chicken, pigs in blankets, butter, cream, bacon, potatoes, goose fat, carrots, parsnips, brussel sprouts, rosemary, garlic, stuffing mixture, bread sauce, cranberry jelly, white wine, gravy granules, parmesan, honey and a large quantity of wine
Christmas has come early! We decided to have a flat christmas yesterday and do a secret santa was such a good day. We all chipped in a tenner and this covered the cost of the food and booze, which isn’t too bad when you think about the cost of going out for a meal. I cheated on some bits, but here goes!
Always make a list both when shopping and cooking a big meal like this with lots of components, the pigs in blankets very nearly forgotten. I cooked chicken simply because it is cheaper and quicker than turkey.
Timings: Start with the chicken in the oven, while it is cooking prep veg and fry the bacon for brussels. After an hour put the potatoes in the oven. After the potatoes have been in for 20 minutes put the parsnips in the oven and start cooking the brussels. Then all the sauces and pigs in blankets. Hope this makes it easier to follow!
Bring the chicken out the fridge about an hour before cooking. Always buy the best quality meat you can afford. Start by loosening the skin, you do this by putting your hand in between the skin and the meat. You want to then put chunks of soft butter under the skin. Cover the top of the chicken with a few rashers of streaky bacon, more butter, salt and pepper and a sprig of rosemary. Then put half a lemon in the carcass. Follow the cooking times on the packet, normally about 1 1/2-2 hours at 180-200c for a medium chicken. Keep basting (pouring the juices over the top) to keep the chicken moist. The chicken just before it was put in the oven is pictured below.
Start by peeling copious amount of potatoes. Parboil them for roughly 10 minutes and then drain, while draining bash them around a little bit. The fluffier they are the crispier they are. Then put goose fat in a roasting tin in the oven to preheat. Once the fat is sizzling add the potatoes and a couple of cloves of garlic. Potatoes take about an hour.
Honey Roasted Parsnips
Start by peeling the parsnips, and cut into slices. Then cover with a little oil, honey and parmesan. Oven cook at 180c for about half an hour. These can always be done in advance and then frozen. All you need to do then is reheat them for 10 minutes in the oven.
Simply boil them for 5-8 minutes until soft.
Brussel Sprouts with Cream and Smoked Bacon
Start by prepping the sprouts, cut the bottom, peel any suspect looking leaves off and cut a ‘X’ in the bottom. Once this is done put the brussels on to boil for 5 minutes. While they are boiling fry 3 cut up rashers of bacon until crispy. When the bacon is done add 1 tsp of plain flour and some milk. Keep stirring until it is all mixed, and add a generous splash of cream. Mix together and add the brussels. Then add 2 tbsp of caster sugar and keep on a low heat stirring for about 15 minutes.
Nearly forgot the most important bit. Once your chicken is cooked, take out of the roasting tray and put on the side to rest. Put the juices from the baking tray into a pan and add 3 tsp of gravy granules, 1 tsp of cranberry sauce and 3 tbsp of white wine. Stir together and bring to the boil. Add more water if it is a little thick or too strong.
Pigs in Blankets:
Simply follow the cooking instructions on the packet, we also had cheese in bacon (a.k.a heart attack in a stick) delicious!
I cheated and shop bought the: stuffing, bread sauce, yorkshire puddings (who has them with Christmas dinner?! Only there due to peer pressure..) and bread sauce.
Good luck and have fun making yours, and make sure the boys do all the washing up!)