Merry Christmas – Turkey tips and leftover recipes

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.

20181216_170131

 

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.

Prawn cocktail

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.

 

Leftovers

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 theferretchef@gmail.com if you have any questions.

Asian recipes

Madras Curry with Cucumber and mint Raita

Special Makhani with Pilau Rice

Makhani with Pilau Rice

Dhal Curry

Carrot and Coriander Curry

Lentil Curry

Korean Chilli noodles

Salad with Korean Chilli dressing

Chicken noodle soup

Stir Fried Chicken and Cashew Nuts

Sweet and Sour noodles

Prawn, Sweet Peppers and Cashew Nuts

Nasi Goreng

Mee Goreng

Indonesian Curry

Thai Red curry

Thai King Prawn Curry

Laksa

 

 

European recipes

Tomato Conchiglie with creamy béchamel and crispy cheese topping

Homemade Pizza

Linguine with Roasted tomato, Garlic and Romano Pepper sauce.

 

American recipes

Mexican Soup

Carne con Chile, Red Pepper Rice and Salsa

Enchiladas with tomato and guajillo chilli sauce.

 

Soups

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.

Soups menu

 

Once again have a very merry Christmas!

 

 

 

Blue Swimming Crab with Spiced Paella Rice

Spiced tomato based Paella rice dish with chunks of blue swimming crab

This recipe, like many good recipes came from me experimenting with store cupboard ingredients and some leftover fresh ingredients. I wished to make a rice dish which was distinctly different from classic rice dishes such as risotto, paella and jambalaya. I am so happy with the results I have decided to share this recipe with you, in the hope you will give it a try.

The flavour base of the dish comes from a fried mixture of chilli, bell pepper, garlic, celery and red onion. This is softened then rice is added along with a spice mixture, this is fried and gently stirred until each grain is coated. White win is then added and cooked off followed by diced tomato flesh, stock, a little water herbs and seasoning. The rice is simmered until it has softened and the juices have almost been cooked off. For the last few minutes chunks of blue swimming crab are carefully placed on top, the steam and residual heat gently warms the crab through. Just before serving the crab is gently stirred through the rice using the back of a wooden spoon, to ensure the chunks don’t break up and get lost in the rice.

I think this dish is a real winner, its simple to cook with a simply fantastic flavour.

20180419_1756501831818387.jpg

Serves two people

preparation 15 minutes, cooking time 35-40 minutes

Ingredients and method

150-170g Blue swimming crab chunks (from tin)  – drain before adding to rice

2 large red chillies – remove stalk/seeds, finely dice

1 yellow bell pepper – finely diced

4 cloves garlic – peel, crush, finely chop

2 sticks celery – finely diced

2 red onions – finely diced

150g Paella rice

2 tablespoons olive oil

75ml dry white wine

6 round tomatoes – remove skin and seeds, then dice

500ml chicken stock

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp chilli powder

1.5 tsp smoked sweet paprika

Pinch saffron

1 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp dried basil

1 tsp dried parsley

150-200ml water

2 tsp brown sugar

Generous handful coriander leaf – roughly chop, half for dish, half for garnish

Lime wedges – for garnish

Sea salt and black pepper – for grinding

 

Method: Start by heating 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a deep flat frying pan then add then chopped chilli, garlic, celery, red onion and yellow bell pepper. Fry over a medium heat for 4-5 minutes, stirring frequently, until softened.

Add the rice then add the spice mixture – 1 tsp cumin, coriander, chilli and 1.5tsp smoked paprika. Stir well until the rice, spices and fried mixture is combined and each grain of rice is coated. Fry and gently stir for 1-2 minutes until all liquid in the pan is absorbed by the rice then pour in the white wine and stir gently until it is cooked off.

