It’s Christmas time
Roast turkey–stuffed or with dressing on the side–and ham with your favorite glaze and all the trimmings, is on the menu for Christmas Day around the country. What this means for most cooks is hours in the kitchen to provide that one meal that brings families together at this time of year.
If you want to give your family the tastes that they look forward to at this time of year, but want to shorten your time in the kitchen, Sandals Royal Bahamian Hotel Executive Sous Chef Seanette Brice-Cooper suggests taking your turkey off the bone, then stuffing it. She says this can shorten your turkey cooking time by as much as two to three hours, depending on the way you’re accustomed to roasting your whole turkey–whether stuffed or unstuffed. Stuffing the deboned turkey she says will still satisfy your family’s cravings for the tastes of the holidays that they look forward to at this time of the year, and free up your oven space so that you can move on to other menu items quicker, which she says means you get out of the kitchen even earlier.
The chef who is nominated for the Cacique Awards Chef of the Year for the second consecutive year suggests serving an Herb Roasted Stuffed Turkey Roulade With Apple Walnut Stuffing and Cranberry Giblet Gravy. She says it’s different from the norm, but will still give your family the tastes of Christmas dinner that they crave. The maximum time of the roulade in the oven is one hour and 45 minutes.
The most difficult part of the turkey she says is deboning the turkey, in two halves with the breast and legs attached, a job she says you can have your butcher do(or if you know a chef, you can have them do it). If you’re to the challenge of deboing yourself, she says to ensure that you have a proper deboning knife to remove the meat and simply follow the bone to remove the meat.”It’s not that difficult as long as you get the proper knife and simply follow the bone of the turkey to remove the meat from
Chef Brice-Cooper then seasons the deboned halves with a dry rub and allows it to marinate. She stuffs it with an apple walnut stuffing, wraps it up jelly roll style(or guava duff style), ties with butcher’s twine(she say you can wrap it in foil paper if you find that easier, places the roulades in a pan and into a pre-heated oven for approximately an hour-and-a-half.
“It’s worth a try because it’s delicious and it’s different. Your guests will be wowed, because it’s such a different idea, and you can serve it with your regular sides like sweet potatoes, green beans, peas’n’rice or garlic mashed potatoes.
A TROPICAL FRUIT GLAZED HAM
For a twist on your Christmas ham, Chef Brice-Cooper suggests a fruity twist to your glaze for another Christmas staple that’s a little different. Her glaze has staples like pineapple and maraschino cherries, with the addition of peaches and pears–fruits that she cooks down with spices like ground all spice, ground cloves and ginger, along with brown sugar, honey and orange juice for 20 minutes and thickens with cornstarch–a glaze which she says will make your ham extra special.
“The flavors of this ham is different and goes outside the norm of just plain pineapple, said Chef Brice-Cooper.”I use a fruit combination to give the ham a different flavor that’s more tropical, and the sweetness of the glaze and the saltiness of the ham with the aromatic spices really marries well.
The glaze also gives the ham a nice, shiny appearance as well.”
As you cook your Christmas ham this year, Chef Brice-Cooper reminds all cooks not to boil their ham until it’s tasteless and then try to put flavor back into the meat by slathering it with sauces and glazes.
“A ham that is fully cooked does not have to be
‘boiled to death.’You can boil it for a brief period to remove some of the saltiness if you like, but don’t boil it for hours on end,” she said. Another alternative she says is to braise the ham in the oven, by putting a little water into the bottom of the pan with the ham, covering it and putting it into a hot oven. This method she says will take a little longer, at least two hours, to reach the internal temperature of 185 degrees that the ham should be cooked to, but she says you won’t end up with a tasteless piece of meat. If using the oven-braising method, she says to skim off the fat that accumulates in the bottom of the pan, remove the ham skin, score the fat into one-inch diamonds, and baste with her fruity glaze every five minutes during the last 15 to 20 minutes of cooking time.
