People who have been on holidays to Portugal will probably have eaten piri piri chicken. It is very popular there and I have enjoyed it myself and look forward to doing so again when things are all back to normal. I don’t like it too hot, so if your taste is like mine try with less chilli. You can always add more.

You could do this meal with chicken breasts, but chicken on the bone has great flavour. The wine vinegar adds a nice acidity. The sweet potatoes are ideal, but I also enjoy this with new potatoes or with rice.

It is hard to beat a leg of Irish lamb and the fan-tailed potatoes make it look very special when served – and they are so easy to do. Rosemary is a herb that goes perfectly with lamb. You could also do this meal with lamb cutlets on the barbecue

Thank you to all of the people who wished us well on the reopening of the restaurant. It is great to be back at work but we are taking it very slowly and cautiously, for the time being. We look forward to being able to get back to our usual number of diners but we will wait until we are sure that it is the right thing to do.

Happy cooking



Piri piri chicken with sweet potato wedges

Piri piri chicken with sweet potato wedges. \ Photography: Philip Doyle. Food styling: Sharon Hearne-Smith

Serves four

8 chicken pieces (mixture of drumsticks and thighs)

2 garlic cloves, crushed

1 tsp fresh thyme leaves

Pinch of dried oregano

2 tsp sweet paprika

1 heaped tsp crushed dried chillies

1 tbsp white wine vinegar

2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for brushing

Salt and pepper

For the sweet potato wedges:

2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into wedges

1 tbsp olive oil

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Tomato salsa spiked with chilli sauce, to serve

Fresh coriander sprigs, to garnish

  • 1 Mix the garlic, thyme, oregano, paprika, dried chillis, vinegar and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and stir to combine.
  • 2 Trim down any unnecessary skin from the chicken pieces and then make three deep slashes into each piece. Add to the chilli mixture, turning to coat. Set aside at room temperature for 20 minutes, to allow the flavours to penetrate the flesh, and leave over overnight in the fridge, if time allows.
  • 3 Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F, gas mark six). Line a roasting tin with foil and brush lightly with olive oil. Add the chicken pieces, leaving about 2.5cm (1in) between each piece to allow them the space to crisp up. Roast for 40 to 45 minutes, until cooked through and crisp.
  • 4 After 20 minutes, brush the chicken with any remaining marinade and put back on the second shelf of the oven.
  • 5 Meanwhile, toss the sweet potato wedges in the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet and place on the top shelf of the oven. Roast for 20 to 25 minutes, until crisp and golden brown, turning once.
  • 6 Arrange the piri piri chicken on warmed plates with small bowls of spiked tomato salsa and a pile of the sweet potato wedges, then garnish with the coriander to serve.
  • Roast leg of lamb with fantailed potatoes

    Serves six

    2 garlic cloves, peeled plus 1 garlic head, halved

    2 tbsp wholegrain mustard

    25g flat-leaf parsley, leaves only

    Juice and pared rind of 1 lemon

    2 tbsp olive oil, extra for drizzling

    2kg leg of lamb

    1kg white potatoes (even-sized)

    15g fresh rosemary

    Sea salt and fresh black pepper

    Redcurrant jelly, to serve (optional)

  • 1 Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F, gas mark six).
  • 2 Blend the garlic, mustard, parsley, lemon juice and oil to a paste in a food processor.
  • 3 Smear all over the lamb in a roasting tin.
  • 4 Cut the potatoes into slices three-quarters of the way through and tuck around the lamb with the halved garlic bulb, rosemary and lemon rind.
  • 5 Drizzle with oil and season with salt and pepper.
  • 6 Roast for one hour and 15 minutes, covering with foil if the crust starts getting dark until just cooked through and tender.
  • 7 Rest for 20 minutes before serving with some redcurrant jelly.