Gobble, Quack, Bo-kokkk!
I've always wanted to roast a Turducken for Christmas, and this year I finally picked up the courage (or being talked into) and tackled the beast! It was a full on 3 days saga but the reward was oh so worth all the effort I put in. Let's the crazy feasting festive season begin!
Christmas Day's Feast
Another year almost done and dusted, a new year is only 4 sleeps away. There is simply no any other better way to celebrate this Christmas than spending this jolly season with close friends and lots of delicious food. It is our tradition to have an Orphan Christmas at a national park overlooking the Sydney Harbour every year, but this year we will be celebrating it in Brooklyn to christen our friends' 1.5 weeks new home. (To all our American friends - yes, we do have a Brooklyn in Australia....)
It is not Christmas in Australia without seafood, especially living so close to where all the oyster farms are. Monkeyboy also bought a spanking new BBQ to throw some local fresh tiger prawns in. Whilst debating whether to suck or not to suck the brain out of a prawn's head, these lime and chilli marinated prawns were crispy enough to crunch the whole thing down.
...and a few snags on the barbie never go astray.
There is no leg ham this year, instead I decided to slow braised a quarter pork leg to make Texan pulled pork. I left the pork in the oven at 100C overnight, expecting a soft, easily pull-apart hunk of meat the next morning; but my silly oven decided to automatically turn itself off after 4 hours and the meat was still pretty much intact. It eventually turned into an 8 hours slow braising, and the pork was finally tender enough to be shredded and happily soaked up the sweet, spicy, smokey sauce. It was a mistake turned out to be great!
I don't bake bread very often at home but thought it would be a nice tough to make some festive wreath bread and olive loaf to go with the pulled pork. The wreath bread (recipe here) is always a fun and easy bread to make, a pretty edible ornament for the dining table that all your guests would think you are an expert in baking. I didn't leave the olive loaf out long enough for the second proofing, it turned soft but a little dense on the inside, but nothing can't be saved with a big slab of butter!
Everyone chipped in with sides of vege dishes and salads. Green pea & feta salad was a nice contrast from all the meat and I particular liked the black eyed peas salad that was packed with a heat punch from the hot jalapeno and habanero. Brussels sprouts is a must for us during Christmas. The Pom picked up a handful and grilled them to perfection with toasted cashews and crispy bacon. A colourful vege lasagne was moreish, filled with feta cheesy goodness. I also whisked up a simple vinegary cabbage and apple slaw to go with the sweet pulled pork.
It's opening pressies time! Time for a short break before the dessert.
Told you I've been busy in kitchen this Christmas! I've made the beeramisu again this year but with an extra component by adding a layer of chocolate raspberry ganache in the middle. I liked the tartness of raspberries always go so well any sweet desserts.
While still moaning over the excessive feasting, we both clutching our stomachs and headed back to coast as I already had to start preparing our Boxing Day's feast the very next day!
Boxing Day's Feast
Behold, the Turducken! Isn't she a beau-teh?
But if you ever thought about making a Turducken, make sure you give yourself enough time as it took me three days to prepare it. I spent first day boning the chicken and the duck so they are ready for the final stage of stuffing inside the turkey. Depends on whether the turducken is for lunch or dinner, if is latter then you probably only need two days of preparation. But since I had to get the turkey ready for Boxing Day's lunch, which means I had to start boning and stuffing the turkey the night before and woke up bright and early the next morning to put the whole beast in the oven and roast for four hours. The whole ordeal was very challenging but I found the most difficult part was sewing the turkey back together. It is definitely a two men job with one holding it together while the other quickly trussing the turkey together. Apart from the three birds, I've also made three different stuffing of cranberries, pistachio and apple that accompanied each layer of different poultry.
By stuffing a chicken inside a duck then inside a turkey? It sounded like a jackass prank that high school college students would do and think is funny to see someone choke on it. But who'd have thought it was one of the best turkeys I've ever roasted. The tender meat was surprisingly juicy and not dry. The duck and chicken inside were perfectly cooked through as some believe the rendered duck fat inside helped to keep the meat moist.
As much as I loved turducken over a normal roast turkey, I don't think I am in a rush to make another one again.
Plenty of roast vegies and salads to go with the turducken, especially tomatoes and zucchini were picked from the garden.
And we had a Gingerbread Tardis!
It was a last minute decision on Christmas Eve and I was in the mood of baking, so I quickly whisked up some gingerbread dough and got the Tardis done within few hours. It was bit of a rush job and don't look too closely on my icing work!
The gingerbread Tardis might not be bigger on the inside, but it sure filled with lollies to keep everyone bouncing for the rest of the afternoon. The Boxing Day lunch was capped off with more sweet desserts of custard baklava, trifle, and more gingerbread house!
It was truly a memorable Christmas this year!
After all the food, I think is time for a cat-nap!
I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas weekend and surrounded by deliciousness.
This will be my last post of year 2011, I would like to wish you all a Happy and Properous New Year and I am looking forward to share an exciting new year with you all.
Billy @ A Table For Two