Christmas and the New Year comes once a year and turkey is also allowed once a year into my house!
Usually we will have a formal sit down dinner. When my daughters were younger I used to put up a Christmas tree and they will decorate it with ornaments and wrap up the presents. Now my girls assist me with some of their favourite dishes. My elder daughter loves pate and makes it excellently. So it will be part of the first course.
Many friends have told me they don’t like turkey because it is dry and tasteless.
So I have decided to give a Christmas/New year feast menu and to roast a turkey which is moist and full of flavour.
My Dinner menu is as follows:
Chicken liver parfait with Crostini.
Roast turkey with Gravy
German Cherry cake.
Christmas Honey cups
I will arrange a time line for the preparation of the dishes so that I can enjoy our Dinner Feast with my family and some chosen friends.
I try to keep the number preferably small about 8 to 10 persons so as to enjoy a comfortable and cosy sitdown dinner. I have also given the timeline for the preparation. So there’s plenty of time to relax and entertaining becomes a breeze.
Preparation for turkey
Since fresh turkey is almost impossible to get here, a frozen turkey will do. 4 to 5 days before the Dinner; I will thaw it in the fridge. On the eve of dinner day I will get it on the brine.
Roast on the day of dinner.
Rest and carve.
4 to 5 days before dinner
Thaw the turkey in the fridge
3 days before dinner
Prepare chicken liver parfait and the Chocolate Honey Cups.
1 day before dinner
Cake, ganache and Chocolate pudding.
Set the table with suitable plates, cutlery; arrange flowers, gifts etc
Brine the Turkey.
Roast the turkey.
Prepare Green Salad, Ginger carrots and Yorkshire Pudding and Turkey gravy.
1 turkey 4 kg
Water enough to submerge the whole turkey.
5 spice powder or garam masala
1 whole lemon
4 large onions
1 day before, place all ingredients in a deep container and put it into the fridge for 24 hours covered.
On the day of roasting, remove the turkey, pat dry. Let stand till it reaches room temperature. It will take some hours to reach the room temperature. So do prepare your own dinner timing.
Heat oven to 220C
Pat butter all over the turkey and some underneath the skin wherever possible. Butter will melt and crisp up the skin and give a golden colour.
Sprinkle the rest of the ingredients all.over including the cavity of the turkey. Massage well with the butter.
Put 1 whole onion and 2 lemons inside the cavity of the turkey. Truss it.
Cut thick slices of the remaining large onions.
Place them in a layer in a roasting pan. Put the turkey breast side up on the onion layer. Place whole cloves of garlic around and roast for 30 minutes. Baste with more butter. You can put the liver/neck bone etc in the pan to roast at the same time. Reduce oven temperature to 180C and continue to roast for another 2 hours or more depending on the size and the colour to be golden brown.
You can test whether turkey is cooked by inserting a meat thermometer at the thickest part of the thigh. It should be 80C to 83C
When fully cooked, transfer turkey to a serving platter and let it rest for 30 mins.
Heat the pan juices on a stove.
Add some cranberry jam and whisk with some butter .Add 1 cup of red wine if you desire. If you prefer a thicker consistency for gravy; add 1 tbsp of flour and whisk to cook till the flour is fully cooked. Let the gravy concentrate so as to get a full flavoured gravy. You may sieve the roasted liver into the gravy for added flavour but discard the neck bone. Season to taste. Strain and serve in a gravy boat.
Instead of flour to thicken, you can use mashed sweet potato or potatoes.
1 kg of carrots (even sized and small ones)
Garnish – parsley
Place whole but peeled carrots on a baking sheet.
Pour the orange juice and sprinkle the rest of the ingredients .
Cover with foil and roast at 180C for 20 minutes. Uncover and roast for a further 10 minutes if you prefer browned carrots. Garnish with chopped parsley.
Chicken liver parfait
My daughter uses Jamie Oliver’s recipe for this. Since it is good she has always used this recipe which is loved by all our friends and her friends. Chicken liver parfait is served with crostini.
Recipe link – Chicken Liver Parfait/jamie oliver recipes
Preheat oven to 180C
Thinly slice a baguette.
Toast it in the oven and use as required.
Cos lettuce 2 bunches
Slices of 2 apples
Prepare all the vegetables and put thru a spinner.
Pour dressing just before serving.
Whisk all together. Keep aside. Pour over salad just before serving.
You will notice that I haven’t given exact measurements for some of the ingredients. Because you can use them according to your own taste and preference.
Brining the turkey is a very important step as it makes the turkey moist.
Instead of using flour you may substitute with mashed sweet potatoes or just plain potatoes. You may add some drinking red wine to prepare the gravy for added colour and taste.
Recipes for Yorkshire Pudding, German Cherry Cake, Christmas Honey Cups and Chocolate pudding are in the list in this food blog. Pl check it out.