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I'm not speaking to Nigella

(40 Posts)
morethan2 Fri 25-Dec-15 10:17:47

I'm using Nigellas recipe. The 18lb turkey has been soaking in the brine...that's fine. I basted it with her butter and maple syrup and put it in a hot oven ( her blurb says cook it at a 200 oven quickly she goes on and on about it) so in it goes. Within half an hour the skin was crisping at an alarming rate, I thought obviously it's the sugar content, so I've lowered the oven and covered it with two layers of foil and am turning it every 45 minutes, and not basting it with the butter mix. Now if I remember(which I didn't) I had the same problem last year. I'm throwing her book out. Wish me luck, I've got 14+3 G.C to feed! Any tips from you lovelies gratefully appreciated.

J52 Mon 28-Dec-15 11:22:56

Today Woman's hour quiz/ discussion, made some humerous comments on how she described making Avacado on toast! (Simply Nigella)

They were disappointed that she didn't describe how to make the toast! tchgrin


specki4eyes Sun 27-Dec-15 13:30:56

I thought this thread was about Nigella?!!

Honestly? Do not take any notice of her - her recipes don't generally work out - the quantities are all wrong, the oven temperatures too. I made her Rudolph Pie (for an amusing change). Had I taken any notice of her quantities I would have had to fill my entire freezer with the leftovers! As it was I halved the quantities in order to feed six and ended up with enough for twenty!
A friend of mine who is a retired chef (Savoy London) says that only Delia's recipes can be relied upon because she has them rigorously tested by the WI. He says ignore the professional chefs' cookbooks - they are untested in the context of a domestic kitchen.

baubles Sun 27-Dec-15 12:52:54

I suspect it's undercooked as I'd read that the original 1975 recipe was based on less efficient gas ovens and that in today's ovens the cake would burn if left for the time given. There are several Mumsnet threads on the subject so I adjusted timings. Having read that many people had had disappointing results I really should have stuck with tried and tested recipes but my thinking was that it was so full of delicious things that it was bound to turn out ok. Hey ho, lesson learned.

Maggiemaybe Sun 27-Dec-15 12:30:38

I must stand up for the sainted Delia, too. I make her Creole cake every year and it's just fabulous, dahling, if I say so myself as shouldn't tchgrin.

I admit it's a bit on the moist side this year, as I got a bit giddy and sloshed in even more alcohol than the gallon or so she advocates.

suzied Sun 27-Dec-15 12:21:23

I've done Delias cake in the past and it's been fab. Soak fruit overnight in brandy. Must be a reason why yours hasn't turned out well? Perhaps some of the dried fruit a bit off? Or it's got a bit burnt?

baubles Sun 27-Dec-15 11:21:47

Think I may send DH Ana. It feels wrong though, not to be serving homemade Christmas cake for the first time in umpty tumpty years.

Galen Sun 27-Dec-15 11:21:22

Cunard's turkey was excellent but I was disappointed in the xmas pudding.

Ana Sun 27-Dec-15 11:10:18

Can't you nip out to the shops, baubles? There are bound to be some left...

baubles Sun 27-Dec-15 11:02:52

I have to say my turkey was fab this year. I took a tip from Jamie Oliver & rested it for an hour and a half wrapped in foil and two bath towels whilst I cooked everything else. It stayed hot and was beautifully moist.
However, I'm not talking to Delia as I used her Christmas cake recipe for the first time for both of my cakes and they are horrible. Such a waste of ingredients and effort, I've got visitors coming this afternoon & no cake! tchangry

Londongirl Sun 27-Dec-15 10:02:20

I was very lucky/lazy this year as we were invited to lunch on both Christmas Day and Boxing Day. Best Christmas evertchgrin I'll have to repay the favour on New Years Eve though.

suzied Sun 27-Dec-15 05:43:08

My Oh does Jamie Oliver's turkey which has some sort of chestnut and apricot stuffing under the breast. Took longer Than Jamie said though. I did my cashew and brazilnut roast for the veggies and 15 of us sat down to eat finally at 3 pm. 12 here Boxing Day to finish off the leftovers. Down to 4 today so looking forward to a bit of peace and tidying up!

grannyactivist Sun 27-Dec-15 00:18:06

Yesterday I cooked a stuffed turkey crown so that our Malaysian lodger could experience a 'traditional' Christmas dinner. For our muslim guests I cooked a halal chicken. roastchicken And I made a roast beef dinner to take to a homeless man I've been working with who loves birds so much he can't bear to eat them! It's the fewest number of Christmas guests I've had for years, but definitely the most awkward varied. tchgrin

prefect Sat 26-Dec-15 23:27:16

I had read about brining but wasn't very keen on a big vat of salt water. Went online and found a site about the science of brining and decided on his advice to 'dry brine'. On the 23rd (earlier if a bigger turkey) I mixed thyme with maldon sea salt ( don't use fine salt). I separated skin from breast of turkey, rubbed salt into breast, rubbed salt into legs (over skin) and inside the turkey (total 7 tsp salt). Put it into the fridge in an open roasting bag ( allowed air to circulate but kept it from contaminating other food).
The past two years, despite basting and following Delia and then Nigella,my turkey was dry. This year it was brilliantly moist and I will be dry brining from now on. Only downside is that because brining keeps the moisture in the turkey, there was little (very little) stock for the gravy, but that is easily dealt with. The meat was also slightly more tough, but again, better than dry. Who says old birds can't learn new tricks.
Happy New Year.

