Two Three Bird Roasts

I blog about what we eat for Christmas lunch, mainly to remember things that worked well and for those that didn’t, not to repeat that mistake.

We now have a tradition of having our Christmas dinner on Christmas Eve. We’ve done this for ten years now. We do this for a few reasons. On Christmas Day itself, the children are often too excited to sit down for a long meal, so don’t eat or enjoy the meal or the occasion. It also usually means I spend a fair few hours in the kitchen, which means I miss them opening and playing with their presents. I also find it quite demanding to spend as little time in the kitchen as possible, whilst creating a wonderful dining experience.

Having the meal on Christmas Eve means that we can both spend a bit more time preparing the meal (less stressful in itself) and enjoy eating the meal (as do the children). As a result for them it helps pass the time on one of the more exciting days of the year as they anticipate the arrival of a sleigh full of presents being pulled by eight tiny reindeer!

As to what we eat on Christmas day itself, well we have lots of lovely leftovers, cheeses, pickles, hot bread, etc…. quick and easy to prepare and delicious.

I had originally planned to cook three roasts for our Christmas lunch. With limited space in the oven and thinking we might have too much food, in the end I decided to cook only the two three bird roasts and leave the beef joint for Boxing Day, which was an excellent piece of beef and I will blog about at later date.

The main roast was a turkey stuffed with chicken and duck, along with a pork, plum and sloe gin stuffing.

This was an excellent roast full of flavour.

We also had a three game roast, which was a pheasant, stuffed with partridge , pigeon and a pork, apple, calvados stuffing.

We were less impressed with this roast, it lacked flavour.

Overall it was a nice meal and enjoyed by all.

Three plus Two Bird Roasts

I usually document what we had for our Christmas dinner in December, in the main so that I can recall what we had and when, what we liked and what we wouldn’t get again.

Our plan was to go with the Three Bird Roast from Tesco, however when we went to order it, they had sold out. So our second choice was the Three Bird Roast from Marks and Spencer. This was a combination of turkey stuffed with chicken, duck and a pork, plum and sloe gin stuffing,

It looked a little smaller than we expected, so I quickly picked up a Two Bird Roast from the shelves. This was some duck stuffed with guinea fowl, and a pork, pheasant, bacon and apple stuffing.

Different roasting times meant that I had to plan the cooking quite carefully. Along with the vegetables and all the trimmings

I have found that with these multiple bird roasts (as they are quite solid and son’t have bones) they can be easily over-cooked so care has to be taken.

We served our roasts with a selection of traditional accompaniments. We had roast potatoes, roast vegetables. Some steamed vegetables along with pan fried brussels sprouts cooked with chestnuts and pancetta.

The Three Bird Roast was very nice and tasty. There wasn’t a huge amount of duck (or chicken) in there, but yes it was a tasty festive roast.

Two Bird Roast Christmas

The Two Bird Roast was smaller, but just as tender and tasty. You could certainly taste the duck and guinea fowl in there.

Three Bird Roast Christmas

Overall we were pleased with the meal and it was enjoyed by all, probably enjoyed too much, as there wasn’t many leftovers for meals later in the festive period. So next year we may go for something larger.

Garnish

Whenever I do a big roast I do like a nice garnish of stuffing and sausages. The stuffing is described in this recipe, and the sausages are either plain or wrapped in pancetta jackets.

Stuffed Duck Legs

Sainsburys have recently released a new range, called Easy To Cook Autumn Meals.

We have tried a few and as you might expect some are better than others.

We did try the Stuffed Duck Legs, which were part-boned duck legs with a fruity pork stuffing.

Easy to cook, the instructions did seem to indicate to cook them for an extraordinarily long time

They were quite tasty, though a little dry, I think that was even though I cooked them for a shorter time than in the instructions.

I do like duck and this concept sounded good, however the end result was not as good as I hoped.

Chicken thighs with pork, sage & thyme stuffing

Sainsburys have recently released a new range, called Easy To Cook Autumn Meals.

We have tried a few and as you might expect some are better than others.

One we did like and have bought again, was the boneless chicken thighs with seasoned pork, sage & thyme stuffing.

Something that is relatively challenging to do yourself and takes a fair bit of time is to bone chicken thighs and stuff them. These already prepared saves a lot of time.

I roasted mine in the oven for 20-30 minutes with chopped onions, mushrooms, pepper and courgettes. I also added cubes of bread with ten minutes to go.

Once cooked, I let them rest for five minutes before slicing them and serving them.

Wrapped Stuffing

I very rarely buy stuffing, if I do it is only fresh stuffing, I don’t think I have bought a stuffing mix in years. Normally I make my own stuffing.

These were made very simply with diced onions, sausage meat, breadcrumbs, fresh herbs and wrapped up with pancetta bacon. I would then roast them in the oven for about 20-30 minutes.

Quick and easy and certainly just as quick as using a stuffing mix.

Roasting a chicken

Currently roasting a chicken.

Chicken is an organic free range bird, stuffed with a sausagemeat stuffing and draped with pancetta bacon.

Going to serve it with traditional accompaniments including roast potatoes, roast parsnips and steamed vegetables.

Christmas Dinner

Well we had a really nice Christmas Dinner. We had roast chicken, roast saddle of venison and a boned and stuffed roast duck.

The chicken was a free range corn fed bird which I stuffed with a homemade herb and sausage meat stuffing.  I also added butter under the skin to keep the breast meat moist. The venison I wrapped in pancetta and simply roasted on a bed of chopped veg. The duck was purchased from Sainsburys and was boned and stuffed with an apricot stuffing.

All were delicious.

I served the meats with roast potatoes, roast parsnips (which were coated in an olive oil and honey), steamed vegetables, a variety of additional stuffings, chipolatas and yorkshire puddings.