Something Different for Christmas Dinner

Probably since you can remember, you’ve always had turkey for Christmas dinner, but why is turkey the traditional roast for your festive feast? It’s more than likely because in the old days, of all the traditional livestock, cows and chickens were needed for their milk and eggs – so the poor old turkey was deemed expendable, and hence became the popular choice after Henry VIII was the first person to have a turkey dinner for Christmas back in the early 1500s.

These days, there are plenty of alternatives when it comes to the centrepiece of your holiday dinner, and if you want to break with tradition and have something different for Christmas dinner, you won’t be short of options. So while serving roast turkey may not exactly be different, whether you just want to try cooking your turkey differently this year, or you like the idea of not having to slave over the oven with a turkey baster and meat thermometer in hand, here are some different ways to roast your turkey this festive season.

Bacon Wrapped Turkey

We first did this one at the huge Thanksgiving banquet we catered for Mullen & Mullen Law Firm. There were 30 people there and it was a huge hit. When it’s done well, turkey is the perfect roast for your Christmas dinner. Moist, succulent and tasty, there’s always enough for everyone – and usually leftovers for turkey sandwiches for the next few days too! It’s true, it’s hard to improve on a well-roasted turkey, but if it is possible, this might just be the way to do it. Wrapping the turkey in a herb butter-basted bacon jacket (try saying that after a couple of egg nogs), not only looks great, it will make your festive roast taste even better too.

Spatchcocked Turkey

Depending on how you cook it, and how many you’re cooking for, roasting your turkey can sometimes seem to take up most of your Christmas Day (and often Christmas Eve as well). While the others are enjoying the festivities and a few drinks, you’re more than likely stuck in the kitchen staring at a turkey that just doesn’t seem to be cooking fast enough. Fear not, there is an alternative. Spatchcocking, or butterflying your bird, is not only quicker, but you’ll probably find it means your turkey cooks and tastes better too.



Bacon Wrapped Spatchcocked Turkey

Can’t decide between the tasty addition of bacon to your Christmas turkey, or the quick and easy spatchcocked version of the traditional festive roast – well this could be the perfect option for you. You get all the succulent flavour of the bacon wrapped turkey meat, in a roast that probably cooks and tastes much better, and doesn’t take anywhere near as long as a normal bird. Your family will think you’ve worked a Christmas miracle!


Smoked Turkey

In our Something Different for Thanksgiving Dinner post, we looked at smoking your turkey instead of the more traditional approach of simply roasting it. For any of you who were thinking about trying this for your holiday dinner this year, we thought you might like some more details about how you can smoke your Thanksgiving turkey, with thanks to the Cooking with Jack Show.