Once the wine is cooked off add the diced tomato flesh, 500ml chicken stock and a generous pinch of saffron. Next add 1 tsp dried oregano, basil and parsley, 2 tsp brown sugar, 150ml water , half the chopped coriander and sprinkle of salt (not too much as there is salt in the stock) and a generous amount of ground black pepper. Gently stir, bring to the boil then reduce heat to a gentle simmer. Leave to cook uncovered for 25-30 minutes until the liquid is nearly cooked off and the rice is plump and tender. If the rice is not ready simply add an extra 50ml water, stir through and give it an extra 5-10 minutes.

Once the liquid is nearly cooked off add the crab chunks along with a little more chopped coriander, place across the surface of the rice as it simmers away allowing the steam to warm the crab through. Once the liquid has been fully cooked off use the back of a wooden spoon and very gently fold the crab through the dish. Serve with a garnish of coriander leaf and lime wedges.

Blog contents

 

 

 

 

Chicken enchiladas with tomato and guajillo chilli sauce.

Enchiladas stuffed with leftover chicken in a rich Mexican tomato and guajillo chilli pepper sauce. Oven baked and served with tomato and avocado salsa.

This dish is a great way of turning leftover chicken into something really special. Garlic, tomatoes, red pepper, red chilli and guajillo chillies are pan roasted until charred to unlock their deep flavours, then blitzed into a smooth sauce which is mixed with the leftover chicken. The tortillas are brushed with a mixture of a little oil and tomato sauce before baking so that they take on some flavour and to prevent them over crisping or burning. A little of the sauce is also used as a garnish on top of the enchiladas.

A simple yet delicious salsa is made from tomatoes, red chilli, red pepper, avocado, coriander, red onion, lime juice, a little sugar and seasoning. It is important to leave this covered at room temperature for 1-2 hours to allow the flavours to fully develop. It just doesn’t taste as good if its been chilled, like tomatoes in general.

The dish is completed with some sour cream drizzled over the enchiladas, along with a garnish of coriander and lime wedges. I have been to Mexico many times and this takes me back there…..

20180319_1808171499336641.jpg

Serves two people

Preparation 15-20 minutes, cooking 10-12 minutes (plus time for salsa to develop)

Ingredients and method

For the salsa:

1/2 a red chill – finely chopped, remove seeds (keep for hot)

1/2 a red bell pepper – finely diced

3 tomatoes – diced

Juice of 1 lime

1/2 tsp brown sugar

1 baby avocado – diced

1 medium size red onion – diced

Good handful coriander – roughly chopped

Generous amount of freshly ground black pepper

Salt – to taste

Method: Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl and mix well, cover bowl and set aside at room temperature for 1-2 hours. This helps the favours combine and gives a far tastier salsa.

For the enchiladas

Approx. 150g leftover/precooked chicken – cut into small pieces or shred

4 corn tortillas – must be corn ones 

3 large garlic cloves – keep skin on (see method)

2 guajillo chillies – if using dried, soak for 45-60 mins then discard water

1/2 red chilli – remove seeds and stalk

1/2 red pepper

3 round tomatoes

1/2 tsp smoked paprika

1/2 tsp sugar

1 tbsp. coriander leaf, plus a few leafs for garnish

1/4 tsp salt

Generous amount of freshly ground black pepper

1 tbsp. vegetable oil

Sour cream – to garnish

Method: Start by dry roasting the pepper, chilli, tomatoes, garlic (keep skin on) and guajillo chilli peppers over a medium high heat. Turn occasionally but the aim here is to dry roast and get some charred colour to bring some deep flavour to the sauce. Once the peppers and chillies are charred on all sides, carefully remove the garlic and tip the rest into a small food processor/mini chopper. Allow the garlic to cool then squeeze to remove roasted garlic from the skin then place in food processor. Add the coriander, sugar, salt and pepper then blitz until a smooth rich red sauce is formed. Taste test and add a little extra sugar, salt or pepper if required, the sauce should be rich and flavoursome, but not too sweet. Retain 1-2 tbsp. of the sauce and mix the rest through the chicken. With the retained sauce mix with a tbsp. of vegetable oil – this will be used to brush the enchiladas.

