Recipes: A couple for the weekend!

Sunny chicken with garlic and chilli veg

Dessert: Rhubarb and apple crumble

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Lemon and thyme is a bit of a classic but as I’m lucky enough to have jars of freshly dried oregano from Mamma Romeo – which as soon as I open remind me of a peaceful, sunny afternoon in Southern Italy… and pizza! This chicken simply demanded a sprinkling.

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Serves: 4

Prep: 10 mins

Cook: 1 hour 20 mins

For the chicken
30g butter
1tbsp dried oregano
1 lemon halved
1.5kg chicken

For the vegetables
500g charlotte potatoes, larger ones halved
300g parsnips, peeled and quartered lengthways
300g carrots, peeled and halved lengthways
1tbsp garlic infused olive oil
2tsp chilli flakes
1tsp dried oregano

1 Preheat the oven to 190ºC, 170ºC fan, gas 5. Mix together the butter and oregano. Season the cavity of the chicken with salt and pepper and add the lemon halves.

2 Place the chicken in a large roasting tin and smother the oregano butter all over the skin, then season with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 1hour 20 mins until cooked – the juices should run clear when a skewer is inserted into the thickest part of the thigh. Allow to rest for 15 mins before carving.

3 Meanwhile add the vegetables to another large roasting tray, drizzle over the garlic infused olive oil, scatter over the chilli flakes and oregano, season well with salt and pepper and mix well. Roast for 1 hour until golden, soft and cooked through.

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4 Serve simply Italian-style with a drizzle of the pan juices. Yep you got it – no gravy! Just serve with a nice glass of red wine.

Rhubarb and apple crumble

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Made from the first crop of Rhubarb from mummy ‘E’s’ garden – a couple of eating apples bumped up the fruit and add a delicious sweetness.

Serves: 4

Prep: 10 mins

Cook: 32-38 mins

5 medium stalks rhubarb, cut into approx 3cm lengths
2 eating apples, cored and roughly chopped
Handful sultanas
25g butter, chopped
3tbsp caster sugar

For the crumble topping
100g plain flour
75g butter, cubed
50g rolled oats
100g Demerara sugar
Pumpkin, sunflower and sesame seeds, to decorate

1 Preheat the oven to 190ºC, 170ºC, gas 5. Put the rhubarb, apple and sultanas in a medium saucepan with the butter over a low heat, stir until the butter has melted. Add the sugar, stir and cook for 2-3 mins until the rhubarb is just starting to soften but still retains its shape. Remove from the heat and spoon into a 1.5L ovenproof dish. Set aside while you make the topping.

2 For the crumble, put the flour and butter in a bowl, rub between your fingertips to create a mixture that resembles breadcrumbs. Stir in the oats and Demerara sugar, then spoon over the rhubarb mixture. Scatter over the seeds to decorate.

3 Cook in the oven for 30-35 mins until golden.

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