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Easy, like Sunday

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.

Roast Chickens

with Pan gravy

Serves 6-8


>2 whole chickens (3½-4lb each)

>120g butter

>2 tbsp honey

>8 cloves garlic, peeled and mashed

>Salt and pepper

>2 lemons, halved

>4 tbsp flour

>150ml water


>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

Serves 6-8


>500g 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

Serves 6


>170g dark chocolate, chopped

>4½ eggs, separated

>20ml Irish cream liqueur

>355ml cream

>Chocolate shavings


>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.