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Christmas Chicken and Custard

12.26.08

Family, friends, food, wine, repeat – what’s not to like about the holiday season?! I figured I should slam up an unfocused post during the holidays. Unfocused because 1] I am successfully in holiday mode and 2] there are a myriad of food prep duties and social occasions speckling my days.

This year’s Christmas dinner menu:

Oven-dried tomato with goat cheese on crostini with Aussie bubbly

Garlic-stuffed roast brined chicken with mashed potato, gravy, and high-bush cranberry sauce – paired with a grand cru Alsace pinot gris. I followed two important principles related to brining and roasting time – which are both based on weight [3.9 kg chicken]. Brined it for a day as per ‘Charcuterie”s instructions, and roasted it for 4 hrs as per J.P. Jayet [poulet de Bresse farmer in France] instructions: 180C, 1 hr/kilo, nothing on the bird except salt. Since it was brined, I didn’t even have to season it. Or the gravy. So odd. Not much room for improvement on this bird or it’s pan juices, so I’ll be sticking hard and fast to these rules from now on.

Braised shoulder of beef on potato with sauteed mushrooms – paired with an excellent Penfold’s Cab/Shiraz.

Creme Brulee [as seen in photo, but with less...brulee]. Another particularly stand-out item. I’m not sure I can top the texture/doneness of the custard.

Cheese board with grapes

It’s a busy season that we look forward to for a long time, and it ends in the blink of an eye after a flourish of festivities. I hope you and your family and friends have a Merry Christmas and a safe and happy holiday season!!

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