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Winner, winner chicken dinner

The Dunbrody House star chef Kevin Dundon shares his favourite recipes

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Roast lemon chicken

Roast lemon chicken

Roast lemon chicken

Whenever I do a roast chicken, I always make some stuffing filled with loads of butter, fresh herbs and lemon zest on the side, as well as a gluten-free version for the intolerant guests.

Leftover meat, stuffing and some Rivesci Cashew Chilli Crush gets slathered between slices for the ultimate chicken sandwich.

With ingredients including Irish rapeseed oil, Irish honey and Irish sea salt, it adds a punch of flavour to any dish. Check out rivesci.ie.

Today is perfect for a roast chicken dinner. In fact, any day is a good day for a roast chicken dinner - it can be economical, nutritious and it is so versatile.

Everyone knows how much l love roast chicken, and my best tip for ensuring a moist, succulent chicken is to add some flavoured butter under the skin.

I choose a larger chicken when making a roast dinner as I love a cold chicken sandwich later in the evening. Another way to use any leftovers is to make a chicken curry, risotto or even just add to some soups or salads.

If you're looking to reduce the cooking time, why not spatchcock the chicken? All you need are good kitchen shears to remove the backbone, then lay the chicken flat on the roasting tray. Perfect for a quick, tasty lunch or post-match supper.

For a dessert that's made for sharing, you've got to try this pavlova with delicious Wexford strawberries. When preparing the pavlova, make sure that the eggs are at room temperature before you start, then ensure your beaters and bowl are spotlessly clean as any grease will ruin the meringue.

Sometimes I make double the quantity so I can make mini meringues that can be used to decorate a pavlova for a special occasion, or can be stored in an airtight container for about a month and eaten as a little treat.

Add the cream, or if you want more holding on the cream, some mascarpone cheese just before serving and top with your favourite summer fruits. What a result!

Happy cooking,

Kevin

Roasted Lemon Chicken with Gravy

INGREDIENTS, Serves 4-6

75g butter

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1 lemon, zest

3-4 sprigs of fresh thyme

1 whole chicken

2 onions, quartered

2 carrots, halved

1 garlic bulb, halved

Salt and pepper

1 tbsp flour

100ml red wine

250ml chicken stock

METHOD:

1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C.

2. In a bowl, combine the butter, lemon zest and thyme into a pliable mixture.

3. Loosen the skin from the breast of the chicken and with your hands stuff some of the lemon butter under the skin (directly onto the flesh). This will make the chicken nicely fragrant. Season with salt and pepper.

4. The remainder of the whole lemon can be pushed into the cavity of the chicken with one or two sprigs of thyme and half a bulb of garlic.

5. Place onions, carrots, and the other half of the garlic bulb on the base of a roasting tray. Sit the chicken on the vegetables. Drizzle with some oil if desired and cover the chicken loosely with tin foil.

6. Place in the oven and roast for 45 minutes. Remove the tin foil, baste the chicken with the cooking juices and continue to roast for a further 30-45 minutes until cooked through.

7. Once cooked, remove from the oven and lift the chicken onto a carving board.

8. In the meantime, prepare the gravy. Place the roasting tray on the cooker and spoon out any excess oil. Over medium heat, warm the tray and sprinkle the flour. Stir to coat and cook the flour with the vegetables. Add the red wine and chicken stock. Bring to simmer for 1 minute and stir to lift all the caramelised flour from the roasting tray. Turn off the heat and pour the mixture through a fine sieve into a saucepan. Discard the vegetables. Simmer for a further 2 minutes until the gravy coats the back of a spoon. Check the seasoning.

9. Carve the chicken and serve.

 

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Strawberry and Mascarpone Cream Pavlova

INGREDIENTS, Serves 4:

150g egg whites (about 5 eggs)

300g caster sugar

½ tsp of corn flour

½ tsp of white wine vinegar

200ml cream, whipped

200g mascarpone

4 tbsp icing sugar

½ lemon zest

1 tsp vanilla extract

400g strawberries

1 tbsp mint to decorate

METHOD:

1. Pre-heat oven to 100C.

2. Using a pencil and the serving dish as a template, trace out the size of the dish on parchment paper. This will be the limit you can spread the meringue mixture on the baking tray. Line a baking tray with prepared parchment paper.

3. Next, place the egg whites into a clean mixing bowl (preferably use a food mixer) and beat on a light speed until they begin to froth.

4. Slowly pour in the caster sugar, a little at a time. When all the sugar has been incorporated, beat for a few more minutes until a thick and glossy texture is achieved.

5. Add the corn flour and white wine vinegar and whisk for a further minute.

6. The meringue is ready if the mixture remains in place when the bowl is turned upside down.

7. Pour the mixture on the prepared baking tray within the circular shape and, if desired, pipe a few mini meringue to decorate the pavlova later on. I like to leave an extra centimeter to allow the meringue to expand if needed during the baking process.

8. Bake in the oven for 2 hours (30 minutes for the mini meringues) or until the pavlova is very firm to touch but still soft in the middle.

9. Turn off the oven, leave the door of the oven ajar, and leave the pavlova to cool in the oven.

10. In the meantime, in a bowl, beat the cream and mascarpone to a soft peak. Add the lemon zest, vanilla extract, and icing sugar. Keep aside until needed.

11. Once ready to serve, top the pavlova with the cream mixture and load with fresh strawberries. Decorate with mint and the mini meringues, if using, and enjoy!

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Cashew Chilli Crush" from Rivesci

Cashew Chilli Crush" from Rivesci

Cashew Chilli Crush" from Rivesci

 

TOP TIP: Stuffing and Cashew Chilli Crush that's perfect for sarnies

Whenever I do a roast chicken, I always make some stuffing filled with loads of butter, fresh herbs and lemon zest on the side, as well as a gluten-free version for the intolerant guests.

Leftover meat, stuffing and some Rivesci Cashew Chilli Crush gets slathered between slices for the ultimate chicken sandwich.

With ingredients including Irish rapeseed oil, Irish honey and Irish sea salt, it adds a punch of flavour to any dish. Check out rivesci.ie.

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