If you’re playing host for Christmas lunch, then may this recipe collection be the only guide you need in the kitchen… And may your day filled with peace, love and joy.
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The 4 recipes are all listed here on this page – simply scroll down to read the ingredients and instructions required for each. Good luck and enjoy!
- Roast Chicken with Herb & Garlic Butter
- Traditional Gravy
- ‘Fancy’ Roast Vegetables
- Gluten-Free Summer Pudding
1. Roast Chicken with Herb & Garlic Butter
My favourite way of cooking roast chicken. It’s simple but tasty, just what you need at christmas.
As a way to add a hit of flavour and to ensure the chicken breast stays tender, I make a herb and garlic butter to stuff under the skin of the chicken breast. I don’t usually make a stuffing for the chicken but rather stick a lemon and some herbs in the cavity, and this helps to keep the chicken lovely and moist.
The Herb & Garlic Butter
This amount makes more than you need for one chicken. Unless you’re feeling like you could do with some extra butter, then hey go for it, use it all.
- 150g butter
- handful of mixed herbs – sage, thyme, rosemary, parsley – whatever you like or have at hand
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 tsp salt
- Bring butter to room temperature and chop into small pieces
- Finely chop herbs and crush or finely chop the garlic, and add to the butter along with the salt
- Mix together then spoon out onto a piece of baking paper in a rough log shape. Use the baking paper to roll it into a tighter log, then twist the ends to squish it together more compactly
- Freeze for about an hour before using.
The Roast Chicken
- 1 whole organic/free-range chicken
- 1 lemon
- 5 thick slices of the herb and garlic butter
- olive oil
- salt and pepper
- 1 bay leaf
- Pat the chicken dry with some paper towel, and using your fingers gently separate the skin from the breast. Slide four thick slices of the herbed butter in the gap so it covers the majority of the breast.
- Make a couple of slices on the thigh meat with your knife to help it cook at the same time.
- Halve the lemon and place into the chicken cavity along with another slice of the herbed butter and a bay leaf.
- Drizzle the chicken with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Rub this all over the chicken.
- Place in the preheated oven and cook for 20-30 min per 500g.
- Check to see if it’s cooked by piercing the skin near the thigh attachment and seeing if the juices run clear. If they’re still a little pink put it back in the oven.
2. Traditional Gravy
A traditional favourite that no chicken is complete without…
- juices from the pan
- pinch of salt and pepper
- dash of white wine
- chicken or vegetable stock cube
- half a lemon
- Tbd flour
- 1c water
- Once the chicken is cooked, remove the chicken from the tray and cover it to rest.
- To remove some fat from the tray you can put some ice cubes in, and then the fat will solidify around the ice cubes. Pick the majority of the fat out so it doesn’t give a greasy mouth feel, but leave some for flavour.
- Place the pan on the stove top over medium heat. Reduce a little then add some salt and pepper, and a little white wine, a chicken or veg stock cube and the juice of half a lemon.
- Stir about a tbsp flour into about a cup of water to dissolve (you could use gluten free, or rice flour) then stir this into the pan.
- Whisk for a couple of minutes until it thickens. Check seasoning then take off the heat to serve with chicken
3. ‘Fancy’ Roast Vegetables
Wow your family with selection of vegetables cooked separately with individual flavourings.
Notes & tips: 1. The quantities of veg depend on how many people you are cooking for and whether or not you want leftovers. 2. I would usually serve 1-2 potatoes, 1/2-1 carrot, 1/2 onion and 1-2 wedges of pumpkins per person. 3. I cook the veg in a fan-forced 180C oven. 4. If you’re making enough roast veg for a large group of people then you’ll be needing more trays, and this gives you the opportunity to celebrate each vegetable individually with it’s own set of seasonings. 5. When prepping the beetroot, put on some disposable gloves before handling, as the beetroot will impart their lovely red colouring on your skin which can take a few days to come off, and use a plastic cutting board as well so you don’t stain your wooden board.
Beetroot – If you can get an assortment of beetroot varieties such as the golden as well as the common red beetroot, it does look especially christmasy, but otherwise the standard beetroot is fine. Cut the leaves and the tail off the beetroot, then wash and scrub to remove the dirt. Half or quarter the beetroot, depending on their size and place in a tray. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper and scatter with roughly chopped rosemary and thyme leaves and add in some garlic cloves. Beetroot requires about the same time to roast as potatoes, roughly 1.5-2 hours depending on how large the beetroot chunks are.
I love roast beetroot, it has such as beautiful rich flavour and it’s dense pigment shows off how packed with nutrients it is – rich in anti-oxidants and fantastic as a blood builder. Fresh and roasted beetroot is completely different to it’s canned counterpart, so if you’ve only had experience with tinned beetroot don’t dismiss this veg before trying it this way.
Pumpkin – Halve a butternut pumpkin lengthwise, then scoop out the seeds (I like the save the seeds to roast for a snack) and then cut the two halves into centimetre wide half moons. Arrange these onto a tray, skin side up and drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper, finely chopped sage leaves and sprinkle with cinnamon, smokey paprika and a little cayenne. These will take about 90 minutes to cook.
Onion and Carrot – Peel and quarter the onions, and peel or scrub the carrots and cut into halves, or quarters if they are quite fat. Drizzle them with olive oil, salt and pepper and sprinkle with roughly chopped rosemary leaves. Throw in some garlic cloves as well. These take about 60-90 minutes to cook.
4. Gluten-Free Summer Pudding
A lighter option for dessert rather than christmas pudding
Note: Start this recipe 1-2 days before Christmas.
- An average sized loaf of gluten free bread. You can use store bought gluten free bread if you wish, however I find that most of the GF breads near me are rather dense and full of preservatives. I decided to make my own for this recipe and used Bob’s Red Mill Bread Mix. The instructions on how to make this gluten free bread can be found on their website.
- 1 kg mixed berries, 800g frozen and 200g fresh
- 1/2 cup caster sugar
- 3 tbsp water
- Place the frozen berries, sugar and water in a medium saucepan and simmer for about 8-10 minutes.
- Cut the crusts off the bread and then slice, and then start to line a pyrex bowl with the slices ensuring that there are no gaps. I find it easiest to cut some sections in triangles and arrange these around the bowl.
- Remove approximately ⅓ cup of the berry juices from saucepan and keep to the side.
- Place the rest of the berries and liquid into the bread-lined bowl.
- Cover berries with remaining bread and then gently spoon over a few tablespoons of the reserved juice so that the bread is all saturated, keeping the juice you have left in a covered bowl or container in the fridge for when you serve it.
- Place a clean plate the size of the top of the bowl on top of the bread and then weight it down with a can. Put this in the fridge overnight.
- When you’re ready to serve, remove the plate/lid and then put a larger plate (the one you want to serve it on) upside down on the top of the bowl, and then carefully tip the whole thing over so the pudding is now upside down. Give it a minute for gravity to disengage the bread from the bowl, then carefully attempt to lift off the bowl. It should come off easily, otherwise give it a little jiggle and a tap.
- If there are any white spots on the bread, cover these up with the reserved juice.
- Decorate with reserved fresh berries and serve with yoghurt, ice-cream, custard, cream or whipped coconut cream.
So there you have it. My go-to recipes for a delicious, easy (as possible) and nourishing Christmas lunch (or dinner) with your family. Try them out, and I hope you enjoy them! If you have any questions for me just leave them in the comments below and I’ll get back to you.
Do you have a favourite healthy recipe that you enjoy over the festive season? I’d love to know – share it via the comment section below!
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