I would just like to wish everyone a very merry Christmas, and thank everyone who has visited my recipe blog over the last year.
I hope everyone has a happy Christmas, but also spare some thought for those less fortunate, please consider making a small donation to a charity.
I have some recipes included below that will help you make some delicious meals from your left over turkey, from curries to soups – lots of ideas to make your Christmas as delicious as possible.
Christmas dinner tips
I always have a Prawn cocktail as a Christmas starter, as it is easy to prepare and quick to assemble before serving. The cocktail sauce is based upon a recipe created by my dad and just says “Christmas” to me.
In terms of cooking your turkey, I have my own method and have a few tips for you. Preparation is everything, I always do my preparation on Christmas eve as Christmas day is always quite busy.
I make a mixture of butter, parsley, garlic and a seasoning, then carefully lift the skin off the bird at both ends by sliding my fingers between the meat and skin – taking care not to rip the skin. I then put as much of the butter mixture as I can under the skin to flavour and moisten the meat as it cooks.
My stuffing is a mixture of sausage meat, finely diced onion, parsley, sage, egg, breadcrumbs and seasoning – all well mixed together. I stuff the neck end of the bird and then use cocktail sticks or string to tie the neck closed.
In the main cavity I stuff the turkey with half a lemon, a bulb of garlic, a onion, a carrot, a bay leaf and a stick of celery. Once the Turkey is placed on the roasting tin I add some more onion, garlic, carrot, lemon, celery, a glass of white wine and some Christmas herbs (sage, parsley, rosemary and thyme) round the bird to help flavour it and its juices.
I then rub some more of the butter mixture on the outside of the turkey, then drizzle the turkey with generous seasoning, honey, then layer streaky bacon over the top. The turkey is then covered in a foil tent, which is kept on during most of the cooking time – remove it for the last 20-25 minutes, during which baste the turkey frequently.
In terms of cooking time, these are a guide – always check juices run clear (or use thermometer) before resting the turkey.
2.7kg – 3.6kg (6-8lbs) 2 ½ – 3 ¾ hrs
3.6kg – 4.5kg (8-10lbs) 3 ¼ – 3 ¾ hrs
4.5kg – 5.4kg (10-12lbs) 3 ¾ – 4 ¼ hrs
I find this method to be full proof, and guaranteed to give you flavoursome moist turkey meat.
For gravy, I collect the roasting juices and cook with a splash of white wine, a little red current jelly and a little cornflour to thicken it.
For sides, I par boil potatoes then roast them at a high temperature in duck fat with some rosemary. I also love honey glazed carrots and parsnips roasted in duck fat with a little thyme. Along with the mandatory pigs in blankets.
The recipes below are all suitable for making great tasting meals from leftover turkey, simply add the cooked turkey meat towards the end of cooking and heat it through thoroughly before serving. Personally I find strong Asian flavours to be a great accompaniment to leftover turkey.
Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
Boil the turkey bones in a deep pan of water along with some carrots, onions, leeks, celery, bay leaf, peas, salt and some black peppercorns – boil for 20 minutes then cover and reduce to a simmer for at least 3-4 hours.
Make sure you use plenty of water relative to the turkey as the stock can be very strongly flavoured. For example I will be using just over 2L for a medium sized turkey.
Please check out my soups menu for recipe ideas, personally I think turkey stock is best used in tomato or vegetable based soups.
Once again have a very merry Christmas!