Further to various requests, here are a couple of recipes for a summer party for 12-15 people. These dishes can be cooked the day before and reheated.
Chicken – 3 x 600g packets chicken drumsticks and thighs (£3 a pack in Tesco this week); 12 large shallots (peeled and chopped); 6 bay leaves; 3 packets smoked bacon lardons; 6 dessertspoonfuls wholegrain mustard; bunch of tarragon; bottle of cheap white wine. Pour some olive oil to line a roasting tin, brown the chicken drumsticks and thighs, and then scatter on the shallots and lardons and brown a little further. Meanwhile whisk together the wine and mustard and then pour it over the chicken, adding the chopped tarragon and scattering the bay leaves through the mix. You may need to divide the mixture between 2 or 3 roasting tins. Cook at about 150C for about an hour or so, until the chicken is really tender. Cover with foil if the chicken starts to get too brown during cooking. Serve with boiled baby new potatoes and a tomato salad.
Fish – 4 bags frozen Alaskan wild salmon; 1 whole celery (chopped); 4 shallots (peeled and chopped); bunch of flat leaf parsley (chopped); 2 lemons. Grease roasting tin with olive oil and then place salmon steaks in rows. Once again, you may have to divide the mixture between a couple of roasting tins. Sprinkle over all the other ingredients and cover tin with a double layer of tin foil. Bake for about 20-30 minutes, depending on thickness of salmon steaks. Serve with boiled new potatoes and cucumber salad.