I am fortunate to have had half a dozen Masterclasses with Marco Pierre White over the past few years so was delighted to be asked to come along to another, this time in association with Lean on Turkey. We were to be treated to a delicious Christmas Dinner, expertly cooked by Marco. There were lots of tips and tricks to help us make our Christmas meal much more tasty and much less stressful. It was a fabulous day, lots of blogging friends were there too. It was part Masterclass and part catch-up session with friends, perfect!
Scariest moment of the day: Marco jointing the chicken then chopping the brown meat, bones and all, into minute pieces with a cleaver then a large knife in proper theatrical fashion.
Quote of the day: "Everyone needs a Roger!" said by Marco in reference to his very helpful and most lovely Sous Chef named Roger when asked how we were to cope cooking the same meal ourselves at home over the festive season.
Best moment of the day: Admiring uncharacteristic diplomacy from Marco when he was quizzed by another blogger about Jamie Oliver's turkey roasting technique, whilst he was stuffing the turkey. He may have snarled just a little, his face was a picture!
Tastiest moment of the day: Having a delicious festive lunch courtesy of Marco and his team.
Top tips from Marco
Nobody really likes or eats the brown meat so why not remove the legs and wings of the turkey before cooking, or simply buy a turkey crown this will make the cooking time much shorter. Marco cooked the turkey crown in our Masterclass for 90 minutes. The best way to find out if your turkey is done is to invest in a meat thermometer. Insert it in the thickest part of the bird to ensure it has reached the right temperature and is cooked properly.
Marco used a 50/50 mix of Paxo and top quality sausage meat. You can add chopped onion and/or herbs if you want to. Don’t use as much water as the Paxo instructions state, but otherwise follow the packet instructions.
Marco made Cranberry Sauce using 500g cranberries, 250g sugar, 100ml port and 100ml orange juice. Boil the fruit and sugar together until you get a lose jam consistency. Take the mixture off the heat then add the port and orange juice before mixing to combine. Cranberry Sauce can be made in advance and given as gifts, just keep it in your fridge.
Gravy is made from the legs and wings of the turkey which were removed from the crown and cooked down with onion and garlic. Take out of the oven, deglaze the pan with water or stock. Strain through a sieve then, if necessary, thicken to taste with cornflour.
And last but not least, the obligatory shot of me (and my friend Sarah), with Marco.
** Disclosure: I was paid to attend the event and my travel expenses were covered. All my opinions are my own **