BY PALOMA LACY
Easter provides the perfect opportunity for entertaining.
Whether that’s en masse with family descending or just dinner for two, here are some ideas for an extra special lunch.
Succulent, delicious and juicy, Sutton Hoo Chicken’s Whole Chicken is the ultimate roast dinner choice. Lovingly reared in the heart of the Suffolk countryside, across 40 acres of meadows.
The chickens are reared slowly, to the highest welfare standards using traditional free-range farming methods, to give a wonderful authentic-tasting chicken and succulent flavour.
Sutton Hoo’s spring roast chicken recipe easily serves six.
1 whole free-range Sutton Hoo chicken
1 whole lemon halved
1 bulb garlic halved
2 sprigs Rosemary
2 sprigs lemon thyme
400g new potatoes, boiled
250 ml white wine
175 g softened butter
150g olive oil
Method: 1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/Fan 180°C/Gas mark 8.
Smear 100g butter over the chicken and season well inside and out. Place the rosemary, half the bulb of garlic and half a lemon inside the cavity of the chicken.
Place the chicken into a deep roasting tray.
2. Pour over about 100g olive oil and then add the wine into the roasting tray. Place in the oven for10 mins then turn the heat down to 180°c.
3. Roast for 45 mins per kg, carefully remove from the oven and baste the chicken with its own juices. Return to the oven for a final 10 minutes.
4. Remove from the oven and leave in a warm place to rest for 15 minutes. Cover loosely with foil. Add the boiled new potatoes to the roasting dish.
5. Place a frying pan on a medium heat and pour in the remaining oil and butter. As the pan begins to smoke, throw in the cut courgettes, lightly season and fry for 2-3 minutes. Remove from the pan and set aside.
6. Put the potatoes into the same pan, put it back onto heat, throw in the thyme and squeeze the juice from the half lemon and fry for a couple of minutes.
7. You are now ready to serve – carve the chicken and enjoy.
And then there’s this recipe for slow cooked shoulder of lamb with rosemary scented shallots (serves six) from UK Shallots.com
1 boneless shoulder of lamb
1 head of garlic
½ bunch of rosemary
2 peeled carrots
50ml olive oil
Salt and pepper
400g whole round peeled shallots
20g tomato puree
Pinch of flour
1 litre of chicken stock
Ask your butcher to take out the bone of the shoulder but give it to you to use in the pan when roasting the shoulder to help make the gravy.
Go over the joint and remove any large fat deposits or unsightly skin. Stab the joint several times over with the tip of a small sharp knife and insert one half of a clove of garlic per incision. Also stick in a little sprig of rosemary per incision to enhance the flavour.
Place the shoulder on the lamb bones with the two carrots cut just in half, drizzle over the olive oil and season with sea salt and pepper. Place in the oven at 160c for four to five hours, covering with a sheet of foil for the first three hours. With one hour to go, throw in the peeled shallots and remove the foil.
When the lamb is cooked and the shallots are also cooked, remove everything from the tray and allow to rest somewhere warm.
Now time to make the gravy.
Add the tomato puree and flour to the cooking tray and place back on the stove to cook slightly. Then add the stock and bring to the boil.
Strain through a very fine sieve into a clean pan and bring back to the boil, season if required.
For smaller scale dining, you might be looking for a no-fuss dish to pop into the oven. Look no further than Gressingham Duck’s Bistro range.
Why not combine its delicious Duck in Plum sauce with noodles and stir-fry veg for a quick and easy meal, or enjoy its Duck a l’Orange or Duck with Orange and Maple as a sophisticated supper for two.
Or, why not go Gallic with its Confit Duck, or bring some Asian inspiration to your mealtime with the Duck with Honey and Hoisin?
Ready in under 40 minutes, the delicious Bistro range from Gressingham Duck makes preparing delicious dinners simple, just add the sides and you can enjoy a tasty and sophisticated meal for two with very little prep time or washing up.
The perfect way to dine in with none of the effort.
Gressingham Duck’s Bistro range is available from Tesco, Morrisons, Waitrose and Sainsbury’s.
For more information visit www.gressinghamduck.co.uk