Dai Chef’s Traditional Festive Feast

Roast Bodnant Butter Baked Turkey with Cured Welsh bacon

Festive Feast
1 medium free range turkey or chicken
500g Bodnant butter
Halen Mon salt and pepper
500g streaky Welsh cured bacon
1 large onion cut in half
handful of fresh herbs ,sage, rosemary and thyme
rapeseed oil for cooking

Lift the skin of the turkey from the flesh of the breast, using your fingers.
Push the butter under the skin, then place the onions and herbs inside.
Massage the oil onto the bird’s and rub with the salt and pepper.
Lattice the bacon over the breast and set the oven to 175C (gas mark 7 or 350F)
Place the bird into a tray inside a roasting tin, and add a little water to slightly to cover the bottom of the tray.
Wrap the bird in tin foil and roast. Allow 40 minutes per kg for roasting and an extra 25 minute for browning.
One hour before the expected end of roasting, remove the foil and bacon lattice.
Add your potatoes and baste at 15 minute intervals.
About 15 minutes before the bird is cooked, add the pigs in blankets, unless you are cooking separately.
Check the bird is cooked by piercing the side by the thigh – the juice should run clear.
Set the bird to one side somewhere warm to rest before it’s carved.
Drain off the fat, remove the potatoes and also keep warm, then make your gravy.

Chef’s tip
Place ice cubes into roasting tray to set and remove the fat.

Seasonal turkey gravy (serves eight)

1 turkey carcass
1 pig’s trotter
1kg celery, carrots leeks,onion garlic, mixed
Bay, thyme, rosemary plus a little sage
Half bottle white wine, medium
25g tomato paste
75g corn flour mixed with a little milk
little oil and butter for roasting

Roast the carcass and trotter with the vegetables and tomato purée in a hot oven for about 25 minutes, until brown.
Put in a large pan, cover with the water and wine then add the mixed herbs.
Bring to the rolling boil for 90 minutes. Cool slightly then sieve the liquid, and set aside.
After removing the fat from turkey tray, deglaze with the stock, bring gently to the boil – if needed, thicken slightly with the cornflour mixed with milk.
Check the seasoning and serve.

Chef’s tip
Simmer the stock to reduce the liquid by at least half to get better strength

Festive wild cranberry sauce (serves six)

Cranberry Sauce
500g wild cranberries
4 tbl spoons Bodnant honey
50g dark brown sugar
1 cinnamon stick
1 star anise
juice of 2 satsumas
zest and juice of 1 medium orange
1 sprig of thyme
little splash of cold water if needed

Place the fruit into a heavy- based pan, add the sugar, satsuma and orange juice, orange zest, thyme and spice. Bring to the boil, add the honey and cook 6-8 minutes until fruit starts to burst. Take off the heat and allow to cool in the pan, then check for sweetness. Remove thyme and spice, add water only if required.

Chef’s tip
Serve in a little pastry tartlet or add to basic souffle mix

Creamy bread sauce studded with cloves (serves six)

1 small farmhouse loaf crust removed and diced
Half a Spanish onion pressed with cloves
1 bay leaf
150ml milk mixed with 150ml double cream
25g Bodnant butter
Halen Mon salt and little white pepper

Infuse the studded onion and bay leaf in the cream and if possible leave overnight in the fridge. When you’re ready to make it, put the cream, bay leaf and onion into a pan and slowly bring to the boil. Add the diced bread, stir and then take off the heat and allow to cool slightly. Take out the onion and bay leaf, add Bodnant butter, check the seasoning and serve

Chef’s tip
Add a little more bread place into a small baking tray and top with Welsh rarebit and grill until rarebit bubbles or bake, then serve as a starter or canapé.

Savoury sage and onion seasoning (serves six)

1kg Bodnant sausage meat
1 large diced onion
150g breadcrumbs
50g approx chopped fresh sage
few sprigs of thyme
salt and pepper
2 egg yolks to bind
75g Bodnant butter, melted

Place breadcrumbs, herbs, and diced onion into a bowl. Add the sausage meat and mix. Add the butter and egg yolks and season. Roll into long sausage shapes, roll in silicone paper then roll in tin foil. Bake in the oven at 175C (gas 7 or 350F) for around 25 minutes. Remove and serve

Chef’s tips
Instead of making into one long roll, instead turn into little balls, cook and serve mixed with the roast potato. Add chestnuts to the mix or a little cranberry sauce

Pigs in blankets – baby Bodnant pork sausage wrapped in streaky bacon (serves twelve)

Pigs in Blankets
12 rashers rindless streaky bacon
12 baby pork sausages
oil infused with thyme ,sage, rosemary

Roll the sausages to maintain their shape, bring bacon to room temperature and flatten with back of your hand. Wrap around the sausage like a blanket – this is how they got their name. Brush with the herb oil and allow to infuse, then place the sausages around the turkey 15 minutes before the end of cooking or simply grill turning until cooked.

Chefs tip
Serve as a canapé or for buffets on mini kebab sticks with cherry tomato and baby skin-on potatoes in their jackets

Goose fat roasted potato perfumed with thyme (serves six)

1kg peeled and shaped potatoes
1 small jar goose fat or 150g
few sprigs of thyme
100g Bodnant butter

Gently steam the potatoes for around 10 minutes, season remove and dry. Place the goose fat and butter into a hot roasting pan, add the potatoes, coat in the fats and then roast in a hot oven for 25 minutes until brown and crispy. Scatter with sprigs of thyme and serve

Chef’s tip
After 10 minutes in goose fat finish cooking around the base of the roast turkey.

Tips for cooking vegetables
Buy only young vegetables such as baby small sprouts, chantenay carrots, baby young parsnips baby beans.
For the sprouts after cooking, add chestnut butter and nutmeg.
Cook carrots in orange juice (keep the stock to make a soup) and finish with sesame seed butter.
For the parsnips use best honey and add a little treacle.