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Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas 2012

As I just mentioned the day before, I sometimes cook a large feast on both Christmas Eve and Christmas day.

Usually it has always worked out to be (loosely) my maternal family and their traditions on Christmas Eve, and my paternal's on Christmas day.  I'm not sure if it has anything to do with the former being German, and the latter Norwegian... but there it is.

Anyway, so Christmas day is turkey day.  Traditional with all the traditional fixins, all cooked traditionally.  :)

Here's my raw bird (chicken in this instance, as I can't honestly serve even the smallest turkey among any less than 6 people, so chicken is the better option).  She's been brined for the last 24 or so hours.

And there she is, salted and peppered, and ready for a little bit of searing high heat.

While that was browning at high heat (~500°F), I got the roasting pan, and what would eventually form the base for the gravy (which is arguably one of the more important elements of such a feast!) all assembled.

In this case, we're going to roast the chicken on top of a ton of onion and garlic, along with some nice fresh sage leaves.

Once the chicken has browned at high heat for a few minutes, she gets laid gingerly on top of this delicious-looking bed.  I like the trick of putting some sort of citrus fruit in the cavity (when not filling with stuffing), and then I added a cup of water to the whole thing.

Slap the lid on the roaster, and the whole thing needs about an hour or two, depending on your cooking temperature.

So, while that is cooking, I got to cooking some veggies.

Although not much of a fan myself, the wife really likes brussels sprouts, so I grilled up a batch of those, along with a batch of buttered peas.

A dollop of margarine, and some sage leaves in there for flavour, but those get removed before serving.

A big drum of mashed potatoes as well.  Might as well throw some sage in there too, right?  Also to be removed before mashing. ;)

Those can be set up in advance, and then cooked later in order to time it to the roast.

Which was done about two hours later... and looked amazing!

BTW - she's not bionic-chicken, that's just my thermometer.  :)

So, she gets removed to a safe location where she'll relax for a few minutes before being carved to pieces by a sharp utensil.

Which leaves a large pot full of sage-flavoured garlic, onion, and a ton of chicken juice.  Hmmm... what to do with all that?  


It's called an immersion blender people.  Go get yourselves one now if you don't already have one.  The sage was removed prior, of course.

The veggies were turned on a few minutes ago, and are now ready at the same time as everything else.

That's it!

A traditional feast for tradition's sake.

Carved the bird:

Served everything up on the table, to be dished out accordingly.

Merry Christmas indeed!