Alice CAN Cook Christmas

27 Dec

So the Big Day is over, I hope yours was wonderful and you are still

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feeling the benefits of some good food and drink and playing with your toys.
I feel as if I am 90% cheese and 10% chocolate currently, and running solely on Cava.

But I am also buoyed up slightly by a rather successful Christmas Lunch, cooked by my own festive hands.
It was rather a no-frills affair, without any celebrity chef intervention and not completely perfect but even my husband had to admit it was pretty good!

I got up early (earlier than my son) to peel some veg and get the bird out of the fridge – we had gone for an 8kg Kelly

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Bronze from the local farm which had been prepared so the giblets had already been taken out and bagged up thankfully (we boiled them up for the dog).

After hearing a lot about being able to leave a cooked turkey for an hour after taking out of the oven I decided to get it done and worry about the rest of the stuff later so it went into the oven early – I was still only on my first Bucks Fizz!

Here it is going in – note the butter under the skin – I understand this is a way of keeping the breast from going dry. I wasn’t sure how to do it so just hacked away until I made a couple of holes and stuffed some in. I also put a cut lemon and a whole onion in the cavity, and some salt and pepper over the back. I know myself well enough to just keep it simple… no more Nigella bucket birds for me!
Xmas2I read the instructions after it had gone in (I know I know) and they suggested that you should put the bird in UPSIDE DOWN for a bit first. Erm, too late for that. I hoped the foil and butter would keep it moist instead.

Three hours later I took it out, replaced it with some hot goose fat and par-boiled reindeer potatoes and went to the pub.
After a refreshing glass of wine I left son and husband there for a bit and came back to get the vegetables on (I’d bought as much ready prepared as I could) and make some gravy and bread sauce. I’d also cleverly stirred some chestnut puree into a stuffing mix to give the sage and onion a seasonal edge.

Yes I was mildly drunk but I felt calm and in control, the carols were on the radio and I took a few deep breaths. Maybe the trick to this cooking lark is to keep it simple and relax? Who knows…

As it all started reaching a cooking crescendo I unwrapped the bird for carving. And here it is:
xmas3Yes I know it’s a bit scorched and a hole seems to have appeared in the side (see that lemon?) but it was still rather juicy! I know the skin isn’t crispy but I think that is because I used foil?

I had steamed most of the veg – apart from the whole baby carrots – which sadly meant the whole baby cauliflowers were raw and rock hard, but as we pointed out you could eat them raw and at least they were hot. So… all was not lost. Everything else was just sort of perfect.
xmas4I didn’t wrap those ‘pigs in blankets’ myself.
And I know you can’t see the gravy and bread sauce but that is because I served it on the table in jugs/bowls decorated in holly. How festive

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is that?
The gravy was good too, despite being as black as pitch, I used something called ‘Browning’ I had never tried before – half a bottle of the stuff – so it kind of ‘blackened’ rather than ‘browned’ but still.

After eating this we never managed to get through the Heston Hidden Orange Christmas Pudding – in fact it is still in my cupboard. Might keep it for next year now.

We enjoyed ours, I hope you enjoyed yours.
Merry Christmas xxx

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7 Responses to “Alice CAN Cook Christmas”

  1. Dan 27/12/2012 at 9:16 pm #

    Marvellous! Well done. Gravy browning doubles as fake tan too, so if you ever get stuck for a bit of colour on your legs!

    • Alice Can't Cook 30/12/2012 at 11:16 am #

      Thanks for that tip Dan, but it’s not the war… 🙂 x

  2. Jenny Davies 28/12/2012 at 2:17 pm #

    Oh I am SO proud of you! LOL No, I’m not being sarcastic – I really am! I did cast my mind in your direction while I was busy steaming veg and reheating already-cooked turkey, juggling pigs in blankets and stuffing balls and generally getting in a Christmas tizz. Well done you! Brilliant work. 🙂

    Regrettably, my Christmas stopped at about 2pm when I went down with my son’s evil cold/flu bug – and I haven’t come back up yet (neither has he). So we’re busy ringing our unclean bells here and wondering what happened to Christmas. 😦 Oh well – there’s always next year!

    • Rod Smith 30/12/2012 at 9:21 am #

      Sadly the Heston puds don’t last long, they aren’t cheap and it would be a shame to waste it. X
      Sadly I had the lergy all over Xmas and have had to throw out a shameful amount of food that is now past it’s best, good job the Prosecco keeps!

      • Alice Can't Cook 30/12/2012 at 11:21 am #

        Oh Rod, what a shame, seems everyone’s been ill. Hope you get to be a bit festive before going back to work.
        The Xmas Pud is ok until March, by which time I shall still be on a diet hopefully, so I plan to get it eaten before New Year! And yes, what a waste, not buying so much next year for sure.
        Have fun xxx

    • Alice Can't Cook 30/12/2012 at 11:20 am #

      Thanks Jenny, sorry to hear about your lurgy – there’s a lot of it about (see comment below!) happily my son waited until Boxing Day to start with the throwing up and snotting (so I knew it wasn’t my dinner) and he’s still a bit poorly. Crap this year isn’t it?

      I hope your Christmas Lunch was gorgeous though (of course it was made by you my love) and you get to carry on feasting and enjoying yourselves when you feel better.
      Lots of love xxx

  3. Dan Wilson 30/12/2012 at 5:03 pm #

    Phew.

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