Christmas Cooking & the Barbecue

WHAT YOU NEED – Equipment

  1. Suitable size BBQ with a lid
  2. Good Lumpwood Charcoal 
  3. Meat Thermometer
  4. Aluminium Roasting tray or tin

1. Covering the bird
Place the turkey/chicken, here we used a Duchy Organic Free Range British Whole Chicken in a roasting tin. For crispy, golden skin, brush all over with melted butter or olive oil. It’s now ready for the barbecue.

2. Setting the temperature
It’s best to follow the birds cooking instructions, but as a general rule, cook in a 180°C (as close as you can using the BBQ lid thermometer) preheated BBQ for 35 minutes per kg (including stuffing). ‘Barbecuing a turkey calls for indirect heat – it’s very different to grilling a steak or burgers over hot coals. ‘The best way to do this is to stack coals along one side of the barbecue and the meat on the other side, as we used a ‘smoker’ style of BBQ, a ceramic pizza stone made the perfect heat deflector.
‘My tip would be to use foil to deflect the heat if necessary,

‘IMPORTANT- Make sure the turkey/chicken is at room temp don’t take it straight from the fridge to the BBQ.

3. Test if it’s cooked
To test if it’s cooked, insert a small skewer into the thickest part of the thigh and see if the juices run clear. If there’s any pinkness, return to the oven and check every 15 minutes. Or if using a meat thermometer; the temperature needs to read 70°C when inserted into the thickest part of the meat.

4. Allow time to rest
This is very important to allow the meat to relax, stay tender and retain its juices. Cover with buttered aluminium foil and a tea towel, leave to rest for a minimum of 30 minutes up to the advised 1.5 hours. Don’t worry about the turkey going cold as it will stay warm enough when covered, and will still eat perfectly when served with piping hot gravy.

From roasties to La Ratte
Ditching the usual festive trimmings for different vegetables more well suited to the smokey flavours of the BBQ. Swap the traditional oven roasted potatoes for La Ratte Potatoes cooked on the coals. The unique nutty flavour combined with the smooth, buttery texture makes them the perfect side dish to bring out the flavours of the barbecued turkey. Simply season with salt & pepper dress them in olive oil before wrapping in foil and place on the coals cooking to give them a deliciously crispy skin.

A meat-free delight
For those of who won’t be eating turkey this Christmas, we suggested popping a cauliflower onto the grill a fabulous vegetarian dish – give the classic cauliflower cheese a smoky barbecued makeover. Perfect as a main or side dish, barbecue a whole cauliflower in its leaves and dress it with a delicious mature cheddar sauce.  A homemade sauce is best, but if you’re short on time then pre-made can work just as well.

The perfect pud
Hosts shouldn’t forget about Christmas desserts. Don’t let the barbecue burn out once you’ve finished with the turkey and trimmings, we’ve had people becoming more experimental with desserts on the barbecue – for a festive twist, cut a Christmas Pudding into slices and grill it on the barbecue to add a hint of caramelisation. Top each slice with brandy butter and allow it to melt for a delicious dessert that’s sure to be the perfect sweet ending to a Christmas dinner barbecue.

Thank you to the great food we got from ‘Waitrose & Partners‘ to use in this blog.

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