If you were given a chicken casserole on Christmas Day, instead of a roast....

(136 Posts)
HuevosRancheros Mon 21-Oct-13 18:28:48

.....would you feel like you'd been cheated?

DH is veggie (so will have a quorn fillet casserole anyway), DCs are quite fussy, so I thought I'd do a casserole that can be made a couple of days before, so removing some of the 'timing stress' I seem to have when doing a roast drinking loads of Bucks Fizz during the morning has nothing to do with it, oh no
I would do a naice one, with shallots, baby mushrooms, chestnuts, port etc. And all the usual trimmings - roast potatoes and parsnips, brussels, etc. Could even push the boat out and do pigs in blankets grin

But my in-laws are coming too. They are lovely, I know if I asked them about it, they would say it is fine, just to be nice and keep me happy. After all, I am cooking, they wouldn't complain.

So I need an unbiased, not-afraid-to-upset-me opinion please

Thanks smile

Lightupatnightpants Mon 21-Oct-13 18:31:16

Yes. Sorry! But I love turkey - it's my favourite meal of the whole year!

MrsPnut Mon 21-Oct-13 18:32:01

I wouldn't be impressed (sorry), roast chicken would be absolutely fine but not a casserole.

Roast meat keeps warm for a lot longer than you think, especially if covered in tin foil and it makes the meat juicier.

Waferthinmint Mon 21-Oct-13 18:33:00


AdoraBell Mon 21-Oct-13 18:33:06

Sounds like a lovely idea to me.

I once did salmón on Christmas day for friends. They had a roast at home on Boxing day.

Theas18 Mon 21-Oct-13 18:33:22

V I'd be quite happy. With letting me know though as I'd probably have the turkey dinner at the work "do" rather that the veggie menu as I usually do.

HarderToKidnap Mon 21-Oct-13 18:33:31

Casserole for Christmas dinner!!!! Is this real???

My favourite bit is the trimmings so if there were roasties and piggies then I'd be happy if you served an old tennis shoe!

My only small casserole sadness would be that I love a beef or lamb casserole and chicken casserole always seems a bit watery. Yours might be fantastic though so I'll accept your judgement on that grin

sweetkitty Mon 21-Oct-13 18:34:11

I'm veggie too so wouldn't mind really if someone else was making it is be happy with anything

googietheegg Mon 21-Oct-13 18:34:55

I would be v disappointed! A good roast chicken dinner would be fabulous.

I wouldn't be overly impressed but I'd be too bloody grateful that someone was cooking Xmas dinner for me to complain.

It would be a different story if it were veggie food though grin

CrockedPot Mon 21-Oct-13 18:35:32

I would be fed up, sorry.

gamerchick Mon 21-Oct-13 18:36:56

We have curry for Christmas day.. ordered the night before. No slaving in the kitchen for anybody.

It really wouldn't bother me what somebody gave.

bigTillyMint Mon 21-Oct-13 18:37:02

I don't think a chicken casserole, however fancy, would really take the place of a roast. Roast chicken, beef, pork or lamb would be fine though.

HuevosRancheros Mon 21-Oct-13 18:41:55

Wow, I have never had so many responses so fast, must be hitting a nerve!

I definitely won't be doing turkey, did one a couple of years ago and got so fed up with the leftovers... even the smallest is too big.

So the other option is obviously roast chicken......

The casserole would definitely be chicken, as I was veggie til not long ago, so chicken is the only meat I can contemplate. And the kids don't really like chunks of meat type stew/casseroles

But as I said, it would come with all the trimmings..... smile

And it would be a superb casserole grin

Then casserole away! grin

ErrolTheDragon Mon 21-Oct-13 18:43:47

Your casserole sounds lovely; roast turkey often really isn't.

If the other people on the thread have convinced you that you need to do a roast, how about one of those prepared breast roasts (eg M&S which has nice chestnut stuffing) - they don't take forever to cook and have the timings on them. In common with any roast, you rest them at the end for at least 20mins so that gives time to sort out the veg and pigs.

SugarHut Mon 21-Oct-13 18:44:40

"Casserole?...." <<head tilt>> "How lovely dear...."

BikeRunSki Mon 21-Oct-13 18:44:41

I'm veggie
I cook
We have nachos and all the sides
If anyone has a problem with that they can cook whatever they like whenever they like. They just never do.

ouryve Mon 21-Oct-13 18:46:44

Christmas eve or boxing day - fine.

Christmas day, I'd feel sad at the lack of turkey.

ouryve Mon 21-Oct-13 18:48:41

And turkey leftovers freeze, so you don't need to spend forever eating them.

And actually, I tell a lie, we've taken to having a salmon roast of some sort on Christmas day and buying a posh turkey half price in M&S on boxing day!

29chapel Mon 21-Oct-13 18:50:14

NOOOOO!!! Christmas calls for turkey!

