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Weaning Winning Christmas Dinner

Weaning Winning Christmas Dinner

Festive Period is here! This month we’ve teamed up with our friends from Piccolo to share some weaning recipes, so that even little ones can get fancy and festive!

Our traditional Christmas meal is full of delicious flavours and textures that are brilliant for the entire family. You do not need to cook the little ones anything separate; be sure to add the salt after setting aside your baby’s portion. 

This is our take on the Christmas classic, with a few little Mediterranean twists.

Preparation: 40 minutes | Cooking: 1.5 hours | Makes roast dinner for a family of 4/ puree | Suitable for freezing | Suitable from 6 months

Ingredients you’ll need

  • 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 (we recommend maris pipers for roasting)

Method

  1. 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)

  2. While the bird is resting, steam any green vegetables such as green beans or peas, or roast some brussel sprouts.

  3. Prep the vegetables! This can also be done the night before and left in a bowl with cold water in the fridge. 

  4. Peel the potatoes, carrots and parsnips, quarter the potatoes, and chop the carrots and parsnips into thick batons.

  5. At the same time, parboil the parsnips and carrots by placing them in cold water, bringing them to a boil and simmering for five minutes. Drain and place in a roasting dish – taking out a couple for your baby’s plate.

  6. Now onto the chicken! Heat the oven to 220 °C/ Fan 200 °C/ Gas 7. Mix the butter, lemon zest, herbs and garlic together and season it with a bit of pepper. Spread the mixture over the skin of the bird. Stuff the neck end of the bird with the onion.

  7. Weigh the turkey or chicken and calculate the cooking time— it will need 40 mins for every 1kg.

  8. 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 180 °C/ Fan 160 °C / Gas 4 for the rest of the cooking time. 

  9. 30 minutes before the bird is done cooking, take it 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, honey, maple syrup, and some cracked black pepper. Put back in the oven for the last 30 minutes.

  10. 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 parboiled 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!).

  11. To check if the turkey is cooked, pierce the thickest part of the thigh with a skewer. A meat thermometer should read 80 °C for the thighs, and the breast should be 75 °C. If the juices run clear, it’s cooked. If they are pink, return the bird to the oven for another 15 mins, then test again.

  12. Once the bird is cooked, place it on a serving platter (use the tin to make a gravy), 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.

  13. Heat oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Drop the potatoes into a large pan and barely pour enough water to 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 them aside.

  14. For Toddlers (any child over one) or finger food from 6 months: Cut up pieces of the roast potato and chicken, and give them the roasted batons of the parsnip and carrot.

  15. To make a roast chicken puree: Take the set aside pieces of boiled potato, parsnip and carrot and puree with a few chicken or turkey pieces (the brown thigh meat is more nutrient-dense than the breast meat) a little water or juice from the meat pan.

Don’t forget to share your yummy results on social and tag us @nimblebabies @mylittlepiccolo and you may get a surprise in return. 

 

Recipe credits ©Piccolo

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