With the special religious occasion that is Easter fast approaching, the epidemic that is COVID-19 continuing to spread and the national lockdown which is now in full force, many will be skipping huge family lunches and dinners in restaurants this year. Luckily, the Head Chef of the prestigious Endless Horizons Boutique Hotel, Ashley Conquest shares his two favourite Easter dishes for the whole family to enjoy.
DISH 1: Leg of Lamb Recipe
What you will need:
2 kg leg of lamb
1 bulb of garlic
½ a bunch of fresh rosemary
1.5 kg potatoes
For the mint sauce:
1 bunch of fresh mint
1 teaspoon of sugar
3 tablespoons wine vinegar
How to prepare the dish:
Remove the lamb from the fridge at least 1 hour before you want to cook it, so that it comes down to room temperature. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius and place a roasting dish for the potatoes at the bottom.
Break the garlic bulb into cloves, peel three and leave the rest whole.
Pick and roughly chop half the rosemary leaves, peel and halve the potatoes.
Crush the peeled garlic into a bowl, add the chopped rosemary, finely grate in the lemon zest and drizzle in a good “lug” of oil, then mix together.
Season the lamb with sea salt and black pepper, then drizzle with the marinade and rub all over the meat. Place on the hot bars of the oven above the tray. Parboil the potatoes in a pan of boiling salted water for ten minutes, then drain and allow to steam dry. Gently toss the potatoes in the colander to scuff up the edges and then tip back into the pan.
Add the remaining rosemary sprigs and whole garlic cloves to the potatoes, season with salt and pepper and then drizzle over a good “lug” of oil. Tip the potatoes into the hot tray and place back under the lamb to catch all the lovely juices. Cook the lamb for an hour and fifteen minutes if you want it pink or an hour and thirty minutes if you like it more well done. Meanwhile, make the mint sauce, pick and finely chop the mint leaves, then place in a small bowl. Mix in the sugar, a good pinch of salt, one tablespoon of hot water and the vinegar.
When the lamb is cooked to your liking, remove from oven and leave to rest for 15 minutes or so. Carve and serve with the roast potatoes, mint sauce and some seasonal greens. Try putting a few parsnips or carrots in with the roast potatoes.
DISH 2: Roasted Free Range Chicken, Slow Roasted Chicken leg, Grilled Chicken Breast, Labneh, Sautéed Rosa Tomatoes, Zucchini, Pickled Red Onion, Herb Oil
What you will need:
1 chicken leg quarter
1 chicken breast – skin on
2 garlic cloves
2 cups double plain yoghurt – not Greek
½ teaspoon of sea salt
6 – 7 rosa tomatoes
1 red onion
¾ cup apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
1 cup mixed herbs
How to prepare the dish:
For the labneh:
You will need two days to prepare this.
Take the yoghurt and put it into some cheesecloth, hang it over a bowl n your fridge and allow the whey to drip (preferable overnight).
Spoon the yoghurt into a bowl and stir in the salt – store in a fridge for a day (I like to put it back into the cheesecloth for a day or two)
For the Chicken:
Preheat oven to 160 degrees Celsius
Debone the chicken thigh, leaving only the drumstick bone.
Carefully cut the meat around the drumstick knuckle loose and press down as if you were making a lollipop.
Now fold the thigh meat back over the drumstick, you can make a hole through the meat and skin were the bone can go through. Put in an oven dish and season with salt and pepper, olive oil and garlic.
Cover with foil and slowly roast for +/- thirty minutes. Season the breast and grill until cooked, slice both end s off so you can use the middle piece.
For the Pickled Red Onion:
Peel the onion and slice into thin rounds, about 3mm thick. Carefully separate the rings without breaking them and place into a bowl.
Add the vinegar, salt and honey to a pot and bring them to boil, then pour over the sliced onion and allow to marinate for thirty minutes.
For the Veg:
Half the Rosa tomatoes and take the ends off the zucchini and slice on the bias (at an angle) about1-2 cm thick.
Season the tomatoes and zucchini with salt, pepper and oil. Cook on a hot grill until tender or sauté in a hot pan with butter.
For the Herb Oil:
Put a pot of water on the stove and bring to the boil.
Once boiling, drop the herbs but only blanch them so the storks are soft.
Drop the herbs into a bowl of ice water and let cool, squeeze the water out and blend with one cup of olive oil.
Strain and its ready for you to use.
Place a spoon of the labneh in the middle of the plate and spread it out to form a bowl-like look. Then put your veg into the middle of the labneh, place the grilled chicken breast on the veg and then lean the slow roasted chicken leg against the breast, then drop a few of your pickled red onions around the plate, drizzle with herb oil, garnish with desired fresh herbs and serve.
ABOUT: Endless Horizons Boutique Hotel
Endless Horizons is an award-winning 5-star boutique hotel situated on Umhlanga Rocks Drive, Durban North, Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa.
The Hotel is situated in the cosmopolitan suburb of Durban North and offers unsurpassed 180-degree views of the Indian Ocean. The location offers travellers a wide variety of activities and destinations to visit and explore. Only a short hop to the King Shaka International Airport, Umhlanga Business Parks and Gateway Theatre of Shopping makes this hotel the ideal location to be based at in Durban whether travelling for business or pleasure. Other attractions and excursions (in a 20km radius) include the Moses Mabhida, Kings Park and Kingsmead Stadiums, uShaka Marine World, various restaurants and golf courses, nature reserves and blue flag beaches to name but a few.
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