Cider-brined chicken with prunes, chestnuts and baby onions

An excellent Christmas option if you don’t want to cook a turkey. It’s as bronze as a footballer’s WAG (the brine, because it contains sugar, means that the skin becomes a good deep colour) and looks glorious. Some farmers produce really big chickens for Christmas and Easter: Fosse Meadows have…

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My mother-in-law’s glazed ham with stewed kale

SERVES 12–14 3kg lightly salt-cured smoked boneless gammon joint in netting (order from your butcher’s) 4 tablespoons Homemade Christmas Mustard (see below, or buy some good-quality mustard) 4 tablespoons brown sugar finely grated zest and juice of 1 organic orange 1 teaspoon crushed star anise Wrap the gammon in foil…

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Pumpkin Soup

Pumpkin, like other squash, is delicious roasted when it becomes sweet and rich. The curry spices complement the pumpkin and give an extra warming flavour. Keep the seeds from the pumpkin, clean to remove any fibres, then roast and scatter over the soup before serving. SERVES 3-4 1 medium pumpkin,…

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FATTOUSH DIP with pitta chips

From Izy Hossack’s The Savvy Cook comes this recipe, perfect for vegetarians, vegans and carnivores alike! I prefer this purple dip made with kidney beans to its more common chickpea-based cousin hummus as it’s easier to make it smooth, light and creamy. (Seriously, I’m never going to hand peel a…

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