- Christmas, a time for family, rest and relaxation for all… wrong! Not if you are the one in charge of the most important task of the day, the main event that everyone comes to your house for – no, not trying to keep grandma away from the sherry but cooking the Christmas...
Christmas, a time for family, rest and relaxation for all… wrong! Not if you are the one in charge of the most important task of the day, the main event that everyone comes to your house for – no, not trying to keep grandma away from the sherry but cooking the Christmas turkey.
With the right planning and my step-by-step guide, you can take the stress away and enjoy the most delicious Christmas turkey you have ever had. Your guests will want you to host Christmas every year (but do not let them make you).
Turkey often gets branded as dry and that is because the legs will take longer to cook than the breast. The best solution is to use the stuffing between the meat and the skin of the turkey. This makes the breasts thicker so the bird cooks evenly, giving you a juicy, well-cooked turkey.
1tbsp olive oil
A handful of sage leaves
12 slices of Pancetta or streaky bacon
6 garlic cloves
2 sticks of celery, finely chopped
2 handfuls of breadcrumbs
1 handful of dried apricots, roughly chopped
300g minced pork
Zest of 1 lemon
A pinch of nutmeg
1 large egg
Salt and pepper
12 small sprigs of rosemary
1 large orange
2tbsp plain flour
1l chicken stock
Step 1: Preheat the oven to the maximum setting.
Step 2: Make a start on the stuffing. In a saucepan on a medium heat, add the olive oil. Then add the sage leaves, half of the pancetta, two peeled and chopped garlic cloves, a finely chopped onion and the celery, and soften until brown.
Step 3: Take the saucepan off the heat and add the breadcrumbs and apricots, and leave to cool.
Step 4: Next, add your pork mince, lemon zest, nutmeg and egg to the saucepan. Season with salt and pepper before mixing well.
Step 5: Now make a start on the turkey. Give it a wipe on the inside and outside with kitchen paper (never wash it in the sink as this spreads bacteria around it and on kitchen surfaces).
Step 6: Take the remaining garlic and peel and cut into thin shards. Take the rest of the pancetta and halve the slices lengthways and then cut into 5cm-long rectangles. Take a small sprig of rosemary and roll the garlic and rosemary tightly (a bit like wrapping sausages in bacon). Repeat until there are 12 little parcels. Create six holes in the thighs of each leg and push the little wraps into the slits. This will add wonderful flavour to the meat.
Step 7: Cut the second onion into chunks and roughly chop the carrots.
Step 8: With the neck of the turkey facing you, find the edge of the skin that covers the breast, put your fingers in and start to separate the skin from the breast very gently, without breaking the skin. Then take the stuffing and push it in between the skin and the breast. Then use the excess skin and flap it underneath the turkey (or use a small skewer to hold it in place) to prevent anything spilling out.
Step 9: Heat the orange in the microwave for 30 seconds to release the oils and push it into the turkey’s cavity. Then place the bird in a large roasting tin and surround it with the onions, carrots and the rest of the garlic.
Step 10: Cover the bird in foil and turn the oven down to 180 degrees Celsius/gas mark 4 and roast for the correct time (check the packaging for recommended times or ask your butcher if you are not sure -remember to add on a little bit of time to take account of the stuffing) until the juices run clear. For the last 30 minutes, take off the foil and let the skin brown. And pour the juices from the meat into a saucepan; this will be used for the gravy.
Step 11: Once the turkey is cooked, remove it from the oven and place it on a serving tray. Loosely cover it with foil or a clean towel and leave to rest 20 minutes.
Step 12: Finally the gravy. Add some flour to a new saucepan and cook for a minute (this is important to avoid a floury taste), then add the juices from the turkey and the chicken stock. Keep stirring the gravy until it thickens.
There you go, turkey and gravy that will have you wanting seconds and thirds.
Recipe by Jihan-Annesa Turner, sourceVN:F [1.9.22_1171]VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
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- I have made this spectacular vegetarian dish from Plenty More by Yotam Ottolenghi at least six times in the past month, comments Bonnie Stern – the author of twelve best-selling cookbooks. That’s a favourite recipe! Sometimes I roast the cauliflower, sometimes I use...
I have made this spectacular vegetarian dish from Plenty More by Yotam Ottolenghi at least six times in the past month, comments Bonnie Stern – the author of twelve best-selling cookbooks.
That’s a favourite recipe! Sometimes I roast the cauliflower, sometimes I use a mixture of smoked and aged cheddar and sometimes I use different herbs but it all starts with this recipe.
-1 small cauliflower (about 2 lbs), trimmed and broken into 1 1/2-inch florets (about 4 cups)
-1 medium red onion
-1/3 cup olive oil
-1/2 tsp finely chopped rosemary
-1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
-2/3 cup all-purpose flour
-1 tsp baking powder
-1/3 tsp turmeric
-1 1/2 cups coarsely grated
-Parmesan or other aged cheese
-melted butter for brushing pan
-1 tbsp white sesame seeds
-1 tsp nigella seeds
-freshly ground black pepper
1. Place cauliflower and 1 tsp salt in a saucepan and cover with water. Simmer 15 minutes until florets are tender and break apart with pressed. Drain well and pat dry.
2. Cut four round thin slices off one end of the red onion. Break it apart into rounds. Select about 16 rounds of different sizes to decorate the top. Chop remaining onion and extra slices. Cook onions in oil with rosemary until tender. Transfer to a large bowl and cool. Beat in eggs and basil. Whisk flour with baking powder, turmeric and 1 1/2 tsp salt and beat into eggs. Add cheese and 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper. Fold in cauliflower.
3. Line bottom and sides of 9-inch spring form pan with parchment paper (butter sides of pan lightly to hold parchment in place). Butter sides of parchment paper and sprinkle with sesame and nigella seeds. Pour in cauliflower mixture and smooth evenly. Arrange onion rings on top. Place on a baking sheet (in case pan leaks) and bake in a preheated 350F for 40 to 45 minutes or until a knife inserted into the centre comes out clean and top is golden. Cool at least 20 minutes before serving.
Makes 8 to 10 servings
Recipe sourceVN:F [1.9.22_1171]VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
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