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  • A Special Kind Of Sunday

    There's no better way to celebrate Mother's Day than with a new season recipe that's comforting and tasty - perfect for a Sunday teatime with all the family.

    Here are our three favourite recipes right now for feeding the whole family...

    The main attraction...

    Chicken Traybake With Bitter Orange & Fennel

    I N G R E D I E N T S

    2 large bulbs fennel (approx. 1kg/2 1/4lbs total, though less wouldn't matter)
    100 ml cold-pressed rapeseed oil (or extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling on the chicken when cooking)
    2 seville oranges (zested and juiced, or zest and juice of 1 eating orange and juice of 1 lemon, about 100ml /scant half cup of juice)
    2 teaspoons sea salt flakes
    4 teaspoons fennel seeds
    4 teaspoons dijon mustard
    12 chicken thighs with skin and bone still on (preferably organic)

    M E T H O D 

    Remove the fronds from the fennel and put them in a resealable bag in the fridge for serving. I discard (that’s to say, eat) the tubey bits of the fennel, but if you have a roasting tin big enough, use everything. Cut the bulbs of fennel into quarters and then cut each quarter, lengthways, into 3. Leave on the chopping board while you get on with the marinade.

    Placing a large freezer bag in position inside a wide-necked measuring jug or similar, pour in the oil, add the orange zest and juice (and lemon juice, if using), and spoon in the salt, fennel seeds and mustard. Stir briefly to mix.

    Remove the bag from the jug and, holding it up, add a quarter of the chicken pieces, followed by a quarter of the fennel pieces, and so on until everything’s been used up.

    Seal the bag tightly at the top, lay the bag in something like a lasagne dish and squelch it about so that you make the small amount of marinade cover as much of the chicken as possible. It will look as if it isn’t enough, but it is, I promise. Leave in the fridge for a day or overnight.

    When you want to cook, remove the marinating chicken and fennel from the fridge and tip the contents of the bag – marinade and all – into a large shallow roasting tin (I use a tin that measures 46 x 34cm with a lip of 1.5cm/half-sheet pan with a lip of ½ inch). Using tongs, or whatever implement(s) you prefer, arrange the chicken pieces so that they are sitting, skin-side up, on top of the fennel. Leave it for 30 minutes or so, to come up to room temperature while you preheat the oven to 200ºC/gas mark 6/400ºF.

    Drizzle some more golden oil onto the chicken, and cook in the oven for 1 hour, by which time the fennel will be soft and the chicken cooked through and bronzed on top.

    Put the chicken and fennel onto a warmed serving plate and put the pan over a medium heat (use a saucepan if your tin isn’t hob-friendly) and boil the juices, stirring as you watch it turn syrupy; this should take about 1½–2 minutes in the tin, and about 5 in a saucepan.

    Pour the reduced sauce over the chicken and fennel, and then tear over the reserved fennel fronds.

    Recipe & photography by Nigella Lawson 'Simply Nigella'.

    The perfect side...

    Green Bean Salad With Mustard Seeds & Tarragon

    I N G R E D I E N T S

    1 1/4 cups green beans, trimmed
    1/2 small red onion, finely chopped
    2 1/4 cups snow peas, trimmed
    1 mild fresh red chile, seeded and finely diced
    1 3/4 cups green peas (fresh or frozen)
    1 garlic clove, crushed
    2 teaspoons coriander seeds, roughly crushed with a mortar and pestle
    Grated zest of 1 lemon
    1 teaspoon mustard seeds
    2 tablespoons chopped tarragon
    3 tablespoons olive oil
    Coarse sea salt
    1 teaspoon nigella seeds
    1 cup baby chard leaves (optional)

    M E T H O D 

    Fill a medium saucepan with cold water and bring to the boil. Blanch the green beans for 4 minutes, then immediately lift them out of the pan and into iced water to refresh. Drain and dry.

    Bring a fresh pan of water to the boil and blanch the snow peas for 1 minute only. Refresh, drain and dry. Use the same boiling water to blanch the peas for 20 seconds. Refresh, drain and dry. Combine the beans, snow peas and peas in a large mixing bowl.

    Put the coriander seeds, mustard seeds and oil in a small saucepan and heat up. When the seeds begin to pop, pour the contents of the pan over the beans and peas. Toss together, then add the nigella seeds, red onion, chile, garlic, lemon zest and tarragon. Mix well and season with salt to taste.

    Just before serving, gently fold the chard leaves, if using, in with the beans and peas, and spoon the salad onto plates or into bowls.

    Recipe & photography by Yotam Ottelenghi 'Plenty'.

    And for the photo (worthy) finish...

    Flourless Chocolate Cardomom Torte

    I N G R E D I E N T S

    11 ounces dark chocolate
    ⅔ cup unsalted butter
    6 eggs, separated
    ¼ cup sugar
    1 tsp vanilla
    ½ tsp salt
    2 tsp ground cardamom, divided
    ½ cup heavy cream
    ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

    M E T H O D

    Preheat the oven to 325 F. Line a springform pan with parchment paper and butter generously. In 30 second increments, melt the chocolate and butter together in the microwave. Stir until completely smooth and melted. Set aside.

    Combine the egg yolks and sugar in the bowl of a mixer, and beat on high until very pale and fluffy — about five minutes.

    Mix the vanilla, salt, and 1½ tsp ground cardamom into the melted chocolate, then fold the chocolate into the egg yolks.

    In a clean bowl, beat the egg whites on high until they hold stiff peaks. Fold carefully into the chocolate mixture. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 20-25 minutes.

    When the torte has cooled, heat the heavy cream until near boiling. Add the chocolate chips and let sit for two minutes, then stir until completely smooth. Add ½ tsp ground cardamom, and either serve immediately with the cake or pour over the cake and let set one hour.

    Recipe & photography by The Kitchen Paper.