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The sun is still hanging in there (hurrah) and for Sunday lunch this week the hubby put together a dish that was nothing short of spectacular, a roast with a difference. He is very talented at taking a bunch of ingredients and turning them into something quite beautiful. I am in awe of him for this and can only endeavour to pick up some of his well honed cookery methods over time.

Chicken seems to be our Sunday meat of choice at the moment, it certainly works if you’re looking to create a lighter dish to compliment the warmer temperatures. Plus, there is so much you can do with it and many different marinades to experiment with. He went for spatchcock style roasting yesterday, with a garlic and rosemary marinade. To accompany it, he knocked up a very tasty tomato and green bean salad, and some crispy croutons.

To prepare the chicken (serves four) you will need:
– 1.5kg chicken (spatchcocked)
– One tablespoon of rosemary (chopped)
– Four cloves of garlic (crushed)
– Four tablespoons of olive oil
– Splash of white wine
– Salt & Black Pepper

After you have spatchcocked the chicken, mix all of the other ingredients together in a pestle and mortar. Transfer the mixture into a food bag with the chicken and massage into the meat. Leave to marinate for at least three hours. Preheat an oven to gas mark five/190C and roast the meat for approximately an hour and a half, basting twice throughout. When ready, carve and assemble in a serving dish, pour over the remaining meat juices and toss well.

To prepare the tomato and green bean
salad (serves four) you will need:
– 250g of cherry tomatoes (halved)
– 200g of green beans (cooked, cooled and trimmed at both ends)
– Three tablespoons of EV olive oil
– One tablespoon of red wine vinegar
– One teaspoon of Dijon mustard
– Salt & black pepper

Put the vegetables into a serving dish. Simply add the dressing ingredients and toss it all together well.

To make the croutons, take three slices of dryish bread (preferably a couple of days old) and rip into equal pieces (approximately one inch). Dip them into a ramekin of olive oil and place on a baking tray. Bake in the oven on gas mark five/190C until golden brown, turning once (they usually take around fifteen to twenty minutes).

We served the above with some buttered and seasoned new potatoes, plus a cheeky helping of mayonnaise on the side. I really can’t praise this meal enough. If you like your garlic, definitely give it a go. The combination of textures, flavours and colours are balanced to perfection. I think the addition of the croutons is a clever touch, as they add a lovely crunch to the salad along with the beans.

I couldn’t stop eating it, and between us we happily polished off the lot. Dining on a delicious salad alfresco really is one of life’s true joys.

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