Christmas 2014: Noche Buena With My First Turkey Roast!

As DinnerTime subscriber for over a year now, surprising the family with new recipes is a little more challenging lately. Thus I knew I will have to deal with turkey roast sooner than my nail polish and I wish to.

The easiest to get this enormous task out of the way is to fill up order form at hotel restaurants. But with such eye watering prices (and an expensive 2015 wish list harharhar!), I thought if I can roast chicken and duck in my oven, maybe I can do turkey too!

So I wrote SIL to ask if BIL had any turkey roast tips. The reply, a turkey bag and Gordon Ramsey’s recipe of lemon, parsley, and garlic. I asked Hubby what he wanted for stuffing and he chose slices of oranges. With limited time, I was unable to buy turkey bag so I opted for a meat probe. I thawed 13lb the turkey for two days inside the fridge.

On the morning of 24th, I first baked Little C’s Basco Gluten Free Chocolate Cake. Which by Noche Buena time, not a crumb was in sight.

Then I prepared the cheese board to pair with a bottle of chardonnay. This year, we don’t have good wine so I have to make extra effort on the food. But since I cannot bake anything else with the turkey monopolizing the oven for the rest of the day, I had to make do with what’s in the fridge. We have stilton, brie, stagionato, and gorgonzola. Added pretzels, bresaola, and apricot jam from Fauchon.

Oh I also introduced Little C to Advent Calendar and yes it survived just hanging on the wall for 24 days! He didn’t care for the tiny chocolates everyday ( so it became a perfect accompaniment to my afternoon tea yay!) but he had no qualms opening the Chocolate Santa for a bite.

By noontime, I preheated the oven, rubbed the turkey all over with garlic. I lifted the skin on the breast part to stuff underneath butter mixed with rosemary and thyme (this is very easy, you can try next time you roast chicken with your favorite herb for a little gourmet touch). Then I stuffed the turkey with slices of orange mixed again with rosemary and thyme.

Turkey by Norbest. The turkey calculator found in their website is very helpful for first-timers like me. You enter the details to find out how long to thaw and how long to cook.

Covered in foil, I roasted in the oven for three hours. I uncovered, added potatoes to roast along for another hour until everything is nicely browned.

I first wanted to make homemade herbed croutons as side for the turkey. But the grocer ran out of French baguette so I had to make do with potatoes in the fridge. I scrubbed and sliced into wedges. Boil in salted water until half cooked, coat with olive oil and sprinkle with Herb de Provence to roast beside the turkey.

To garnish the turkey platter, again I used all leftover vegetables in the fridge. I had blanched brocolli, added fresh cherry tomatoes and baby radish, fresh parsley, distributed between potato wedges. Then I served the turkey platter with gravy and orange marmalade. Hubby and guest thoroughly enjoyed!

Completing the all new foodie exploration for Noche Buena, desserts included Stollen, a traditional German Christmas cake and Panettone, Italy’s traditional Christmas cake.

Both were so good both Hubby and guest favored the stollen with its dried fruits and nuts and not too sweet despite being covered with icing sugar and a marzipan in the middle. I lo-ved the baby panettone, so soft, pillowy and delicate on taste bud. I’m delighted we opted for these instead of the regular sponge and icing cake you have to order or those cheesecake you buy at the bakery. Combining the cost, the stollen and panettone came cheaper than buying or ordering custom cake. And the best part, we had no left over food.

And Turkey platter too was gone in two days.

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