Easter is a wonderful time for family to get together and enjoy each others company while dining on a delicious Easter dinner. I’ve found three great recipes, two for chicken, one for lamb, that I think will go down an absolute treat (assuming you have room after all the chocolate you’ll no doubt be gorging on!).
Ginger Ale-Can Chicken
A novel but amazing way to serve up a roast chicken dinner everyone will love.
- 2 3lb whole chickens
- 1/4 cup of vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup of liquid steak seasoning
- 1 tablespoon of salt
- 1 tablespoon of chopped fresh rosemary
- 2 teaspoons of minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon of pepper
- 2 cans of Canada Dry or Schweppes ginger ale (or an imported American brand if you can find one)
- Garnishes: red leaf lettuce, green grapes, rosemary sprigs
- Rinse chickens with cold water; pat dry. Place each chicken in a large zip-top plastic freezer bag.
- Whisk together oil, steak seasoning, salt, rosemary, garlic and pepper.
- Pour evenly over chickens. Seal the bags and place in the fridge, turning occasionally, for eight hours.
- Remove chickens from marinade, discarding marinade.
- Using a tin opener, carefully remove the lids from cans of ginger ale. Remove a quarter of ginger ale from each can, and keep for later.
- Place the cans with the remaining ginger ale in a lightly greased large roasting pan.
- Place each chicken upright onto a ginger ale can, fitting the can into the cavity. Pull the legs forward to form a tripod, allowing chickens to stand upright.
- Roast in the oven, uncovered, at 325°F (163°C, Gas Mark 3) for an hour and 40 minutes or until a meat thermometer inserted into thigh registers 170° and chickens are golden brown.
- Let it stand 10 minutes before carefully removing the cans before serving.
- Garnish as desired.
Rack of Lamb with Mustard Sauce
Straight from the recipe book of Martha Stewart, this recipe for rack of lamb with a delicious mustard sauce is simple – but your guests won’t know it!
- 1 rack of lamb (8 ribs), frenched (ask your butcher to do it!)
- Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup of dry white wine
- 1 cup of chicken stock
- 2 teaspoons of whole-grain mustard
- 1 teaspoon pomegranate molasses (£2.75 from Waitrose!)
Preheat oven to 425°F (218°C, Gas Mark 7).
Season the lamb with salt and pepper.
Heat the oil over high heat in a large ovenproof skillet or frying pan.
Sear the lamb, fat side down, until dark brown. Should take about six minutes.
Remove lamb from skillet and throw away the fat. Return the lamb, seared side up, to the pan and roast in the oven meat reaches 130° (use a meat thermometer) – it’ll take 15 to 17 minutes.
Let the lamb rest on a cutting board, loosely tented with foil.
Pour out the excess fat and place over a medium-high heat on the hob. Add wine, and simmer, stirring and scraping up browned bits, until reduced by two-thirds.
Whisk in the stock, mustard and molasses and simmer until thickened. Around 8 minutes should do it.
Carve lamb into individual chops, and serve with sauce.
Lexicon-Style Grilled Chicken
Take your Easter dinner south-east with this North Carolina recipe, hailing from the town of Lexicon – it’s a little something different if you don’t fancy a roast.
- 2 cups of cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup of firmly packed dark brown sugar
- 1/4 cup of vegetable oil
- 3 tablespoons of dried crushed red pepper
- 4 teaspoons of salt
- 2 teaspoons of pepper
- 8 chicken breasts
- Blend the cider vinegar, sugar, oil, red pepper, salt and pepper to create a marinade.
- Place half each of vinegar mixture and chicken into large sealable freezer bags.
- Chill the chicken for a couple of hours, turning occasionally.
- Remove the chicken from the marinade.
- Grill the chicken, covered with a grill lid, over a medium-high heat (350°F to 400°F) for 4 to 5 minutes each side or until done, turning occasionally.
Alternatively, you can cut up two whole chickens (about 3lb each) and use instead of the breasts. If you do this, marinate for between two and eight hours and grill for 35 to 40 minutes.
Serve up one of these alongside some potatoes au gratin, roast potatoes or mashed potatoes and your choice of veggies and you’ll be all sort for an Easter dinner nobody will forget.