Christmas Dinner!

What do you do for Christmas dinner? We don’t have a Christmas day dinner as such, come lunch time the children are done in. You know how it is they just cant sleep with excitement then up early to peek and see if Santa has been. Earlier years half asleep children and frazzled parents do not compliment the Christmas menu. The last couple of years we have cooked our main Christmas dinner on boxing day and I have to say it is so much better that way, everyone has enjoyed their meal and it was far more relaxed.

Last year I decided to try something different – Nigella Lawson Christmas! I have always enjoyed baking and cooking over Christmas, and have always enjoyed the main meal, but I was suitably impressed with Nigella’s recipe I shall be making it again this year. The beauty about her recipe there is no exactness – just adapt it to what you like. Oh and the turkey was juicy just like she said!


You need to start two days before the big day – it is so easy too.

6 litres of water (approx)
1 large orange quartered
250g Maldon sea salt or 125g of table salt
3 X 15ml tablespoons of black peppercorns
1 bouquet garni
1 Cinnamon stick
15ml spoon of caraway seeds
2 x 15ml tablespoons allspice berries
4star anise
2 x 15ml spoons of mustard seeds
200g caster sugar
2 onions unpeeled and quartered (which I missed out and suggest you do too)
1 6cm piece of ginger unpeeled and sliced
4 x 15ml tablespoons of maple syrup
4 x 15ml tablespoon runny honey
stalks of parsley if you have any
and of course 1 turkey 5.5kg/12lb (ish)

for the glaze
75g goose fat
3 x 15ml spoons maple syrup

put the water into the largest lidded pot you can find – or a clean bucket with a sealing lid. Squeeze the juice from the oranges then throw the skins in too. Stir in all the other ingredients and make sure the salt and sugar is dissolved. Put your turkey in minus the giblets and allow it to sit in the spiced water for up to two days – store it outside in the cold.

an hour before cooking lift it out the water and allow it to warm.

Preheat the oven at 200degrees

melt the goosefat and male syrup together gently in a pan – this is your glaze. Paint it on the turkey with the glaze and baste it now and again.

For a 12lb bird you need to cook for about 2 1/2 hours – this is shorter than what you would expect because you allowed the turkey to rest for an hour before you put it in the oven.

Add an extra half hour if you do stuff your turkey. Why don’t you wrap your stuffing in bacon and cook it in foil separately – I do this and it is so much nicer.

I also made my own cranberry sauce which I will try to post the recipe for later.

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