Off Topic: Ham, Chicken Or Turkey

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So we're just a few weeks away from Christmas, and because I spent most of my life as a fat kid who loved nothing more than a big family dinner I can't help but think about the future.

That future being Christmas food.

My family tends to go for the Christmas ham, with some chicken on the side. In the last few years, however, we've gone off the leg ham a bit. Don't get me wrong, leg ham is exceptionally versatile: you can pan fry it for breakfast in the morning, slap it on some bread with gravy for lunch and layer it under anything for dinner.

But that only works if the ham isn't crap to begin with, and the ones we've gotten of late have been pretty ordinary.

I like the idea of messing around with chicken a bit more. Given that it's easier to acquire, and cheaper around Christmas, you can play with it a bit more: wrap it in prosciutto, stuff it with whatever, reuse it on English muffins for leftover mini pizzas, and so on.

I've known some families that have gone the extra mile and gotten a turkey, although that's not something my family tends to do. (They don't observe Thanksgiving either, like most Australians.)

What do you and your family prefer for Christmas: ham, chicken or turkey, and what are you doing this year?


    Usually we have all three, but turkey is my favorite.
    Last year we tried a Turducken from ALDI. It tasted like crap, and will be happy to go back to ham, chicken and turkey, all separate.

    Turkey, but then I grew up in America so it was a more common thing for me. Turkey is ubiquitous in the USA, not so much in Australia. So here... ham.

    Lamb, because I'm bloody Australian, m8.

    None of the above, we always have seafood. Fish, prawns and muddies.

    Duck and pork — we go full and tasty fat during the festive season!

    Ham's pretty good, you can jazz it up a new way each year. I'm partial to glazing it with Guinness and brown sugar (an excuse to sink some more beers!), then wrapping the thing in bread and bacon (wrap everything in bacon).

    Turkey doesn't float my boat, so I usually go with duck or goose. Goose is my main bird these days, with stuffing of star anise, white wine, bacon, orange zest, and pine nuts. Wrap the bird in bacon.

    All of the above!

    Being the cook of the house I like to experiment at xmas. Last year I cooked a cured gammon in a coke broth, then glazed and baked with a treacle and mustard glaze (dusted with demerara sugar). This was pretty damn good.

    This year I am planning on a stuffed turkey in the camp oven via open fire. I have yet to decide on recipe, but it's pretty hard to ruin a camp oven roast.

    Last edited 06/12/16 12:06 pm

    We have had some awesome Turkey roasts on occasion, even had a late Australian thanksgiving. So if it's a good Turkey roast I'll choose that. But we are having steaks for Chrissy this year.

    Never having ham after watching the pilot episode of House...

    Given my mum comes from a family of 8 kids, my mum's always gone all out-
    Starters - choice of prawn cocktails or Oysters Kilpatrick
    Main- Whole roast turkey in previous years when we had my grandparents, these days it's the turkey breast roll to save waste. Full roast veggies; carrots, beans, peas, parsnip, pumpkin, potatoes. Cold leg ham (we don't do the baked ham thing) and bread rolls.
    Desserts is choice of mini pavs, brandy baskets or the good old boiled pudding (loaded with thrupence and pennies and sherry lol)

    Before you even start eating there's chips on the table, mixed nuts, assorted lollies..(but you've gotta be fast to get the good stuff, ie Cashews and jubes)

    oh, and there's the tradition of Christmas day always starts with drinking in the AM, either beer or champagne.

    So for me, I just don't eat the two days before in preparation and pretty much don't eat for 3 days after despite all the leftovers.

    Closest we come is a nice thick slice of ham with tomato, basil and camembert on toasted turkish bread (drizzled with olive oil and rubbed with garlic) for breakfast - a Christmas extravagance of ham/cheese/tomato on toast. :P

    But generally, we stick to seafood for the main courses - prawns in garlic butter on the barbecue, home-smoked fish and home-made sushi for lunch and dinner.

    Specifically for christmas?

    Cold Ham, Warm Chicken, some nondescript salads and mums creamy potato bake.

    None of the above (vegetarian).

      Me too.
      And because no one else in our family ever wants to get off their arse and host anything, they all have a vegetarian christmas too.

      [That said, I don't mean it to sound like I'm up on any sort of high-horse. My wife and I work our butts off to create a beautiful meal with lots of different dishes and flavours. Lots of great salads, roasted and BBQ vegetables, rice dishes, chicpea patties, plus some really good mycoprotein based meat alternatives. It's a really great xmas meal].

    Not a huge fan of ham by itself, or big roasts on Christmas. Give me prawns, salad, booze and an assortment of finger foods - cheese and crackers, mini sausage rolls, sushi.
    Plenty of time off work to get cooking around Christmas/New Years though - all those tasty things that take too long any other time.

    My family goes all out, seeing as generally there are a minimun of 15 of us has been up to 30.
    Breakfast - Champagne, cheese and vegimite scrolls and fresh fruit.
    Pre lunch - nuts, cold meats, cheeses, generall nibbles
    Entre - chicken and mushroom Vol au Vents and prawn cocktails
    Lunch - Full roast veggies, Leg Ham and turkey freshly cooked on the webber, roasted chicken, beef and sometimes pork or lamb, Fresh king prawns, Crayfish, Yorkshire puddings, gravy, Cranberry Sauce, apple sauce
    Desert - Pavlova, Christmas pudding, fresh fruit.
    Dinner - Do it all again with the leftovers.

    Of course copious drinking throughout the day too.

    Not sure we usually do much in the way of chicken, usually have ham or turkey though. And prawns. Done the turducken thing a couple of times too, big proper one from a butcher up in Hornsby I think it was (though the Aldi ones weren't so bad for us another year too :P). Christmases are less big now with all the family dispersed everywhere, and this time we're going with an old favourite that my Nanna used to do which hasn't been wheeled out in ages - king crab in black bean sauce. Can't wait.

      Fingers crossed Mrs' grandfather goes crabbing in the next few weeks so we get our hands on some blue swimmers.

    We normally do at least a couple of roasts, ham (and assorted cold meats), roast veggies and salad. Normally a turkey and maybe lamb roast. Recent years we have just been getting a supermarket roast chicken. Still tasty and frees up oven space for other things.
    Then pudding and custard for dessert (and other stuff but really it is all about the pudding and custard)

    Chicken. Tastes the best, AND can be nice and moist when roasted. Ham is the best when cold, but eating cold meat is almost always inferior to hot meat.

    Ham is a must, as it's good on toast in the following days\weeks.

    Our Christmas' are pretty huge and we have turkey, ham and seafood.
    My favourite has always been the turkey though. I always load up on it.

    What are you talking about Alex?

    Prawns all the way. You put a 10KG box of Jumbo Tiger Prawns in the middle of the table, and everyone digs in. No plates allowed. You only eat as fast as you can peel!

    Sausages and salad on the side for the slow ones!

    Nothing beats a hot European winter meal for a hot australian summer.

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