How to cook your favorite Christmas Meats!
When it comes to Christmas, cooking is often the most stressful part.
We have all you need in the kitchen to make your meat preparation and cooking as seamless and relaxed as possible.
What you need?
Leg of cooked ham (half or whole), whole cloves to stud, 1 cup orange juice, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 5 Tbs honey, 2 Tbs Dijon mustard
What to do?
Firstly preheat oven to 180°C, then prepare the glaze: combine juice, sugar, honey and mustard in a small bowl and whisk to combine.
Using a sharp knife carefully cut around the shank of the ham about 10cm from the end, carefully put the tip of the knife under the edge of the skin and gently remove the skin, you may need to use your fingers to gently ease the skin away from the layer of fat.
Score a criss cross pattern into the fat, but don’t cut right through to the ham. Place ham on a large baking dish lined with foil or baking paper & place a clove into the middle of each crisscross diamond space.
Using a pastry brush, or spoon, glaze the ham evenly & cook for 30 – 45 mins, basting several times during cooking.
Stand the ham for at least 10 mins before carving & brush a final glaze over the ham just before serving.
How long do I cook my chook?
Overcooking your chicken will cause it to dry out. As a guide, a 1.5kg whole stuffed chicken takes about 30 minutes per 500g of weight to cook in an oven preheated to 180°C.
To test if the chicken is ready, insert a skewer into the thickest part of the thigh. If the juices run clear with no sign of pink, this indicates that the chicken is cooked. Cover the chicken loosely with foil and set aside for five to ten minutes to rest before carving or cutting into pieces to serve.
The difficult Turkey.....
Turkey breast is lean the lack of fat means it can easily dry out during the long cooking process. Covering the breast with strips of bacon or prosciutto can help to keep the moisture in and adds extra flavour. It's also important to baste the turkey with melted butter or pan juices to help hold in the moisture.
As with cooking any poultry, always double check that the turkey is properly cooked before serving. Your turkey should be piping hot all the way through with no pink meat left and the juices should run clear when the thickest part of the thigh and breast are pierced with a fork or skewer, as a guide approximately 45 minutes per kg.