Tropical Fruit Glazed Virginia Ham
Recipe: Chef Seanette Brice-Cooper
10-12 pound fully cooked, bone-in Virginia ham
For the glaze:
1/2 cup light-brown sugar, firmly packed
2 tablespoons honey
1 can sliced pineapple, drained
1 can pear halves, drained
1 can peach halves, drained
8 to 10 maraschino cherries
1 cup orange juice
2 oz corn starch mixture
1/4 teaspoon of ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon of ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon of ground ginger
Place ham, fat side up, on rack in roasting pan. Bake, uncovered, 1-1/2 hours or until internal temperature reaches 140 degrees F.
For the glaze:Combine brown sugar, honey, pineapples, peaches, pears and orange juice.
Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar is dissolved and mixture comes to boil.
Add the ground cloves, allspice and ginger and thicken with the corn starch mixture
Remove skin from ham; then score fat into 1-inch diamonds.
Drain the fruits from the sauce, arrange pineapple slices, pears, peaches, cherries on ham; secure with wooden picks.
Brush the glaze over ham and bake for additional 15 minutes. Baste every five minutes with glaze.
Reserve the remaining glaze for spooning over the ham when sliced.
Tips:Glazing a ham contributes not only to the appearance but keeps it moist and also enhances the flavor. The sweet contrast with the salt of the ham combined with the sweet aromatic spices marry just right!
Herb Roasted Stuffed Turkey Roulade with Apple-Walnut Stuffing Cranberry Giblet Gravy
Recipe: Chef Seanette Brice-Cooper
Turkey(Have the butcher at your local grocery store debone your turkey, to have 2 halves, with breast and legs attached, reserving all parts and giblets)
For the herb rub
4 tsps fresh rosemary leaves, chopped
4 tsps fresh thyme, chopped
4 tsps sage, chopped
4 teaspoons minced garlic
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
In a blender or food processor, mix rosemary, thyme, sage, garlic, salt, pepper, and olive oil. Pulse until well blended.
For the roulade:Preheat oven to 350°F
Open each boneless turkey half and place skin side down on a work surface. Season with herb rub. The long side should be parallel with edge of work surface.
Spread 1/2 of the stuffing over each breast. Starting at the long side, roll jelly-roll style. Tie with cord to secure or place on foil and roll in cylindrical shape pressing together at both ends to close.
Place roulades in roasting pans. Place in oven and bake for about 1?hours or until a meat thermometer registers 185°F.
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1 large onion, chopped
2 cups celery, chopped
1 loaf bread, cut into cubes
4 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and diced
1 cup chopped walnuts
?tsp thyme, chopped
?tsp dried sage
?tsp garlic, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, melt butter or margarine. Add onion, celery, garlic and apples sauté until soft.
Mix in bread cubes with mixture, add chicken broth to moisten. Add nuts, salt, pepper, sage, and thyme and season to taste. Stir until well blended. Remove from heat and add the egg.
Allow stuffing to cool completely then proceed to stuff turkey.
Cranberry Giblet Gravy
Makes about 5 cups
Turkey giblets and neck
1 1/2 quarts water
1 onion, quartered
1 medium carrot, quartered
2 celery stalks, with leaves
4 bay leaves
1 cup dried cranberries/Craisans
1 tsp salt
Pepper, to taste
6 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup water
For turkey broth:Cover neck and remaining giblets with water in a pot. Add turkey bones, bay leaves, onion, carrot, celery, salt, and pepper. Simmer covered, for 1 hour.
For gravy:Remove turkey to a warm serving platter and place turkey roaster with drippings on stovetop. Add 1 cup of the broth to drippings in turkey roaster. Bring to a boil, stirring well to loosen all brown bits from sides of pan. Add about 2 more cups turkey broth, stirring to blend. Reduce heat.
Make slurry mixture from flour and 1/2 cup water until very smooth. Add slowly and whisk into gravy mixture and continue to cook slowly, add the cranberries, stirring constantly until slightly thickened. Remove giblets and chop. Add to gravy. Adjust seasonings.