Wednesday 25 December 2013

A Bloke's Guide To Christmas Cooking. (1)

 Christmas lunch is over in our house today and I have heaved myself up from the festive board, to pen a few thoughts about us chaps cooking this meal and a few tips for any who would like to do it, (cook,) but feel daunted or intimidated by the plethora of written works on the subject.
The first thing to understand is, that it is actually very easy to prepare a fairly complete Christmas
lunch, with no fuss and not very much effort.

There are two major tips to learn before you start: -
  1. Don't read any cookery books on the subject
  2. Wash utensils as you go and you will have nothing to do later, but eat.

Cookery writers have to earn their keep and they have a vested interest in making things sound as difficult as possible. You will have seen articles about cooking the turkey, that promulgate complicated equations about weight, times and temperatures. You could send a turkey to the moon if you followed all their science.

We are going to take a more fool-proof approach. Let's face it, that will be more our style.

First off, don't buy a fresh turkey. A frozen turkey will be just as tasty, despite the "foodies" extolling the fresh ones. Honestly, there is very little difference in the taste and your family will be unable to detect anything subtle, especially after a few glasses of whatever libation you are serving.

What you will notice a huge difference in, is the price. Our 10 lb, (4.6 kg)
frozen bird bought in November and as solid as a rock, cost £14. I see them hawking the same sized fresh carcasses for $38 or more at the butchers this week, and get this, you actually have to queue to get them.

Now for the cooking: -
  1. Read the label.
  2. Defrost the bird in it's wrapping for about 24 hours.
  3. Before cooking, unwrap the bird and take out any spare parts, (neck, giblets and what have you,) that are stuffed into the body or neck cavities, Discard these. Giblet gravy is just an affectation.
  4. Dump the bird breast up in a suitable roasting tin.
  5. Loosely cover the legs and wings with aluminium foil and put a sheet loosely over the breast.
  6. Preheat the oven to whatever it says on the wrapping and when ready, put the tin and bird into the oven and set the timer for whatever it says. (Roughly 3 hours for a 4.6 kg bird at 190C.)
  7. 40 minutes before cooking end time, remove all the foil to allow those protected areas to brown.
  8. End time. Remove bird from oven. Place on plate. Done. 



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