Sicilian Vinegar Chicken

This is wonderfully sour, still mellow chicken casserole in lovely thin sauce.

1 onion, finely chopped
6 tbs. olive oil
8 chicken pieces, skinless, bone in
10 tbs. chicken stock
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
juice of 1/2 lemon
handful fresh parsley, chopped
handful fresh basil, chopped
2 large tomatoes, chopped

In a wide, heavy saucepan, gently fry the onion in the 4 tbs. of the oil until softened but not browned. Arrange the chicken on top and season well. Pour in the chicken stock, wine, vinegar, lemon juice and most of the parsley and basil. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 45 minutes.

When the chicken is ready, toss the tomatoes with the remaining olive oil and season. Tumble over the chicken and serve sprinkled with the remaining parsley and basil.

Serves 4

Pasta with Ham, Peas and Cream

Utter comfort food, this wonderful pasta comes together in moments and is such a divine treat.

7 oz. farfalle or other short pasta (2 cups)
2/3 cup frozen peas
2/3 cup heavy cream
1 1/4 cups diced ham
2 tbs. grated Parmesan

Cook the pasta according to the package directions in plenty of boiling, salted water. Add the peas after 5 minutes. When the pasta is cooked, drain it with the peas.

Put the dry pan back on the heat with the cream, ham and Parmesan. Warm through, then tip in the pasta and peas, tossing everything together well.

Serves 2

Lemon Meringue Fool

If you have ever wondered what a lemon cloud tastes like, here is your answer: it is a heavenly experience of celestial lemon lightness! Think Eton Mess, Amalfi style. A fool is a classic and oh-so-easy British dessert (or pudding) and this version couldn’t be easier or more delicious.

Lemon Meringue Fool

3/4 cup good-quality lemon curd, plus more to decorate
2 tsp. Limoncello (lemon liqueur) or lemon juice
1 cup heavy cream
4 oz. meringue cookies, crushed into large pieces

Put the lemon curd in a bowl and stir in the Limoncello or lemon juice to loosen the curd.

Whip the cream until soft peeks form, then gently fold in the lemon curd mixture and the crushed meringues, taking care not to over mix. You want swirls of the lemon curd throughout the cream.

Spoon the mixture into 4 small glasses and top with a dollop of lemon curd. Chill until ready to serve.

African Drumsticks

The secret ingredient in this dandy little recipe is apricot jam for flavor and sweetness. The drumsticks can also be grilled, basted the with marinade as you go.

1/3 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup ketchup
2 tsp. English mustard
1 tsp. ground ginger
1 tbs. apricot jam
1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
8 chicken drumsticks

1 tsp. garlic-infused olive oil

Heat the oven to 400°F. Combine the Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, mustard, ginger, jam and onion in a bowl and mix well. Toss in the chicken making sure everything gets a good coating. (Leave in the fridge overnight for more flavor.)

Brush the oil over the bottom of a roasting tin that the chicken will fit snugly in. Arrange the chicken in a single layer and tip over the marinade. Cook for 45 minute to 1 hour, basting once or twice.

Serves 4

The combination of ingredients for the marinade is fabulous. Serve with chutney, if you happen to have any about.

1/3 cup Worcestershire sauce

1/4 cup ketchup

2 tsp. English mustard

1 tsp. ground ginger

1 tbs. apricot jam

1 onion, peeled and finely chopped

8 chicken drumsticks

1 tbs. garlic-infused olive oil

Heat the oven to 400°F. Mix the Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, mustard, ginger, jam and onion in a shallow dish. Dunk the drumsticks in this marinade to coat them all over. (It can be left overnight in the fridge.) Put them snuggly in a small roasting tin or baking dish and pour over any marinade.

Cook for 45 minutes to 1 hour, basting once or twice. The deeper the dish or tin, the longer the chicken will take to color and cook through.

Serves 4-6