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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

Yorkshire pudding

Ginger carrots

Green Salad

German Cherry cake.

Additional Desserts:

Chocolate pudding

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.


Roast turkey

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.


Dinner day


Roast the turkey.

Prepare Green Salad, Ginger carrots and Yorkshire Pudding and Turkey gravy.



1 turkey 4 kg

Cumin seeds
Water enough to submerge the whole turkey.


Pepper powder
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.

Ginger carrots

1 kg of carrots (even sized and small ones)

Grated ginger
Orange juice

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.

Yorkshire pudding
Green salad

Cos lettuce 2 bunches
Slices of 2 apples
Roasted walnuts
Cherry tomatoes
Prepare all the vegetables and put thru a spinner.
Pour dressing just before serving.

Lemon juice
Olive oil
Wine vinegar.
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.


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