There are few things that can compete with the happiness of a brilliantly cooked and elaborate Christmas spread. For the one tasked with producing the spread there are also very few things that can compete with the stress that comes from making such a meal. While the family waits with building anticipation for The day to arrive, most home cooks, myself included are filled with a sense of dread that comes from making some of these painfully time consuming and laborious recipes. While you tell yourself that the smiles on the faces of your family are worth the effort (and most of the times they are!), sometimes you need to make a little adjustment so that the holiday feels like a holiday for you too. So here are some deceptively simple yet divinely delicious Christmas recipes that you can whip up in just over an hour. You can be rest assured that you’ll have Dickens feeling proud at the end of it all.
Rustic roast Chicken
Give the turkey and goose a miss and try this rustic roast chicken instead. It’s beautifully flavoured and balanced and sits perfectly at the dinner table. First give your chicken a good rub inside and outside with salt and pepper. Then create a vegetable bed in your roasting tin. Roughly cut carrots and shallots and add a bulb of garlic, rosemary sprigs and thyme. Now add a knob of butter to this bed and place your chicken over this. Melt some of the butter and brush your chicken with this. Make sure you get the herbs into the chicken cavity as well for maximum flavour. Now cook this chicken in a preheated oven (190ºC/375ºF/gas 5) for 45 minutes. Once done, remove the chicken from the roasting tray, mash up the garlic and add a dash of red wine to the delicious juices. Now put the chicken back on the roasting tray and cook for another 30 mins or until done. You can strain the jus of the chicken and serve the delicious gravy on the side.
Roast potatoes with sage and orange
Give the boring mashed potatoes a miss and try these heavenly roast potatoes with sage and orange instead. Takes just as much time as you’d spend in making a good mash but is half the effort. Parboil your potatoes in boiling salted water for 10 minutes and then drain off making sure that the edges start to chuff. Place a large roasting tray on your hob on low heat and add goose fat or olive oil, 8-9 cloves garlic with skins left on and squashed, peel of two oranges cut into long thin strips, 1 large bunch of sage leaves and fry for about 30 seconds. Now add your chuffed potatoes to this and fry for another minute. Then, place the tray in a preheated oven (220ºC/425ºF/gas 7) and cook for 45 minutes or until done.
These glazed carrots are the perfect accompaniment for any roast dinner. All you need to do is trim the leafy stalks off the carrots and peel them. Now take a large saucepan and place it on your hob on low heat. Melt 40 grams of unsalted butter and 1 tablespoon of goose fat (this is optional) and add the crushed, unpeeled garlic, 40 grams of caster sugar, juice of 2 oranges ( you can even use packaged juice), ½ bunch of thyme and a pinch of sea salt. To this, add the carrots in a single layer and cover and cook for 15 minutes. Open the lid and cook for another 5 until the glaze has reduced and the carrots look sticky and caramelized.
Give the Christmas trifle a shake-up make this Bûche de Noël or Yule Log. It takes a little over an hour to make and can be made two days in advance. You can get the recipe here.
Try these simple and smart recipes this Christmas. We can be sure that you’ll be hailed as a culinary goddess (or god) despite having put in only half the effort. This is, of-course, the second easiest way to serve up a delicious home cooked feast on Christmas Day – you know that the easiest way to achieve the same result is to trust to the talented home chefs of Haus Khaas!