A Conversation for Planning and Preparing a Christmas Meal

Turkeys (or geese)

Post 1

The Researcher formally known as Dr St Justin

Fresh is better, but also more expensive. Buy a bird that you can afford, that is big enough to feed everyone. If you *can* afford a fresh bird, so much the better.

If you get a frozen bird, remember to check when you'll have to get it out of the freezer. A big turkey can take 48 hours to defrost completely!


One very nice recipe I recently found is slightly mediterranean: Using teh tin you'll use for roasting the bird, gently fry a large handful of fresh sage leaves, a couple of lemons (cut into thin 'wedges') and a handful of garlic cloves (still in the skin) in a few tablespoons of olive oil.

When the garlic has softened, and the aroma from the sage is released, remove the pan from the heat. Carefully roll the turkey (or goose!) in the flavoured oil, covering as much as possible. Place the bird (right way up!) in the roasting tin, and spoon a little of the mixture into the body cavity. Then roast your turkey/goose as normal.

All of the flavourings can be eaten - the roasted garlic will have lost its harsh flavour, and become much sweeter, and the lemon (including the skin) will have softened.


Turkeys (or geese)

Post 2

The Researcher formally known as Dr St Justin

Almost forgot - don't forget to take the giblets out before you cook the bird!!!


Turkeys (or geese) et al

Post 3

Buzz Lightyear: Getting Ever Warmer

smiley - holly

I don't know if indeed this is a very common thing (maybe we're just a basket case! smiley - smiley), but the Turkey is not the only animal that makes it to the table alone in our household! smiley - blush I understand it as a peculiarly Celtic tradition (but it may also occur elsewhere) the Turkey comes accompanied with ham. I give the Celtic reference as I know some English households also accompany the turkey, but with roast beef! Furthermore, we cover the turkey (after stuffing & prior to roasting) in bacon for a range of flavour. As a cute little aside, you can buy (usually @ M&S) or make homemade ickle cocktail sausages or cheese wrapped up in bacon served either prior to Christmas lunch or with it.

smiley - santasmiley - reindeer

We usually have to make lashings of bread sauce for the turkey (perhaps deserves a post in itself?!) as that's always a popular accompaniment as well as the usual cranberry sauce.

smiley - xmastree

If you've done so much that lasts you well into the new year (as what usually happens! smiley - winkeye), from Boxing/St.Stephen's Day post panto, cold cuts of meat go très well with cremy mashed potatoes & pickled onions (prepared and preserved months in advance for maximum flavour!) around a warm open fire...smiley - magic
What I'm wondering though is just how common this is @ Chrimbo, or does one usually do things differently to this?!

smiley - holly Merry Christmas & bon appetit! Mmmmm...


Turkeys (or geese) et al

Post 4

The Researcher formally known as Dr St Justin

We usually have a (bigish) beef roast the Sunday before Christmas, and gammon roast on Christmas Eve. The food lasts well in to the new year...


Turkeys (or geese) et al

Post 5

Researcher catb

when i roast a turkey (usually for thanksgiving) i place a whole apple or onion, depends on what i've forgotten at the market, in the neck cavity...i've never wound up with a dry bird since i started using this method...i also 'tent' my bird loosly with aluminum foil for the first half of the cooking time...since we are three we will probably have a seafood meal again this christmas; clams,mussels,shrimp,lobster and salmon...i'm hungry...


Turkeys (or geese) et al

Post 6

Schrödinger's Cat-flap

The ham tradidion comes up in my family too... and the sausages wrapped in bacon are smiley - bleeping gorgeous. They don't have to be shop-bought, though, they're quite simple to make- just wrap a sausage in bacon (and cook it, of course)


Turkeys (or geese) et al

Post 7

Hasslefree

My mum always served turkey with roast pork, so I suppose in a way this is the celtic 'ham'
There is always a clove covered roast ham too, but not served with the main meal
It does sound, with all this meat roasting, that woman cooked so much so as to eat cold cuts during the holiday and have a rest after all that organisation and efficiency!
Mum would also put her lemon and garlic inside the body cavity during the cooking.
Some people suggest cooking the turkey upside down . i have no idea what the thinking behind this one is though
Roast parsnips and potatoes, chestnut/brussel sprouts.
Carrots, cauliflower cheese, Yorkshire puddings, Sausage wrapped in bacon and mashed swede!
I feel a bit sick now


Turkeys (or geese) et al

Post 8

The Researcher formally known as Dr St Justin

Cooking the bird upside down is supposed to keep the breast moist.

We usually put the bird on a wire rack in the roasting tin, so that it isn't sitting in the juices that drain out. On a couple of occasions so much fat has drained that if the bird hadn't been on a rack, the tin would have overflowed...


Turkeys (or geese) et al

Post 9

Schrödinger's Cat-flap

Another tradition my family has which I havn't come across anywhere else is de-boning the turkey. The idea is to remove all the bones in the turkey before doing anything else with it- this way, it stays more moist, you can get more stuffing in and, as a bonus, it is much easier to carve. It looks a little strange, admittedly, because there are no bones to support it, but it is an interesting alternative to the usual way of preparing a turkey.
~smiley - cat


Turkeys (or geese) et al

Post 10

kelli - ran 2 miles a day for 2012, aiming for the same for 2013

We always cook our turkey on christmas eve - there simply isn't enough room in the oven for a great big bird plus all of the roast tatties, chipolatta (sp), extra stuffing, veg and roast beef joint to do the bird at the same time. It also makes the day less fraught as there aren't as many things to try and co-ordinate.

The bird id slow roasted with strips of bacon laid over the skin of the breast to keep it moist, and the whole bird is wrapped in foil for the first part of cooking, only exposed for the last hour or so. The bacon bits are also deliciously cruchy when it is finished smiley - drool

It is a family tradition that we've never had a turkey make it to christmas day with both its legs on as Dad sneaks into the kitchen and eats one at about midnight (we all get a bit these days) smiley - biggrin


Turkeys (or geese) et al

Post 11

kelli - ran 2 miles a day for 2012, aiming for the same for 2013

Oh yes, all the juice from the bird should be kept (it will need draining every once in a while) to make the gravy on christmas day itself...


Turkeys (or geese) et al

Post 12

Post Team

A666641smiley - winkeye

shazz smiley - thepost


Turkeys (or geese) et al

Post 13

Trout Montague

I used this thread to cook the turkey yesterday, with an orange in the neck cavity. Carved off slices the size of dinner-plates. Fantastic. Thanks.

DMT


Turkeys (or geese) et al

Post 14

The Researcher formally known as Dr St Justin

I would have used an oven, myself... smiley - tongueoutsmiley - silly


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