in a hot oven for an hour or 1¼ hours, depending on its size.
3. Leave the chicken aside to rest. Reduce the cooking juices, and add a cupful of chicken stock and another handful of chopped tarragon.
4. At the last moment, stir in the double cream and season — then pour the sauce over the chicken and carve.
The chef was asked if he had ever cooked for Camilla before, and he said: “Yes, I have. It tickles me.”
As for whether it is “nerve-wracking” having to prepare food for royalty, John added: “Of course it is. You want to get it right!”
Sarah Troughton, a friend of Camilla and the Queen’s first cousin, once removed, appeared in the documentary and commented on Camilla’s cooking. She said: “Tom, her son, says that she’s a good cook. Actually, I don’t think she is a good cook!”
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