Simplicity is the key to this traditional Christmas dinner with a twist. Some of us thrive at the thought of cooking for a crowd, others cringe and immediately go into panic mode. For those people this is a great menu. Christmas shouldn't be stressful for anyone. It is a time to enjoy being with your nearest and dearest.
To ensure you get to spend more time on the beach or outside while you're having your pre-dinner drinks, try cooking your turkey on the barbecue.
If you cook it whole it will take about four hours of slow cooking. To speed up the process, butterfly the turkey. This involves removing the backbone, so the bird can sit flat and cook faster. My brother-in-law then puts tinfoil over the bird, held down with a heavy brick or rock, which works a treat.
I like to put the turkey in a brine for 12 hours before cooking, and a bucket is perfect for this job. Once brined, the bird will remain juicy and tender.
Baste with the marinade as it cooks and serve with your favourite roast vegetables, fresh new potatoes and a salad.
Barbecued butterflied turkey
|1||Turkey, 5kg, butterflied (Main)|
|¼ cup||Olive oil|
|1 cup||Chopped fresh herbs|
|2||Lemons, zest and juice|
|1 cup||Dates, chopped|
|2 cloves||Garlic, chopped|
|1 ½ cups||Carrots, grated|
|1 stick||Celery, chopped|
|1 tsp||Wholegrain mustard|
|¼ tsp||Chilli flakes|
|¼ cup||Chopped parsley|
|½ cup||Sunflower seeds|
|1 cup||Walnuts, chopped|
|1 cup||Breadcrumbs, soaked in a little milk|
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- Remove the backbone and breastbone from the turkey to butterfly it.
- To make a brine, dissolve sugar and salt in water and cool. Place turkey in a bucket or very large bowl. Add brine, cover and refrigerate overnight. Remove turkey from brine; dry with paper towels.
- In a small bowl, combine garlic, oil, herbs, lemons, salt and pepper. Rub over the turkey and allow to marinate until ready to cook.
- Preheat a barbecue to a medium heat.
- Place a sheet of tinfoil on the barbecue hotplate. Place turkey on it, breast side down. It will take around 1½ hours to cook, depending on your barbecue. Check after 30 minutes and turn over. Baste with marinade and continue to cook. When juices run clear, turkey is cooked through. Remove from the barbecue, cover, and rest for 10 minutes.
- Serve hot with stuffing and a selection of vegetables or salads.
- Set oven to 170C. Line a 23cm ovenproof dish with baking paper.
- Soak the dates in hot water for 10 minutes, then drain.
- Heat oil in a frying pan. Add onion, garlic, carrot and celery. Cook for 5-8 minutes until softened.
- Put dates, mustard, chilli, oregano, parsley, sunflower seeds, walnuts, breadcrumbs and eggs in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Add onion mix and combine well. Place mixture in lined dish and bake for 35 minutes until golden and crispy.