A thread for your preferences and tips for the holiday menu.
In our house, we much prefer goose to turkey (duck would be better and cheaper) but I dream of the day when we can have a rib of Aberdeen Angus beef on the bone. Family preferences mean that a bird is always the oreder of the day.
I also dream of the day when we can go abroad for the whole Christmas holiday. Never done that.
In happier times we used to take a break for New Year in this wonderful tiny 12-bedroom country hotel in Suffolk, the Black Lion in Long Melford. It is so small that the staff cannot help but treat you as an honoured guest. Log fires, fantastic dining room and bijou pampering. Very highly recommended.
Never knowingly underfed
I had a dry run this year as we celebrated Thanks Giving (Canadian), in October. I am a Rolled Turkey crown convert. Never again will I fuss about with a bird that isnt boned. It cooked like a dream and I followed Nigellas timings and made the rest up as I normally would for a chicken on sunday. Although the only thing I will tweek is the bacon. Not smoked on Christmas day. That was a mistake for Thanks giving. When you dont eat bacon it was abit of a shock for me. It tasted quite meaty. I cant explain any other way, not like bacon crisps at all, which is what I have tried to eat lately.
on a side not if anyone is interested. I ate a chicken and ham pie the other day. So the pork re-education is still on going. I dont know what it is about it. but I forced it down. I cant describe the taste but all you pork eaters will know what I mean. Sorry no recipe a friend made it. I wouldnt volunteerily eat it. I didnt want to offend...
I would do before and after pics but am at work and cant do it. will email FN and Danny to see if any one can add it...
S.O.L. I do not like roast turkey at all. But many years ago my mum experimented with asking the butcher to bone and roll the thighs. Then she would stuff them and roll them back again, tied with twine.
To this day, that method and cuts from the boned/stuffed/rolled thighs are my favourite cut. The brown meat is transformed into the most desirable cut.
Never knowingly underfed
What no bones!!!!!!! What about all that lovely stock for soup?
It has to be turkey for us - popular demand & economics because of the number of people we feed over the christmas period. No way could we afford £50 for a goose just for one meal
I think it is practically impossible to cook a large turkey evenly - by the time it's cooked right through the breast and drumsticks are dried out.
A few years ago I was contemplating a turkey crown when I discovered it cost the same as a larger complete bird. I bought the complete bird and cut it up to produce my own crown plus two large leg joints and still had wings and back for stock. We have repeated this practice for several years and it works well and makes for easier carving.
May well try the idea of boning the crown then stuffing and rolling - sounds good
That's a really good idea, Lovage. Yes, goose does cost £50+ but mum-in-law adores the sight of a roast bird for Christmas lunch. In fairness, she sends us a cheque for the bird but, even if she did not, I would go for goose, duck or a fat pigeon rather than turkey and hang the expense.
I guess we are lucky because the family is 3 at most on the day, apart from one year when we invited a friend couple and the bloke stayed until 8 p.m.
Mum in law (86 then) was knackered by the end of the evening. I tapped him on the ankle under the table and nodded towards the door. He was highly insulted. "They threw us out at 8 o'clock," he said to a neighbour afterwards. We had expected them to leave after the Queen's Speech (approx 6 pm).
Lovely bloke but some people just have no cop-on.
Joanna – spot-on – the bones were retained for stock. Yeuch!
Never knowingly underfed
Has anyone considered capon? On the rare occasions we are at home for Xmas (just the 2 of us) we have either duck or a chapon. It's bigger than a chicken, smaller than a turkey and less dry; a good-sized one will feed up to six people. I do it like this.
With the times and temperatures as listed by Nigella on her site, and with my normal treatment of chicken. My Turkey crown was placed on top of chunky pieces of carrot, a quartered onion and a good 1inch of water in the base of the enamel pan.
Some sage and parsley added to the water and it was the best turkey I have ever eaten. So moist we could consume it for 3 days after with out the thought that it might be dry in anyway.
Hey Lovage, although I would eat brown/dark meat, PB will not touch it. I will also admit that I dont often make my own stock. And the bones would languish in my very small freezer taking up valuable space. It is only twice a year that we would eat turkey... Maybe in the next house (the dream house, who am I kidding?!?), I will hopefully have a store room/utility where I will be allowed to have a full sized freezer that would make my life alot easier than it is now. trying to organise the other 2 ladies at work who go 3rds with me on buying a sheep and sharing it out once the farmer has it slaughtered. etc I wont have to go 3rds I will just buy the whole thing.
I still have no idea what to serve on Boxing day... Any ideas? Cold beef maybe? Normal we go to someone elses house. So having to have the inlaws here with 2 small children is giving me the chills!
But I will share something with you that saved me last year when feeding complete strangers at the Father in laws house in Scotland.
PB drained all the veg and didnt save any of the stock water. Thankfully I had remembered many moons ago, when in the supermarket. I heard a lady ask the shop assistant for Baxters Beef consomme... I thought hmm why? Then when she came back she said to the girl you have saved Christmas. If my gravy goes wrong, I drag out 3 cans of consomme from the cupboard and make gravy with that.
So last year as if God had spoken to me, I planned for everything. we took our entire dinner service the 7 hour car journey, along with all the cooking pans and pots I would need. And in the bottom of a box, was 3 cans of beef consomme. Already to save Christmas dinner...
Does any one also make bread sauce? Or are you a packet person? Father in law thought I was bonkers, as I insisted on making it as I find packets really salty
Now a capon sounds right up my street.
I used to make bread sauce. Not so sure what I am going to do this year as there is me and my hubby for Christmas, unless of course we pick up a few strays in the meantime - has been known. Last year we thought it was just going to be us and our middle child and turned out to be 6 of us. Our daughter arrives on the 27th with her boyfriend for a couple of days, but I bet they will have had the full Christmas fare by then so maybe they won't be bothered about turkey (if we can get it) or anything else like that. Hmm!
We used to use packet bread sauce but now we make our own. Packet is not bad but homemade is just nicer and simple to prepare.
We love roast chicken with all the trimmings: streaky bacon over the breast and crisped at the end, bread sauce, goose-fat roast potatoes, gravy, with preferably carrots (for the gravy) and broccoli. Yummmmmmm.
Never knowingly underfed
Sound wonderful, only I can't persuade Ian to eat sprouts. It is one of the few vegetables where I haven't managed to convert him. Not bad for an egg and chips guy when I met him.
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