It's St Patrick's weekend, my favourite holiday of the year. Is it because I can drink a little more than I usually do? Yes it probably is and by Sunday you also might be a little hungover. So I'll keep it easy, but definitely hearty, with a Sunday feast.
with Pan gravy
>2 whole chickens (3½-4lb each)
>2 tbsp honey
>8 cloves garlic, peeled and mashed
>Salt and pepper
>2 lemons, halved
>4 tbsp flour
>Preheat the oven to 245°C.
>Rinse, then pat dry the chickens.
>Melt butter in a saucepan with the honey and half the garlic. Brush mixture all over the chickens, then season generously with salt and pepper.
>Divide the lemons and the rest of the garlic between the cavities of the two chickens.
>Roast in a large roasting pan, basting every 15 minutes, for 1 hour.
>Baste once more, then tilt chickens so juices run into the pan. Remove chickens and cover with foil and let rest for at least 15 minutes.
>To make the gravy, pour off all but 3-4 tbsp of fat from the pan. Bring to medium heat on the stove top. Add flour and water and bring to a simmer, stirring with a whisk.
>Simmer until it thickens. Season with salt and pepper.
three cheese Macaroni
>75g butter plus extra for greasing
>25g plain flour
>¾ tsp cayenne pepper
>½ tsp ground nutmeg
>1l whole milk
>375g grated Cheddar cheese
>375g grated Fontina cheese
>50g grated Parmesan cheese
>Salt and pepper
>100g fresh breadcrumbs
>2 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
>Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil, cook macaroni according to pack instructions and drain well.
>Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large, heavy saucepan over a medium-high heat. Stir in the flour, cayenne and nutmeg and cook for 1 minute. >Gradually whisk in the milk, stirring all the time to give a smooth mixture. >Bring to the boil and then reduce to simmer for about 4 to 5 minutes, stirring all the time, until the sauce thickens. >Whisk the Cheddar, Fontina and Parmesan cheeses into the sauce and stir until melted. Season generously with salt and pepper.
>Stir the cooked pasta through the sauce and remove from the heat. >Spoon the pasta into the baking dish or individual ramekins and sprinkle evenly with breadcrumbs.
>Bake for 20-30 minutes until golden and bubbling.
>Sprinkle with parsley.
irish chocolate mousse
>170g dark chocolate, chopped
>4½ eggs, separated
>20ml Irish cream liqueur
>Melt chocolate in a glass bowl over a saucepan of boiling water.
>Whip cream until stiff peaks form. Set aside.
>Separate the eggs and whisk the egg whites until stiff. Set aside.
>In a bowl, beat egg yolks and stir in chocolate and Irish liqueur.
>Fold in the egg whites and half of the whipped cream.
>Pour the mousse into serving glasses or ramekins and garnish with remaining whipped cream and chocolate shavings.
Tip: Can be made the day before.