Chef, Jay, has a few quick tips to add a little interest to your Christmas table this year and a new way to cook your turkey.
Why not try a crown this Christmas? This is a great way of producing a delicious centre piece. Begin with a boneless, skinless turkey breast. The first step is to butterfly the crown by cutting the thick piece of meat in half so that it forms a large thinner piece. Then, place your stuffing down the centre of the meat, I love a sausage meat mix with cranberries, chestnuts and sage. Next, roll the turkey making sure the stuffing stays central. Cover the rolled turkey in bacon and then secure with five or six pieces of twine tied firmly. Cover with parchment paper and foil before placing in the oven. If possible place on a rack above a roasting tray to let the juices collect during the cooking process, these can be made into a gravy. Thirty minutes before the end of the cooking time remove the parchment and foil, this will allow the bacon to crisp.
For a twist on the boring boiled Brussels fry off some white onion, garlic and thick cut pancetta. Slice your sprouts into fine, slim disks and fry everything in a little olive oil and butter until golden and crisp. Season carefully due to the salt in the pancetta. This is so moreish, you won’t be able to stop eating it.
The perfect roast potato first needs to be parboiled so that the edges start to break down. You don’t want any hard knife edges, so that when the potatoes land in the strainer they get a little messy if you shake them up. While the potatoes are boiling heat up some duck fat in an oven tray in the oven. When the fat is really hot add the potatoes. Roll them around a bit in the fat so that they’re all covered and sprinkle finely chopped rosemary and sea salt over them. Roast in the oven just as you normally do and try to resist stuffing them back before you get them onto the plates!
Tweak your carrots with a touch of spice by combining 400ml water, 250g butter, 150g sugar, 3 tsp salt and 4 star anise. Bring to the boil and then reduce heat to simmer. Cook medium sized carrots whole until tender and until the liquid has reduced by half and serve as a side dish with the liquid poured over the top.
This is so easy but it does add a layer of deliciousness that matches really well to the flavour of turkey. After using the juices from the pan, thicken with cornflour and a good glug of a good red wine and some stock (fresh would be best but a cube is fine). Then when the gravy is cooked through and thickened, add two tablespoons of the redcurrant jelly.