On the 4th day of Christmas my true love game to me. . .an alternative meat Christmas dinner!
So, we all get tired of the standard ham and turkey for Christmas. There are tons of other great game meats, poultry and other meats that you can use for your next Christmas dinner. Growing up game meat was a large part of my Grandma’s cooking. I have an excellent recipe for Deer and Elk that is delightful and can be easily matched with my rice pilaf recipe from earlier this week.
2 tsp Rosemary
2 tsp Oregano
2 tsp Tyme
2 tsp Cumin
2 tsp Garlic powder (or 2 cloves minced)
1/2 Onion chopped
Suspend all seasonings in oil. Mix in onions. Mix throughly. Baste game meat in seasonings. Bake at 400 degrees until meat is firm.
Ham isn’t the only pork you can have a thanksgiving. This pork roast recipe from Delish.com is perfectly wonderful, if a bit labor intensive.
Pork Roast with Dried Fruit and Fresh Herbs
1 cup(s) dried figs, chopped
1 cup(s) dried apricots, chopped
1 cup(s) dried cherries, chopped
2 1/2 cup(s) dry red wine
3 stick(s) cinnamon, about 3 inches each
2 1/2 tablespoon(s) finely chopped fresh rosemary
1 1/4 teaspoon(s) salt
1 teaspoon(s) fresh ground black pepper
2 clove(s) garlic, minced
2 tablespoon(s) extra-virgin olive oil
3 1/2 pound(s) boneless pork loin roast, butterflied
Heat oven to 500 degrees. Bring the dried fruit, wine, and cinnamon sticks to a boil in a small saucepan. Remove from heat and let steep for 20 minutes. Drain the fruit, discarding the cinnamon sticks. Toss the rosemary, salt, pepper, and garlic together and rub 2 tablespoons of the mixture on the inside of the roast. Layer with the steeped fruit and roll the roast tightly into a log. Tie with butchers twine. Rub the outside of roast with oil and the remaining rosemary mixture and place on a rack set in a roasting pan. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees and roast until temperature reaches 155 degrees, about 1 hour. Allow pork to rest for 15 minutes before slicing.
Another great bird to use for Christmas dinner is the chicken. Used extensively throughout the year the lowly chicken is one of the most important poultry meats out there these days. Here is a great recipe to employ the chicken at your holiday table.
Molasses Five-Spice Roast Chicken
1 whole(s) (about 3 1/2 pounds) chicken
1 1/2 teaspoon(s) Chinese five-spice powder
3 medium (about 8 ounces each) sweet potatoes
2 tablespoon(s) dark molasses
2 tablespoon(s) ketchup
1 tablespoon(s) honey
1 tablespoon(s) soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon(s) salt
Fresh chives, for garnish
Preheat oven to 450° F. Remove giblets and neck from chicken. If you like, rinse chicken with cold running water and drain well; pat dry with paper towels. Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon five-spice powder inside cavity.
With chicken breast side up, tuck wing tips under back of chicken. With string, tie legs together.
Line medium roasting pan (15 1/2″ by 10 1/2″) with foil. Place chicken, breast side up, on small rack in center of foil-lined pan. Wash and dry potatoes; pierce with fork. Place potatoes around chicken in pan.
In cup, combine molasses, ketchup, honey, soy sauce, salt, and remaining five-spice powder. Brush half of molasses glaze all over chicken. Cover pan with loose tent of foil. Roast chicken 30 minutes.
Remove foil; brush remaining glaze over chicken. Roast 30 minutes longer or until temperature on meat thermometer reaches 175° to 180° F and juices run clear when thickest part of thigh is pierced with knife.
Transfer potatoes to cutting board; keep warm. With tongs, tilt chicken to allow juices from cavity to run into roasting pan. Place chicken on warm platter; let chicken stand 10 minutes before carving. Slice potatoes into 3/4-inch-thick slices; arrange on platter with chicken. Garnish with chives. Skim and discard fat from drippings in pan. Serve pan drippings with chicken and potatoes.
Speaking of Poultry another bird that is often neglected is the Duck. Duck is an exotic bird that has fallen out of favor. Most people don’t have the knowledge to properly prepare Duck and so I am here to help you take advantage of the wonders of Duck. It is a very sweet meat, so put down the sugar and the cooking sherry and pick up tangy spices as in this recipe below:
Seared Duck Breast with Dried Cherries and Port
4 (6-ounce) boneless fresh or frozen (thawed) duck-breast halves with skin
1/4 teaspoon(s) salt
1/8 teaspoon(s) coarsely ground black pepper
1 large shallot, thinly sliced
1 clove(s) garlic, crushed with press
1 cup(s) port wine
2 tablespoon(s) balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup(s) dried cherries
Pat duck breasts dry with paper towels. With sharp knife, cut 4 diagonal slashes, about 1/4 inch deep, in skin and fat on each breast half. On sheet of waxed paper, evenly season duck breasts, on both sides, with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper.
In 12-inch nonstick skillet, cook breasts, skin side down, on medium 15 minutes or until skin is well browned and crispy. As breasts cook, spoon off and discard fat in skillet. Turn breasts over and cook on flesh side about 4 minutes for medium-rare or until desired doneness. Transfer breasts to cutting board; cover with foil to keep warm until ready to serve.
Discard all but 1 teaspoon duck fat from skillet. Add shallot and cook on medium 2 to 3 minutes or until beginning to brown. Stir in garlic and cook 1 minute. Add port wine, balsamic vinegar, and cherries; heat to boiling. Boil 3 minutes or until sauce is reduced to 3/4 cup, stirring frequently.
To serve, thinly slice each breast and transfer to a dinner plate. Spoon port sauce over breasts.
Enjoy! Remember, Good Food, Food Friends, and Good Conversation. Eat well.
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