Chicken en papillote

chicken in paper


This recipe for chicken cooked in parchment paper, is simple, quick and easy.  First trim the vegetables cutting the carrot and celery into reasonably sized chuncks, a couple of centimetres wide.  Half the potatoes and trim andy skin off the chicken.

Next lay the parchment paper out on a flat surface, you’ll need enough to make a pocket for all the ingredients.  fold the paper in half then turn the side edges in tightly to form a pocket with a hole at the top.

Pour all of the ingredients into the pocket, the wine last, you can also add parsley or any other herbs at this point.  Season well with salt and pepper (about 1/2 tablespoon of salt)

Fold over the final edge so the pocket is now airtight and place on a baking tray, it is very imporant that the packet is tightly formed so that all the moisture stays inside  cook in the oven for around 35 mins or until the potatoes are fully cooked and serve.

Pancetta and chestnut stuffing



Pre heat the oven to 180c.  Melt the butter in a large frying pan. Add the shallot, celery, leek and chopped pancetta. Cook for about 5 mins until soft but not coloured. Add the garlic and thyme and cook for a minute. Cool. Add the sausages to the cooled mixture with the parsley, chestnuts, breadcrumbs and egg. Season and mix well.

Shape 2/3 of the mixture into 12 balls and wrap each ball in a rasher of pancetta. Arrange on a baking tray and cook in the oven for 25-30 mins. Put the remaining stuffing into an ovenproof dish – this can be cooked alongside the stuffing balls.

Alternatively you can line a loaf tin with the extra pancetta. fill with the stuffing and cook in the oven for 40-50 minutes or until a knife inserted into the centre comes out hot.

Mini Yorkshire Puddings with beef and horseradish



Yorkshire puds: lightly beat the egg, whisk in flour and baking powder, then the milk until you have batter the consistency of double cream. Season and leave to rest for 1 hour.
Heat oven to 190C. Put a little oil in the bottom of each dip in 12 hole mini muffin tin and warm for a short while in the oven. Then put 1 teaspoon of the mixture in each dip and bake for 10 mins or until well risen and golden. Repeat with the rest of the mixture.

Horseradish cream: whip the cream with the horseradish sauce – don’t overdo it as it will thicken as it sits.

Cook the beef: turn up the oven to 220C. Cut the beef in half lengthways, then trim up each half so they are more log-like in shape and about 2.5cm across – when sliced the beef should fit the top of the Yorkshire puddings.

Season then quickly sear all over in a really hot pan. Transfer to a roasting tin with butter, rosemary, thyme, garlic and olive oil. Roast for 3-4 mins. Rest for 10 mins then roll each piece in cling film to help keep its shape.

To assemble, trim the tops of the Yorkshires if they are not flat and slice the beef through the clingfilm into discs the thickness of a pound coin. Peel off the cling film. Put a teasoonful of the horseradish cream onto each Yorkshire and then place a piece of beef on top. Sprinkle with some salt.

Alternative way to cook the turkey recipe

alternative Xmas Turkey


Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas 6.  Season the turkey well inside and out and tie the legs and parson’s nose together with string.

Chop all the vegetables into large chunks and place in the bottom of a large baking tray – it should be large enough so the turkey has at least a 5cm (2in) gap around it. Place the bird on top.  Add the white wine, cold water, stock cubes and bay leaves then place the whole tray on to the hob.

Bring to the boil, cover and seal tightly all around the tray with two layers of foil. This really is the important bit – if it’s not sealed completely, the steam will escape and the bird will not cook quickly or in a moist state.  Put the turkey into the preheated oven and cook it for about 2 hours.

To check if the bird is cooked, remove it from the oven carefully as there will be a lot of stock, wine and juices. Remove the foil and insert a knife where the thigh attaches itself to the body of the bird – the juices should run clear. If not, cover with foil and cook for another 20 minutes.

When the turkey is cooked, remove it from the oven, turn the oven up to 230°C/450°F/gas 8, brush with the melted butter and return to the oven for about 15 minutes, until browned.  When the turkey is nicely browned, remove it from the oven and carefully tip out all the stock and keep warm. Wrap the turkey in foil to keep warm – it will keep perfectly wrapped for 1 hour.

Re-boil the stock and juices – you may need to add a little more water – in a saucepan and skim well. Mix the cornflour and water together and thicken the stock, carve the bird – the flesh will be soft and juicy – and serve the gravy and stuffing separately.