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What we're cooking

Easter lunch

There are a lot of things to consider when it comes to Easter dining. There needs to be a sense of tradition, a feeling of spring, and importantly, it needs to be something that looks extra special.

This year, we decided to focus on two main Easter foodie occasions: Easter lunch and afternoon tea. For the latter, we picked our marketing director, Fiona’s, treasured family brownie recipe and adapted it for the season by adding extra chocolate and decorating with mini, speckled eggs.

For lunch, it took us much longer to decide. We considered light and fluffy flans, fragrant risottos and slow-cooked lamb. For dessert we wondered about a predictable simnel cake and pondered over retro lemon meringue pie. In the end, we all agreed over classic roast chicken and a heavenly berry pavlova, but with a little something special added to every part…

The main event
Lemon and thyme roast chicken with a balsamic glaze.
Served with honey-drizzled carrots, chive-scattered potatoes and salad two ways.

What you’ll need


  • 2kg whole chicken (free-range if you can)

  • Sea salt and ground black pepper

  • 1 large lemon

  • 1 whole garlic bulb, broken into cloves

  • 1 handful of fresh thyme

  • A squeeze of balsamic glaze

  • Olive oil

  • 1 handful of fresh rosemary sprigs, leaves picked


  • 1.5kg baby new potatoes (we use Jersey Royals)

  • 2 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped

  • 1 tablespoon of fresh chives, snipped

  • 40g unsalted butter

  • Sea salt and ground black pepper


  • 1kg Chantenay or baby topped carrots

  • 3 tbsp rapeseed oil

  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar

  • 2 tbsp clear honey

Salad number one: crunchy spring greens

  • 200g fresh salad leaves (we like a mix of baby leaves)

  • 1 courgette, thinly sliced

  • 1 red onion, in thin strips

  • 100g walnut pieces

  • 1 red onion, in thin strips

  • A few strands of fresh chives

Salad number two: pea and chilli

  • 200g fresh spinach leaves

  • 100g shelled garden peas

  • 100g fine green beans, trimmed and sliced

  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and chopped finely

And what to do with them

1. Prepare the chicken the night before or a few hours prior to cooking at the very least by rubbing it all over with a good amount of seasoning. We saw this on a Jamie Oliver programme and it really does make a big difference. Leave it in the fridge, covered, until you’re ready to cook.

2. Preheat the oven to 190⁰C/375⁰F/gas five while bringing a pan of salted water to a rolling boil.

3. Put the potatoes into the pan along with the whole lemon and a few garlic cloves and cook for roughly 20 minutes. They should be soft the whole way through but firm in shape. Then put them to one side.

4. Removing the lemon from the pan, pierce it in several places to allow the juices to infuse the chicken. Rub the chicken again, this time with olive oil, and push the lemon, garlic cloves and fresh thyme inside the chicken. Place it onto a roasting tray and cook for one hour and fifteen minutes.

5. In the meantime, you can prepare your vegetables. Starting with the carrots, find a separate roasting tin and tip them in with the oil and seasoning, coating evenly. Pop them into the oven for 30 minutes to roast, before introducing the honey and vinegar. Be sure that each carrot has been coated and then return to the oven for a final 20 minutes. Alternatively, you can do this stage by pan frying if you want more of a blistered effect.

6. While the carrots and chicken are roasting, it’s time for the turn of both salads. Each can be prepared in no more than ten minutes. Simply sit the ingredients for each salad in its own colander and wash thoroughly. Toss through to shake off excess water droplets and then tumble into your serving dishes of choice.

7. Now you can take the chicken out and drizzle the balsamic glaze on top, spreading it out with a pastry brush. Then return to the oven for a further 15 minutes until the chicken is cooked through.

8. Five minutes before the chicken is due out, add the finishing touches to your potatoes. Mix the butter with the mint and chives and, drained of water, return the potatoes to a gentle heat and add the herb butter. Put the lid on and after a minute, give the contents a swill to distribute the delicious butter around the pan. Keep a close eye so the butter doesn’t burn, the aim here is to just warm the potatoes through.

9. Potatoes and salads ready, take the chicken out, remove the lemon, squeeze out the garlic pulp and then move that across the chicken for even more flavour. Add a tad more balsamic glaze on top and serve the chicken on a bed of thyme and fresh bay leaves. The carrots should also be ready and we like to serve those scattered on a breadboard with a dressing on the side that works with every aspect of the meal (simple extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar is all you need.)