Preheat your oven to approx. 180°C then start to make the enchiladas. Lay one out flat on a chopping board, place a generous amount of filling just below the middle then roll the bottom over carefully then roll into a enchilada. Place into a roasting dish with the seam on the bottom. Repeat for the other three enchiladas, making sure to space them out in the roasting dish. Using a brush give the enchiladas a thin coat of the sauce/oil mix to prevent the tortillas crisping up too much during baking. If you have any sauce left you can also add a couple of small drops on top of the enchiladas before baking, this is mainly for aesthetics and entirely optional. Add to the oven and bake for 10-12 minutes.

When plating, take care when transferring the enchiladas so they don’t loose their shape or any of the contents. Serve with a side portion of the salsa and garnish with sour cream and a few coriander leafs.

 

 

 

Mee Goreng

The noodle version of Nasi Goreng, this dish uses the same paste and flavours for those that prefer noodles to rice. A truly authentic Bali flavour.

In this recipe I use some pre cooked chicken and some different vegetables to the Nasi Goreng recipe although the flavour of the dish is really very similar. This recipe is a great way to use up pre cooked chicken, alternatively pre cook some diced chicken or use prawns instead. I have added some green beans, broccoli stems and baby corn to add a little texture to the dish.

I froze half the paste from my Nasi Goreng recipe, which defrosts well and retains that wonderful flavour of Bali. If you are cooking this dish first either freeze the remaining paste and defrost before cooking or store in an airtight container in a fridge for up to 7 days.

img_20180213_171647_487862756115.jpg

Serves two people

Preparation 15 minutes, cooking time 15 minutes

Ingredients

For Mee Goreng paste:
1 tsp black peppercorns
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
Handful peanuts
1 tsp sesame seeds
1 tsp turmeric
2 white onions – peeled
Thumb of root ginger – peeled, roughly chop
2 stalks lemon grass – discard outer husks, thinly slice
6 cloves garlic – peel
2 large red chillies
1 tsp shrimp paste
1 dessert spoon brown sugar
1 Tbsp Ketchup manis
Juice of 1/2 a lime
Method: Use a min blender to blitz into a smooth paste. Chopping the tough ingredients before blending helps make a smooth paste. Only use half for this recipe, the remainder can be frozen or stored in the fridge (see notes above).

For the main dish:

2 portions of pre cooked medium thick egg noodles
2 portions of pre cooked chicken – see notes above for alternatives
Vegetable oil – 2 tbsp for dish plus extra to shallow fry prawns and fry egg
1 carrot – cut into thin batons
4 birds eye chilies – keep whole
1 red onion – cut into thin strips
6-8 baby corn – thinly sliced
6-8 broccoli spears – trimmed
8-10 fine green beans – trimmed, cut into 2-3cm lengths
1 tbsp. tomato paste
1 tbsp. ketchup manis
1 tbsp. light soy sauce
2-3 tbsp. peanuts
2-3 tbsp. onion flakes
5cm cucumber – deseed, peel, cut into crescents
2 round tomatoes – cut into eighths
Handful coriander leaf – roughly chopped
2 eggs – fried sunny side up

Method: Heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a wok or deep-frying pan until smoking hot, add the curry paste and stir fry for 1-2 minutes. Add the baby corn, broccoli, green beans, carrot, onion and birds eye chillies and fry for a further minute. Next add the pre cooked chicken and stir fry until heated through. Add the pre cooked noodles and stir through until combined with paste, chicken and vegetables. Add a tablespoon of tomato paste, ketchup manis and light soy sauce and stir into the noodles until combined then add the onion flakes and peanuts. Stir fry for a further minute until dish is heated through. Add the coriander, tomatoes and cucumber, stir through the dish then turn off the heat. In a separate pan add a little oil and quickly fry 2 eggs sunny side up. Serve immediately with the fried egg on top of the noodles.