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Roast Turkey

This recipe and the following 3 are some dishes which I cooked for our cell group’s Christmas party.

From the beginning of this year, I’d told myself that I am going to attempt  roast turkey come Christmas season and YES, I did it today!!! I’ve heard so much about how hard roasting a good turkey can be so I was a bit scared yet, I so wanted to try. Moreover, I was sure Jamie Oliver’s recipe would produce a happening turkey 🙂

Since it’s our cell group’s Christmas party, it would be the best time to roast a turkey 🙂 On Wed night, I bought a frozen turkey from the supermarket. The recipe said to buy a 10lbs turkey but the smallest I could get was 13lbs. Ok! Back home, I started reading on how to thaw the turkey and how long it’d take. There was slight panic cos it says I need about 3-4 days to thaw it in the fridge. I had less than that! I decided not to bother so I just stuck it in the fridge. The next evening, the turkey was still very solid, so I panicked more and started worrying if it’d be successful. haha! My friend suggested that I take it out and leave it at room temperature overnight, so I did. Thank God the next day, the turkey was so much softer so I put it back in the fridge.

This morning, it took me just about 2 hrs to cook the stuffing before I put the turkey to roast. The roasting took about 5 hours and another hour for resting. Wow, turkey is a time-consuming affair. Thank God it turned out very well. The turkey was juicy, yummy and tasty. Just a bit burnt on the top – I think I removed the foil too early. I wasn’t sure how long I had to roast the turkey. Glad that I bought a thermometer to check the temperature of the turkey. To know whether your turkey is ready, put the thermometer into the thigh and check that is has reached 70C. A tip my friend told me.

Guess the next time I roast a turkey will be much easier. To help you with the recipe, I took some photos as I go along. Hope this helps you to roast a good one:) Enjoy! Thanks Jamie Oliver for another superb recipe!

Ingredients (ammended based on the amount I used)

Click here for original recipe from Jamie Oliver.

65g/2oz butter
a sprig of fresh sage, leaves picked
16 strips of pancetta or thinly sliced streaky bacon
1 bulb of garlic, broken into cloves
3 medium red onions, peeled
2 sticks of celery, trimmed and chopped
a big handful of breadcrumbs
a handful of dried apricots
400g minced pork
zest of 1 lemon
a pinch of grated nutmeg
1 large free-range or organic egg
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
16 small fresh rosemary sprigs, plus a few extra
13lbs turkey, preferably free-range or organic, at room temperature
2 carrots, peeled
1 large orange
olive oil
2 tablespoons plain flour
1litre chicken or vegetable stock

Method

1. Preheat the oven to maximum (My oven max is 220C).
2. Heat a saucepan until medium hot and drop in the butter, sage leaves and 6 of the pancetta or bacon strips. Peel and chop 2 garlic cloves and 1 onion. Add the garlic, celery and onion to the saucepan and fry everything gently until soft and golden brown.

3. Take the pan off the heat, add the breadcrumbs and, while the mix is cooling down, chop the apricots roughly and stir them in. When the stuffing has cooled down, add the pork, lemon zest, nutmeg, egg and lots of salt and pepper, and mix everything together well.

4. Slice the remaining strips of pancetta or bacon in half and slice 1 peeled garlic clove into thin slivers. Place a rosemary sprig and a garlic sliver on one end of a halved strip of pancetta and roll it up tightly. Repeat with the other pieces of pancetta until you have 12 little rolls.

5. Stab the thighs and drumsticks of the turkey in 6 places on each side. Push a little pancetta roll into each hole until it just peeps out. This’ll give your turkey thighs a fantastic flavour and will keep them moist while they cook.

6. Chop the remaining onions in half and slice the carrots thickly.
7. Give your turkey a good wipe, inside and out, with kitchen paper, and place it on a board, with the neck end towards you.
8. Find the edge of the skin that’s covering the turkey’s breasts and gently peel it back. Work your fingers and then your hand under the skin, freeing it from the meat. If you’re careful you should be able to pull all the skin away from the meat, keeping it attached at the sides. Go slowly and try not to make any holes! (I made 1 hole 😛 Do you see my hand inside the turkey? This feels weird. )

9. Lift the loose skin at the neck end and spoon the stuffing between the skin and the breast, tucking the flap of skin underneath to stop anything leaking out. (This is how it looks after you put in all the stuffing)

10. Pop the orange in the microwave for 30 seconds to warm it up and stuff it into the cavity. Weigh the stuffed turkey and calculate the cooking time (about 20 minutes per 500g/1lb 2oz). (I didn’t weigh as the turkey was too heavy for my weighing scale so I estimated and then used the thermometer to check the temperature).
11. Place the bird on a large roasting tray, rub it all over with olive oil and season well.
12. Surround with the chopped carrots, onions, remaining garlic, cover with tinfoil and place in the preheated oven. Turn the heat down right away to 180°C/350°F/gas 4, and roast for the calculated time, or until the juices run clear from the thigh if you pierce with it a knife or a skewer.
13. Remove the tinfoil for the last 45 minutes to brown the bird. (This is important! Do not remove to early or else the skin will be burnt).
14. Carefully lift the turkey out of the tray and rest on a board that’s covered loosely with foil for 20 minutes while you finish off the veg and gravy.
15. Skim the surface fat from the roasting tray and add the flour and stock. Place the tray on the hob and bring to the boil on a high heat. When the gravy starts to thicken, strain it into a bowl. Carve your turkey, serve with the gravy and dig in!

