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Community Kitchen - Entertaining for Easter

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veriterc
veriterc Community member Posts: 242 Pioneering

With Easter coming up, and the promise of warmer weather making it fun to eat outside, I look for easy recipes that work indoors or out.

I used to love entertaining, but now find it difficult to lift heavy pans and dishes.  

However, for Easter, I've dusted out a favourite chicken recipe that is easy to cook -  and less expensive than the traditional lamb.

And - I've decided now's the time to forget about pride, and take up those offers from friends who say "let me know what I can do to help". I now ask friends to bring a salad, or new potatoes, or bread - so I just provide the main dish.

In the old days, neighbours would think nothing of helping each other out;  and, when you ask friends to help with a feast, it brings everyone together to join in.

However, to ensure entertaining is easy, make a list of things you need doing, and make sure you allocate each task so everyone does their bit, and no one is left hanging around unsure about what to do.

Easy Party Chicken

Ingredients

This recipe is a guideline for enough for one person, so multiply according to numbers.

  • 1 (4 to 6 ounce) skinless, boneless free-range chicken breast per person
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • sprinkling salt to taste
  • sprinkling all-purpose flour
  •  ½ tablespoon butter
  •  ½ cup thinly sliced mushrooms
  •  ½ tablespoon finely chopped shallots or other onions
  • ¼ cup chardonnay or other dry white wine
  • ½ cup Chicken Stock (myrecipes)
  • ½ tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

Directions

Instructions Checklist:
  1. Heat most of the butter in a large non-stick frying pan over medium heat
  2. Add chicken, and cook for 5 minutes on each side or until browned and juices run clear if pierced
  3. Remove chicken from pan, and keep warm
  4. Add shallots to pan, and sauté for 5 minutes or until tender
  5. Stir in the wine, scraping the pan to loosen browned bits
  6. Add the stock. Bring to a boil, and cook until reduced to 1 cup (about 10 minutes)
  7. Remove pan from heat and keep warm
  8. Then, before serving, bring sauce to boil and ensure chicken is cooked through. Add remaining 1 tablespoon butter cut into small pieces (gives gloss to sauce), stirring until butter melts. If there isn't much sauce, add more wine or stock.
  9. Spoon sauce over chicken. Sprinkle with parsley

Get everyone to help themselves so you don't have to carry a heavy pan.

Then, you need a glamorous pudding, which you can make days or even weeks ahead, and freeze.

Lemon Ice-cream

chopped lemons

This is a festive lemon colour, and an unusual take on an old favourite.  It makes enough for at least 8 people.  Prepare over 2 days.

Ingredients

  • 1 pint double cream
  • 8 ounces single cream
  • 10 ounces caster or icing sugar
  • 3 tablespoons grated lemon zest (it’s a bore to do but gives a wonderful flavour)
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 6 to 8 ounces freshly squeezed lemon juice (sorry, it has to be fresh, not bottled)

Directions

  1. Put double cream, sugar and lemon zest in a saucepan, gently bring to simmer over low heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved (about 5 minutes)
  2. Remove from heat and let it rest for 10 minutes
  3. Beat egg yolks in a separate bowl
  4. Add the mixture in pan to eggs in bowl slowly and gently, then pour back into the saucepan (doing it this way so it doesn’t curdle)
  5. Stir over low heat until mixture thickens (about 10 minutes), then cool, cover and leave in fridge overnight
  6. Next day, stir in lemon juice, and freeze in a covered container until you need it. Take out of freezer a few minutes before you need to eat (time depends on how hot the day is!)
  7. Decorate with swirls of cream, crystallised violets or flowers, or miniature Easter eggs.

Tip  

When chopping herbs, use scissors and a mug.

Strip the leaves off their stalk, and fill the mug. Dip the scissors in to the mug and chop away; within a minute or so you will have finely chopped herbs at no risk to your fingers.  


Happy Easter! 

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