Wallison Mon 21-Oct-13 18:50:24

I think it sounds absolutely lovely. Tbh I'd just be happy that you cooked for me but your casserole sounds genuinely tasty and I'd be more than happy for that to be served up for me.

It sounds like a lot more work than just shoving a bird in the oven though, would be my only concern!

ShatnersEmptyCatacomb Mon 21-Oct-13 18:51:14

Casserole is never anything but so-so. Christmas dinner really needs to be something out of the ordinary and indulgent. Casserole is what busy parents make every other week in winter.

I'd be disappointed.

Elsiequadrille Mon 21-Oct-13 18:51:36

It sounds like an extra nice casserole. It wouldn't be my first choice but I certainly wouldn't complain.

HardFacedCareeristBitchNigel Mon 21-Oct-13 18:52:14

No, I would think "oooooo chicken casserole. Jolly good, I hate turkey"

sparkle12mar08 Mon 21-Oct-13 18:53:02

I'd be very disappointed too, sorry!

muchadoaboutsomething Mon 21-Oct-13 18:53:07

I think it would be lovely, but I really don't like roast dinners. Never have, and therefore don't tend to have them at Christmas either. I think traditional Christmas dinner in the uk is vile though. But then I don't like pigs in blankets, roast potatoes or cranberry sauce. Mind you I don't like turkey either! Give me a lovely casserole and lovely company any day, especially if making a casserole makes everything more relaxed.

HardFacedCareeristBitchNigel Mon 21-Oct-13 18:53:18

in fact, your chicken casserole sounds so delicious I might do it as a "meat option" for Crimbo day. I can eat that instead grin

ExcuseTypos Mon 21-Oct-13 18:53:18

The kids will always remember the year, mum made a casserolewink

Just cook a small chicken with all the trimmings.

ErrolTheDragon Mon 21-Oct-13 18:54:19

>It sounds like a lot more work than just shoving a bird in the oven though, would be my only concern!

def more work than the breast roasts!

Waswondering Mon 21-Oct-13 18:55:31

I too would miss turkey.

Could a turkey crown be an alternative?

Picturesinthefirelight Mon 21-Oct-13 18:56:22

I live roast dinners but don't like casseroles much as I don't like things cooked in sny kind of sauce.

I'd feel quite cheated as casserole is defiantly An everyday use up your bits if stuff kind of meal.

Redtartanshoes Mon 21-Oct-13 18:56:32

crisps nachos?? For Christmas dinner???


deepfriedsage Mon 21-Oct-13 18:56:58

Not on Christmas day. I would prefer chicken or duck over turkey anyday.

loopydoo Mon 21-Oct-13 18:57:53

I have to say, we are really not into the huge Christmas dinner thing either.
This year we're off to Center Parcs and we might have a takeaway!
My mum always does meat and trimmings but I don't really know why she can't just do a lasagne or something to reduce her kitchen time grin.

Last year, we had duck breast but the kids refused to eat it!!

sounds fine for me but i hate turkey and could care less about 'Christmas dinner' we normally just have buffet stuff and eat as and when. Me and the teenagers have been taking it in turns in doing dinner for the last few years and its my DD turn this year and we are having kebabs from takeaway her choice, my DS did roast beef last year.

Fluffycloudland77 Mon 21-Oct-13 19:00:57

I'd be gutted. And I'd bitch about it all year too sad, which is roughly what I've done about a certain relatives offering for last Christmas dinner.

pictish Mon 21-Oct-13 19:02:07

Yes. I wouldn't I complain about a casserole with all the trimmings. I'd think 'someone cooked for me - how nice!' and then tuck right in.

usualsuspect Mon 21-Oct-13 19:03:09

Get a turkey crown.

UC Mon 21-Oct-13 19:03:50

I think it sounds yummy. We rarely have turkey for xmas dinner. Last year, slow cooked beef.

they should all just be pleased you're doing lunch!

ErrolTheDragon Mon 21-Oct-13 19:06:27

Turkey is a relatively recent innovation ... people used to have roast beef or game pies.

CoolStoryBro Mon 21-Oct-13 19:07:51

Why don't you just ask your in-laws? They're the only ones who will be bothered about it!!

insanityscratching Mon 21-Oct-13 19:08:15

On the one hand I'd be disappointed because chicken casserole, even outstanding chicken casserole is a bit meh in my books. But on the other and I'd love that I hadn't had to cook myself.

Snog Mon 21-Oct-13 19:08:48

roast chucken fine, casserole woukd be vv disappointing

wonderingsoul Mon 21-Oct-13 19:09:38

i would eat it and not say anything out politness and of course thank you but for me it wouldnt be the same, doesnt have to be turky, chicken or even lamb if you want to push the boat out lol

but its needs the trimmings and stew just doesnt go with it.

Youhaventseenme Mon 21-Oct-13 19:10:07

One year my SIL served frozen turkey, frozen mash, and frozen roasties, we have never been back.

