Only a week separates us from the winter’s favourite holiday, Christmas! For most of us this is a holiday when we go all out with our creativity including making our very own decorations, finding the perfect gifts, and of course trying out new recipe ideas. As a big part of Christmas is the big and incredibly satisfying dinner, same questions arise every year. What food to prepare? What could I make that would fit everyone’s taste? Shall I stick to the traditional Christmas menu or try out something new? If you’d prefer the latter, then take a look at these couple of mouthwatering recipes!
Brined roast turkey crown & confit legs
For most of us, the best centerpiece one can have on a dining table is a turkey. To prepare this delicious dish and satisfy eight to ten people you’ll need:
- 5kg turkey with legs and thighs removed and wings cut from the breast
- 500g duck fat or goose fat
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 thyme sprigs
- 2 sage sprigs
- 1 onion, cut into quarters
- 50g softened butter
For the brine you’ll need:
- 160g flaky sea salt
- 1 tbsp toasted black peppercorns
- 6 crumpled up bay leaves
- 6 chopped sage leaves
- 2 tbsp soft light brown sugar
- 4 tbsp lemon zest
- 4 tbsp orange zest
- Cook the brine up to 4 days before, by mixing the salt, peppercorns, bay, sage, and sugar using a pestle. Stir through both zests and spoon roughly 1/3 into a large resealable bag and the rest in another bag to chill.
- Put the turkey legs and wings inside the bag of the 1/3 of brine, shake them well, and leave overnight in the fridge.
- On the next day, heat the oven 120C/100C, set fan/gas to 1. Then rinse the brine from the legs and wing and pat dry. Put the duck fat in a pan and oven melt it or 5 minutes. Then soak the turkey pieces in the melted fat. Cook them for around 4 hours or until the legs are tender. Then leave them to chill overnight or up to 3 days.
- On Christmas Eve, cover the turkey crown in the remaining dry brine and chill in the fridge overnight.
- In the morning, one hour before roasting, take the crown, legs, thighs, and wings out of the fridge. Rinse off the brine with kitchen paper.
- Heat the oven to 190C/170C and set the fan/gas to 5. Add on top of the turkey the herbs and side it with onions. Don’t forget to rub it with butter.
- Roast it uncovered for 40 minutes, then cover with foil and cook for another 30 minutes. Finally, remove the foil and cook for a final 15-20 minutes.
Wild Mushroom Lasagna
Who doesn’t love lasagna? This dish will keep you on the safe side as it is loved by almost everyone! To serve eight to ten people, what you’ll need is:
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 medium minced shallots
- 2 pounds wild mushrooms
- Salt and white pepper
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 2 cups plus two tablespoons heavy cream
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley
- 1/2 ounce fresh lasagna sheets
- 1 pound Taleggio cheese, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
- Preheat the oven to 350°
- Lightly butter a 9-by-13 inch baking dish
- In a large and deep pan melt the 2 tbsp of butter in the oil
- Cook the shallots for 1 minute
- Add the mushrooms seasoned with salt and pepper, cook on high heat until browned
- Add wine until evaporated
- Add 2 cups of cream and bring to boil
- Simmer over moderate heat and add the parsley.
- Stir in the parsley
- Meanwhile, in a large pot of salted boiling water cook the lasagna sheets.
- Arrange 1/4 of the lasagna sheets in the prepared baking dish. Top them with 1/3 of the mushroom mixture and 1/3 of the Taleggio cubes. Repeat this layering until you end up with a layer of lasagna sheets.
- Cover the lasagna with buttered parchments paper and bake in the upper third of the oven for 15 minutes. Remove the parchment paper and bake for 15 minutes longer. Until the top is golden in spots.
- Let the dish rest for 15 minutes before serving.
The two main dishes mentioned above served with your favorite siders are sure to make your Christmas dinner the talk of the town! And next time you want to make a big dinner, why not take advantage our fully equipped kitchens at one of our luxurious venues? They are sure to make your next holidays unforgettable!