Our traditional Christmas meal is full of delicious flavours and textures that are brilliant for all the family. You do not need to cook them up anything separate, just watch to add the salt after taking out your baby’s portion. This is our take on the Christmas classic, with a few little Mediterranean twists.
For Toddlers (any child over one) or finger food from 6 months Simply cut up pieces of the roast potato and chicken, and give them the roasted batons of the parsnip and carrot.
To make a roast chicken puree Take the set aside pieces of boiled potato, parsnip and carrot and puree with a few pieces of chicken or turkey (the brown thigh meat is more nutrient dense than the breast meat) and a little water or juice from the meat pan.
2kg free range turkey or chicken
100ml olive oil or 100g duck or goose fat
600g parsnips, peeled and chopped into thick batons
600g carrots, peeled and chopped into thick batons
1 tbsp honey or maple syrup (for the roast parsnip and not suitable for anyone under 1 year old)
3 tbsp olive oil
cracked black pepper
200g green vegetables such as Brussel sprouts, green beans or petit pois
50g softened butter
grated zest of 1/2 lemon
2 tsp chopped thyme
2 sage leaves, chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 onion, halved
800g potatoes (maris piper are great for roasting)
Remove the bird from the fridge 1 hr before cooking to allow it to come to room temperature. Remove any giblets from the turkey and save for stock (if you are making your own)
At the same time par boil the parsnips and carrots by placing them in cold water, bringing them to the boil and simmering for five minutes. Drain and place in a roasting dish – taking out a couple for your baby’s dish.
Now onto the chicken. Heat oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Mix the butter, lemon zest, herbs and garlic together and season with a little pepper. Spread the mix over the skin of the bird. Stuff the neck end of the bird with the onion.
Weigh the turkey or chicken and calculate the cooking time – it will need 40 mins for every 1kg.
Transfer the bird to a roasting tin, breast side down, cover loosely with foil and place in the middle of the oven. Cook for 20 mins, then reduce the temperature to 180C/160C fan/gas 4 for the rest of the cooking time. 30 minutes before the cooking time is up, take the bird out of the oven, remove the foil and turn the bird over to allow the skin on the breasts to brown. Drain the juice from the pan and reserve. Scatter the carrots and parsnips around the bird and drizzle over a little olive oil and honey or maple syrup and some cracked black pepper. Put back in the oven for the last 30 minutes.
At the same time as putting the turkey or chicken back in the oven for its second cook, put an empty roasting tin in the oven for 5 minutes. Remove and carefully add the olive oil or duck fat to the hot tin. Add the par boiled potatoes and give them a good shake to coat them in the fat. Put in the oven and roast for about 45 minutes, or until they go golden (have two timers, one for the meat, the other for the potatoes!).
To check if the turkey is cooked, pierce the thickest part of the thigh with a skewer. If the juices run clear, it’s cooked. If they are pink, return it to the oven for another 15 mins, then test again. If using a meat thermometer, it should read 80C for the thighs, and the breast should be 75C.
Once the bird is cooked, place on a serving platter (use the tin to make a gravy) and decant the roast vegetables into another dish and keep warm. Cover the bird with foil and place a tea towel on top and leave to rest for 20-30 minutes before carving.
While the bird is resting, steam any green vegetables such as green beans or peas, or roast some Brussel sprouts.
Prep the vegetables (this can also be done the night before and left in a bowl with cold water in the fridge). Peel the potatoes, carrots and parsnips, and quarter the potatoes, and chop the carrots and parsnips into thick batons.
Heat oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Drop the potatoes into a large pan and pour in enough water to barely cover them. Add a pinch of salt, then wait for the water to boil. As soon as the water reaches a full rolling boil, lower the heat, and simmer for around 5 minutes. Drain the potatoes and give them a good shake in the pan to fluff the edges. If you want to puree the potato for your baby, take out a couple of potato pieces at this stage and set aside.
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