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Posted by on December 4, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

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Roasted Chicken Breast with Bacon, Leeks and Thyme

Lately I got so addicted to cooking and so crazy about Jamie Oliver’s recipes so I decided to get some friends over for a casual lunch so that I can cook more dishes and get them to try 😛 So this recipe and the following 4 recipes were the ones which I cooked for them. Glad that all of them turned out very well 🙂

As I did all the cooking by myself except a bit help from my husband on washing some dishes, cutting the onions and frying the sausages, the recipes I picked were very simple, fast and yummy!

This recipe is inspired by Jamie Oliver’s recipe.  The combination of chicken and bacon made the whole dish really juicy and tasty.


Ingredients
Serves 4-6

5 chicken breast (skin removed)
8 strips of streaky bacon
3 leek
a few sprigs of fresh thyme
sea salt and ground black pepper to taste
olive oil
a knob of butter
a little of white wine (I replaced with Shaoxing cooking wine)

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas 6.
2.Trim and wash a large leek, remove the outer leaves, then slice it into 0.5cm/¼ inch pieces.
3. Add these to the bowl with the fresh thyme, a good glug of olive oil, butter, sea salt and freshly ground black pepper and the wine and toss together.
4. Place the leek onto the foil tray (I used a Pyrex container). Put the chicken breast on top of the leek.
5. Then, put the bacon on top of the chicken breast. Arrange neatly to cover all the chicken and the leek.
6. Drizzle with olive oil, place a couple of whole thyme sprigs on top and cook in the middle of the oven for 25 to 35 minutes.

 
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Posted by on September 18, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

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Bangers and Mash

Among the 5 dishes I cooked for my friends, this is probably the dish that required more work and time. But again, it’s not hard. I am quite a lazy person, so recipes that are not too difficult are often preferred.

2 of our close friends grew up in UK and I thought it’ll be nice to cook them some English food. So I googled for top UK food and ‘Bangers and Mash’ appeared. Then, I adapted this recipe from Jamie Oliver’s website – a recipe uploaded by John Lee.

Ingredients
Serves 8

Olive oil
4 knobs of butter
5 medium onions, halved and thinly sliced
4 garlic cloves, whole and unpeeled
Small bunch of thyme, leaves picked
25 good quality sausages (preferably British)
2kg of floury potatoes
200ml of milk
100ml of cream
2 teaspoon of wholegrain mustard
2 tablespoon of plain flour
Splash of red or white wine (optional)
1litre of chicken or ham stock (good cubes are fine)
sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Method

Mustard Mash (To lessen my work on the actual day, I cooked this a day earlier and stored it in the fridge)

1. Put potatoes in a pot and boil on medium heat with a lid on. Cook until tender (approx 20 minutes).
2. Drain potatoes and let cool a little then remove skin.
3. Put them in a bowl and mash well with milk, cream, mustard and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Store in the fridge and microwave to heat up before serving. If you are serving it the same day, then keep it warm.

Onions and Sausages

1. Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees C.
2. Put a good splash of oil and a knob of butter in a saucepan and place it on a medium-high heat. Lightly squash the garlic cloves, and when the butter has melted, add them to the pan with half of the picked thyme leaves.
3. When the thyme starts to fizzle and spit, add in all of the onions with a pinch of salt. Stir the onions around to coat them in the flavoured fat, then turn the heat down low and place a lid on the pan. Leave for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions have cooked down and become soft and buttery.
4. Take the onions off the heat and put a small roasting tin on the hob. Turn the heat up, add a splash of oil, and quickly brown the sausages on all sides.
5. Turn off the heat, remove the sausages to a plate, then tip the onions and garlic into the roasting tin. Lay the sausages on top of the onions and put the tin in the preheated oven for 25 – 30 minutes.
6. Switch the oven off and remove the roasting tin. Place the sausages on a plate, and put them back in the oven with the door ajar to keep warm. You can also warm the dinner plates at this point.

Gravy

1. To make the gravy, pour any excess fat from the roasting tin and disgard. Put the tin on the hob on a medium heat, and stir the tablespoon of flour into the onions.
2. Add a splash of wine (or stock) and allow it to bubble briefly while scraping up the sticky bits on the bottom of the tin. Add the stock then stir everything together until a thick gravy forms. Taste for seasoning (it might not need salt), then turn down the heat and leave to simmer.

To Serve

1. Put the mash around the corner of the serving plate, put the onions in the middle and arrange the sausages on top of the onions.
2. Serve gravy separately.
3. You can also serve with broccoli or greens.

Method

1. Separate broccoli into stem and florets. Then wash them.
2. Boil broccoli in salted water for 4 to 7 minutes, or until crisp-tender.

 
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Posted by on September 18, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

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