March is the time for bringing family and friends together and what better way to do that than with a delicious Sunday lunch. I have included a beautiful roast chicken recipe, with roasted grapes, herbs and white wine (which creates a fabulous gravy). I’m serving this with some incredibly crispy parmesan roast potatoes and some sautéed sweetheart cabbage. I’m also sharing a new recipe that I’ve been working on, a fruity, flourless chocolate cake which I’ve decorated with fresh raspberries and mini eggs.


Roast Chicken with Grapes

This is a real treat, and one my children devour every time. Succulent roast chicken on a bed of soft onions that have soaked up the juices with fresh herbs and jammy red grapes. I often serve this simply with a fresh focaccia, still warm from the oven and perfect for mopping up all those delicious juices.

Ingredients (serves 6-8)

2 medium, free-range chickens

2 tbsp olive oil

2 medium onions, skins removed and quartered

2 sticks celery, halved

1 large bulb garlic, halved

200ml dry white wine

1 bunch thyme

1 bunch seedless red grapes

1 lemon, halved

Sea salt flakes

Freshly ground black pepper


Pre-heat your oven to 200/180c fan.

In a large roasting pan, place the onions, celery, garlic, wine and half the thyme to create a bed to rest the meat on. Rub the chicken with the oil and place on top of the vegetables. Arrange the grapes, lemon and rest of the thyme around the chicken, season well and roast for 1 hour and 15 minutes (until the juices run clear).

Once the chicken is cooked, remove from the roasting pan along with the onions and grapes and leave covered on a plate to rest. Strain the cooking juices into a small saucepan and leave on a low heat until you are ready to serve.

To serve, cut the chicken into portions and arrange on a warm platter with the onions and grapes and pour over the cooking juices.

Great British Life: Parmesan Roast PotatoesParmesan Roast Potatoes (Image: Sam Ellis-Cosgrove)

Parmesan Roast Potatoes

I take pride in my roast potatoes, and I’ve spent a lot of time trying to perfect them. My daughter is a budding Jay Rayner and takes the judging of said roasties very seriously indeed, so much so that I can say with some conviction that this recipe is a winner as mini ‘Rayner’ gave them a 10/10!

Ingredients (serves 6-8)

2kg Maris Piper potatoes, peeled and cut in half

1 tbsp plain flour

1 tbsp grated parmesan

2 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp sunflower oil

1 large bulb garlic, halved

4 sprigs thyme

Sea salt flakes

Freshly ground black pepper

Pre-heat your oven to 210/190c fan.

Par-boil the potatoes in salted water for 20 minutes until soft. Drain and allow to steam dry then return to the pan and give them a good shake to rough up the edges. Add the flour and parmesan, stir gently to coat the potatoes and season well.

Add both oils to a shallow roasting tray and heat in the oven for 15 minutes. Carefully add the seasoned potatoes, garlic and thyme to the tray, turning to coat the potatoes in the oil. Place in the oven and cook for 45-50 minutes, turning halfway through, until crisp and golden brown.


Great British Life: Sauteed cabbageSauteed cabbage (Image: Sam Ellis-Cosgrove)

Sautéed Cabbage

I love this recipe and could just eat a big bowl of it for lunch! This dish also works well with shredded sprouts or savoy cabbage, and I sometimes add pancetta at the start for a richer flavour. But for this meal, a lighter side works well with the roast chicken and potatoes.

Ingredients (serves 6-8)

25g butter

1 tbsp olive oil

2 shallots or 1 small onion thinly sliced

1 clove garlic, crushed

1 sweetheart or pointed cabbage, shredded

1 tsp nigella seeds

Sea salt flakes

Freshly ground black pepper


In a large frying pan or skillet, heat the butter and oil. Add the shallots and garlic and soften for 2 minutes on a medium heat.

Add the cabbage and a splash of water. Cook for 3-5 minutes until soft, add the nigella seeds and season to taste.


Great British Life: Chocolate and Raspberry CakeChocolate and Raspberry Cake (Image: Sam Ellis-Cosgrove)

Chocolate and Raspberry Cake

This is a flourless recipe by default really in that, when testing, I found a cake risen with whisked egg whites to be gooier and more pudding like which is perfect with the sticky raspberry bottom. I also made this with figs which was equally good, however the children preferred the sweeter raspberry version. You can decorate with any sweets or chocolates, or edible flowers.

Ingredients (serves 6-8)

170g unsalted butter

50ml Cointreau

60g dark 70% chocolate

100g cocoa powder

200g caster sugar

5 eggs, separated

2 punnets raspberries

Chocolate mini eggs to decorate

Cream to serve


Pre-heat your oven to 180/160c fan

Grease and line a 22cm cake tin and place one punnet of raspberries equally spread on top of the paper.

Melt the butter in a small saucepan on a medium/low heat. Add the Cointreau, chocolate and cocoa powder and stir until it is all combined into a thick smooth sauce. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar and egg yolks until pale. Pour in the chocolate mixture and stir until fully combined. In another bowl, whisk the egg whites to firm peaks. Using a metal spoon, stir ¼ of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture then gently fold in the rest.

Pour the mixture over the raspberries, place the tin in the oven and bake for 30 minutes (you want a slight wobble in the middle when it’s done). Leave on a rack to cool, then turn out and decorate with the remaining raspberries and mini eggs. Serve with pouring cream.