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Christmas Turkey

Yes I love it: nice traditional food at Christmas. During Christmas Day, I also ask my guests to put on their fanciest outfit. The table is set fancy and everyone sits at the table nice and fancy. That calls for beautiful classic dishes. What has been on the table here for years (formerly at my parents' house) is a stuffed turkey. Nothing wrong with a good dose of nostalgia those last few days of the year right?

Couple of things that are important when preparing such a yucky bird.

Maybe you've already figured it out, but the legs are usually nice and tender, and the breast meat is often dry. Just like you sometimes have with chicken. A few tips to combat that dryness.

Give the turkey a salt bath 24 hours in advance. Get the biggest pan you can find the one your bird will fit in and put water with a good amount of salt in it (a tenth about). Boil this water until the salt is dissolved. You can add some vegetables and/or herbs to this as desired, for example: carrot, leek, onion, celery, cloves, peppercorns. The salt keeps the juices in the meat.

Through the stuffing, you make sure that the breast meat first of all gets natural flavor but also does not cook too quickly because the heat has to go all the way through the stuffing first. Here again a tip, put in ice-cold cubes of butter, good for fat content and for temperature. Breast meat is cooked earlier than the legs, another reason the breast meat is dry earlier than the legs. For the stuffing, you can really let your imagination run wild, but I always put in something fatty and something flavorful.

Idea for the filling: 500 grams of minced veal or minced pork, 200 grams of chopped dates, 200 grams of chopped apricots, 3 shallots chopped, 2 cloves of garlic chopped, 2 tablespoons of soy sauce, 1 tablespoon of mustard powder, salt and pepper, 2 eggs and 200 grams of ice-cold butter. Be sure to make the stuffing ahead of time so that the it can go into the refrigerator and get well cold, thus bringing the flavors together. (For a 4 kilo turkey)

Butter between the skin and the meat
With your finger, very, very carefully loosen the skin from the meat and put lots of small pieces of salty butter between them.

You can also place slices of pancetta over the turkey.

Rub with olive oil
Coat turkey well with olive oil with salt

Most important
Sprinkle the turkey with the fat as much as possible. Preferably every 15 minutes.

Oven temperature
Rule of thumb: 1 hour per kilo and I set the oven to 170 degrees.

Side dishes

Furthermore, the side dishes, of course also very important. Make sure these are easy and quick, because this is usually not the most fun part of dinner to make (at least I think so, I even sometimes forget about side dishes; oh no, where are those sprouts :-))

How to

  1. I am making carrots from the oven with sunflower seeds and aged cheese to go with the turkey this year. I find the sweet carrot in along with the salty cheese and the nutty flavor of the seeds really a top combination.

  2. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Wash and peel the carrots. Make sure they are dry and drizzle some olive oil over them. Shake this briefly so that all the carrots are covered with oil. Toss the sunflower seeds over this and put this in the oven for about 6 minutes.When they are done freshly ground pepper and some himalayan salt and then add the aged cheese over this.

  3. Crispy are they not those FLOWER SPROUTS? I scored these at AH and they are so easy to prepare. I love stir-fried sprouts, well with these you only have to do that for about 6 minutes and then you put some freshly ground pepper and himalayan salt on top, some parmesan cheese and done!

#Christmas #Turkey #Christmas #Christmas dinner


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