Friday, 14 December 2012

Christmas #2

I frequently think all this higher education I've enjoyed (experienced, enjoyed is too much) is wasted since what I would most like to do is try out new recipes and cook for a willing audience. That sounds a lot like being a housewife, doesn't it? (A housewife with a cleaner though. I despise cleaning. But not as much as I despise/am scared of dirt.) Anyway, in the meanwhile, I have to play pretend with less willing friends. That's why I organised Christmas #2. A traditional Christmas dinner except that there was no family and no presents and also it wasn't as opulent since I am constricted by my very overdrawn funds. It still had much more festive cheer than Christmas #1. I insisted that my guests bring cake and festive spirit. I almost required Christmas jumpers but then I realised I didn't have one so I just wore a green dress again and then lamented the loss of my lovely red bowed band which a douche who can't let go of his university days broke back in third year. We also made a trip to Poundland for various tacky decorations and then I spent a while inexpertly tying baubles with red ribbon. On the day itself, I planned everything to account for oven space and our sparse utensils cupboard. I LOVE PLANNING. Not everything worked out and quite a few last minute improvisational had to be made but I stayed calm, held my nerve and some other clich├ęs. IT ALL WORKED OUT. Perhaps even a little too well, I decided that before serving dinner we should make our way through some half price cava. That meant reheating things before serving which resulted in everything ending up a sub-optimal temperature. I should've warmed the plates! Alas. Anyway, I'm quite pleased with myself. My first attempt at Christmas dinner with all of the trimmings and I did it single handedly with leftovers! And it was only lukewarm.

Roasted turkey legs
25g butter

Turkey legs (they are huge, four fed six people amply with lots of leftovers)
3 bay leaves, crumbled
8 sprigs of thyme
A few sage leaves, chopped
6 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 onion, finely chopped
4 carrots, peeled and chopped into chunks
4 parsnips, peeled and chopped into chunks
1 turnip, peeled and chopped into chunks

Marinade the turkey legs in salt, pepper, bay, thyme, garlic and sage.
Melt half of the butter in a pan and brown the turkey legs all over. Turkey legs are massive and I did this very poorly.
Remove and set aside.
Melt the rest of the butter in the same pan.
Fry the onion in the melted butter until translucent, about five minutes.
Add the other vegetables and fry for around five minutes, stirring frequently.
Season the vegetables with salt and pepper.
(Instead of washing the pan, it became the baking tray for the pigs in blankets and so formed part of the flavour for the honey-soy-ketchup-thyme glaze I made for them. They were the best bit of the dinner.)

Place the vegetables onto baking tray.
Place the turkey legs atop the vegetables.

Bake for 2 hours at gas mark 6. I basted the turkey three times over the two hours and used the cooking juices in the gravy.

All the trimmings recipes (or approximations of them) can be found elsewhere on blog. I actually ended up frying the sprouts with bacon, caraway and lemon juice. I prefer them roasted though!

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