Nannanoo Sat 26-Dec-15 23:14:16

That does sound a bit risky!

Luckygirl Sat 26-Dec-15 22:51:24

I am suitably appalled by the idea of "half-cooking" the night before!

Luckygirl Sat 26-Dec-15 22:50:13

We do not eat much meat, but when we do I always cook it in the same way, and this goes for Xmas turkey. Cook in a tin with a lid (or use foil as a tent (as others have said) - cook on about 200 - 220 for half an hour, then turn down to 100, and leave it forever - overnight if you like.

It is like a double cooking, both roasting and steaming. The flesh is always succulent and not a bit dry; and the initial blast of heat kills the bugs and also gives a bit of a crisp to the skin.

I have never had this method fail.

Nannanoo Sat 26-Dec-15 20:49:04

We had a vegan spectacular at my daughter's house. It was delicious, but after Tofurkey, sprouts, parsnips and artichokes all in one sitting, I could have powered a small wind farm all on my own last night! tchblush

CrazyMazy Sat 26-Dec-15 18:50:38

As I have fractured my wrist DH cooked Christmas dinner for us. This is only the second time in his life he has cooked a roast Christmas meal. He roasted a fresh chicken perfectly, warmed up roasted vegetables our neighbour had kindly cooked for us and used up some frozen roast potatoes I had cooked in November! It was all very tasty and delicious. No 'pigs in blankets' this year or home made stuffing but so much more relaxing! A small Tesco Chistmas pudding was quickly heated in the microwave and served with delicious soya cream (I have dairy intolerance!) All eaten and cleared away in time for The Queen. roastchicken

SusanCh Sat 26-Dec-15 18:37:37

morethan2 - does the recipe actually say 200 deg in a fan oven? Just asking, because (and I'm sure you know this) generally a fan oven setting should be 20 deg lower then a normal one - ie. some recipes would say gas 5/200C/Fan 180
So could be you are right about the fan oven being too hot.

larry5 Sat 26-Dec-15 17:17:22

We had an Aldi ready stuffed frozen turkey crown this year and it was lovely. We also had Aunt Bessies frozen parsnips in honey and my ds said they were the best roast parsnips he had ever had. I didn't admit that I had cheated this year!

Galen Sat 26-Dec-15 14:31:00

The Cunard turkey and trimmings was lovely!
Father Christmas came down the funnel for the young ones!

grannyjack Sat 26-Dec-15 14:24:16

My daughter, unintentionally, cooked the best turkey I have ever eaten. She put it in a roasting bag & cooked it upside down. However didn't realise it (she has a first from Oxford but it didn't cover turkey management) & there were complaints from SiL that there was so little meat on it. However all was revealed when later, after we finished the meal & she turned it over!
Lovely leftovers to take back home.

boulding2 Sat 26-Dec-15 13:18:07

Hope everyone had a good Christmas.
I always cook my turkey upside down then towards the end turn it right side up all the juices go into the breast keeping it moist then when taking it out cover with foil and a thick towel to rest it's always juicy HOWEVER this year got a turkey crown made all ready for hubby to put in the oven on Christmas morning as he is always up early I set the temperature all he had to do was put it in the oven and switch on easy Peasy you would say except he put the grill on instead !! 1 1/2 hours later I got up to check the turkey (it was only 8.30 I may add) and it was barely touched thank god the temp dial was to low for it to burn the breast, never mind though I saw the funny side but next year i think I will leave hubby out of the equation lol smile

morethan2 Sat 26-Dec-15 11:48:41

Just an update on the turkey saga...I have to beg forgiveness from Nigella. The turkey was fabulous, even one of the gang who hardly ever says a thing kept commenting. The praise actually got a bit embarrassing. It was moist, tender and tasty. My husband had the leg and they can sometimes be dry but he said it wasn't at all. I think the problem I've had both years is following her instruction about basting and using a high heat in my fan oven just doesn't work. So this time next year I'll still brine because that's the bit that makes its moist but use my own initiative about the cooking times. welcome ladycatlover and I giggled at hilderjennies mr bean description of averting disaster. I wish you all a pleasant relaxing ( all the hard works done) Boxing Day. Cold turkey and salad

tigger Sat 26-Dec-15 11:13:37

This is the last time I am going to cook a big turkey for Christmas. It was all I could do to lift it out of the oven to baste and am suffering for it today. Next year it will be a turkey crown.