Skip to main content

COOKING CORNER: Talking Turkey (or Chicken) @ Christmas Dinner



COOKING CORNER: 
One of the great highlights of the holiday season is the roast dinner on Christmas Day. While a variety of meats are used, turkey and chicken are among the most popular. If you would like the juiciest and most flavourful bird you ever had, be prepared to take a few extra steps.

BRINE THE BIRD

This process is similar to marinading. It involves cold salted water. The benefits is that it makes the meat more tender, juicy, and reduces cooking time. It is worth the time and effort. Here is a simple recipe:

1.      Container: Use any container large enough, provided it is not aluminium. Even a large plastic bag in a bucket (or on its own) will do, provided it is tied up during brining.
2.      Ingredients: Put 6 litres of water in a container. Then, in a separate jug, add 1 litre of boiling water and dissolve 200 grams coarse salt and 200 grams sugar. To this mix you can add quartered lemons or oranges, a sliced onion, spices like cinnamon sticks or cloves. Combine it all with the cold water.
3.      Process: Cover the pot or tie the bag and let brine 12-48 hours.
4.      Remember: The bird needs to be covered. Avoid too much salt if you are brining more than a day.
5.      Refrigeration? This is not necessary. The key is to keep it in a cold place, which includes the porch or garage. Add ice, ice packs, or anything else that will maintain coldness.
6.      Removal: This should be done 2 hours before cooking. The bird should be dried internally and externally, gaining room temperature before stuffing and baking.


ROASTING

A.     Temperature: It is important that the oven is pre-heated. Turn on to maximum temperature. When it is time to roast, reduce the temperature to 180 C or 350 F.
B.      Position: Place the bird upside down and roast uncovered. Baste every half an hour. Once the bird becomes lightly browned, then cover with foil. Only in the last hour turn the bird right side up.
C.     Ready? Use a meat thermometer (75 C) or cut a portion - the juices should be clear. If pink, you need to roast longer. Or try the ‘wiggle test,’ if the legs wiggle easily, it is done. If they are stiff, roast some more.
D.     Extra tips: Why not try 1/2 cup of maple syrup poured on during the last 30 minutes. You can ‘self-baste’ by soaking muslin clothe, double or tripled folded, in unsalted butter. Apply before roasting and only remove the last 30 minutes.
E.      Rest: Let the bird ‘rest’ after roasting on the counter, covered, for about 30 minutes. This keeps the cooking process going. Use a warmed up platter to cut and serve.

Accompany with salad, a variety of roasted vegetables, and home-made gravy.

Yes, there is a little extra effort involved with brining and roasting. But when you see the delighted looks in your dinner guests’ faces, it’ll be worth it.

Merry Christmas!




Comments

Popular posts from this blog

A Prophecy for the Church in Malaysia

Malaysia is a very special country - beloved by its citizens and friends worldwide. Malaysia offers a warm welcome, ‘truly Asian’ hospitality, popular spicy food, tropical weather and scenery, and a dynamic local church. The following is a prophecy for the Malaysian church given on May 20, 2017 at Full Gospel Assembly, Kuala Lumpur, (following the introduction).
Introduction to Malaysia (Statistics courtesy of the CIA World Fact Book)
Location: Malaysia is on a peninsula in SE Asia. Singapore is to the south, Thailand to the north, and Indonesia is very close by. Two Malaysian states, Sabah and Sarawak, are located on the island of Borneo to the east of peninsular Malaysia. Borneo is shared by three nations: Malaysia, Brunei, and Indonesia.
Population of Malaysia: 30,949,962;
Ethnic groups: Malay 50%; Chinese 23%; Indigenous 12%; Indian 7%; non-citizens 8%.
Religious Affiliation: Islam 61%; Buddhism 20%; Christian 9%; Hindu 6%
Type of Government: Federal constitutional monarchy with the kin…

NORTH KOREA: What Is At Stake?

It is not unusual for North Korea to be in the news. This highly-armed Stalinist state rattles the sabres from time to time. There are warnings, sanctions, negotiations, and then things go quiet.
Yet the current crisis is different - and more dangerous - than anything we have seen before. It has been said, with reason, that the stand-off with North Korea is the biggest confrontation since US President John F. Kennedy faced off Nikita Krushchev of the Soviet Union in the October 1962 Cuban missile crisis. This was probably the largest and most dangerous incident in the entire Cold War.
As a refresher, the Soviet Union placed nuclear-tipped missiles in Cuba, which is only 140 kilometres off the US coast. This was simply too close for comfort. President Kennedy solemnly warned that if the missiles were not removed, America would invade Cuba. For 13 days the world held its breath. It was the closest thing we have seen of Armageddon in living memory. Being a rational player, the Soviets ne…

TRUMP CHRONICLES PART 03:

Trump the Christian: Opposition & Prophecy

I believe in God. I am Christian. I think The Bible is certainly, it is THE book. First Presbyterian Church in Jamaica Queens is where I went to church. I’m a Protestant, I’m a Presbyterian. And you know I’ve had a good relationship with the church over the years. I think religion is a wonderful thing. I think my religion is a wonderful religion
These words were uttered by the man who became the 45th President of the United States. Donald J. Trump has affirmed that he is a Christian.
Of course, there are Christians and there are Christians. In the United States, where for decades Christianity has been the ‘civil religion,’ everyone was a Christian. For example, every American President (and there have been 45) has called themselves ‘Christians.’ And, for the last 40 years, every President from Jimmy Carter onwards claimed to be ‘born again,’ too.
It would seem that Donald Trump could be in the first category. Many would think so. ‘Christian…