You can imagine how I would react to chicken casserole. grin

wonderingsoul Mon 21-Oct-13 19:10:17

saying that i had chiken stew tonight with boiled potatoes.. but yummy.. but nothing special lol

edlyu Mon 21-Oct-13 19:12:05

I would hate it -but thats only because I dont like other peoples casserole.

I would however be absolutely fine with any other offering -Pie and chips or like teenagertantrums Dd takeaway kebab for example.

usualsuspect Mon 21-Oct-13 19:13:09

Although we always have roast beef,so I'm not sure why I think you should have turkey.

Mrsostrich Mon 21-Oct-13 19:13:53

Are there roasties?

I'd be a bit gutted if no roasties.

ThePuffyShirt Mon 21-Oct-13 19:17:20

No! It has to be a roast with many trimmings.

saintmerryweather Mon 21-Oct-13 19:17:55

id think havibg casserole plus trimmings would be weird. id cook a roast chicken

Alibabaandthe40nappies Mon 21-Oct-13 19:18:40

I would be disappointed.

Why don't you buy the M&S stuff - the turkey and sausages etc?

herladyship Mon 21-Oct-13 19:25:43

I'd be more than happy.. in fact, any chance I could come over? I'll bring a dessert & plenty of alcohol.. wink

NutritiousAndDelicious Mon 21-Oct-13 19:32:36

I'd cry. I'd be so so sad

HuevosRancheros Mon 21-Oct-13 19:33:42

OK, so quite a divided opinion grin
As you say, I should just ask in laws, which I will, but I kind of know they wouldn't dream of saying 'no', in the same way I wouldn't if the situation were reversed....

Thank you all smile

Can I now ask you politely to go over to my other Christmas thread about ideas of things I can put in Christmas crackers? Still looking for inspiration.

I thank you.... wink

EngineeringExcellence Mon 21-Oct-13 19:50:12

I really can't see a situation where what I was offered to eat, if someone else was cooking, could spoil my Christmas at all.

If you're talking about casseroling the chicken and then providing all the trimmings that usually come with a roast, then that sounds like an excellent Christmas Dinner to me and isn't it really about all sitting together passing overloads dishes around etc, not really the actual food? I love my food, but really, what you suggest sounds lovely. I bet those who would be "devastated" have never cooked Christmas dinner for themselves/others wink

Just "ask" ILs. OK you know they won't say no, but at least they'll know, so if they really feel they're missing out they can do one on Boxing Day (or Christmas Eve, whenever)

Last time I did crackers I put miniatures in them so the adults had their after dinner liqueur - children had some choc and noise makers.

Marne Mon 21-Oct-13 19:51:03

I'm not keen on chicken casserole ,the again I'm not keen on turkey either, would be happy with a fillet steak and home made chips though.

mameulah Mon 21-Oct-13 19:52:43

I would be really, really disappointed too!

MrsFlintLockwood Mon 21-Oct-13 19:55:38

I'd be gutted! blush

I'd be happy with any meat - we often don't have turkey as it's just not worth it for a small family. For me the trimmings are more important than the meat - yorkies (I do not give a monkey's bum that they aren't traditional), pigs in blankets, stuffing etc.

We have roasts throughout the year but rarely do we do ALL the trimmings, so it is really special to me.

MadeOfStarDust Mon 21-Oct-13 19:57:00

We always cook the turkey crown the night before, slice it and put it in gravy, keeps it nice and moist, still served with roasties and piggies..- not that different from a casserole....

petitdonkey Mon 21-Oct-13 19:57:49

I would be gutted but I love my Christmas dinner - the first time I ever spent Christmas day away from my Mum's was the first year I was married - MiL cooked a beautiful lunch but I had a little cry because there was no bread sauce!!! (not in front of her obviously!!)

I would ask your in laws - not because they will say no but it will prepare them and they can plan a roast of their own at another time if they want to. (and your casserole sounds gorgeous!!)

Why not roast a goose? There's a lot less meat on it than a turkey - DH and I usually have one between us (from Lidl, so not a 'posh' goose) and it only feeds the 2 of us on Christmas Day, plus Boxing/ St Stephen's Day leftovers. Doing a roast isn't - well, to my mind, anyway - any more labour-intensive than a casserole, if you're planning on doing the veggies etc. to go with it.

MrsFlintLockwood Mon 21-Oct-13 19:59:43

I bet those who would be "devastated" have never cooked Christmas dinner for themselves/others

Well that's bollocks for a start grin we cook every year thank you very much! smile

I wouldn't ever complain about what others serve up BUT it would definitely be nice to tell them in advance, as it's perfectly reasonable to 'expect' a traditional Xmas roast unless told otherwise. IMO. smile

trixymalixy Mon 21-Oct-13 19:59:55

Gutted, I'd be majorly majorly gutted. Could you not buy a turkey crown rather than a full turkey?

VerySmallSqueak Mon 21-Oct-13 20:00:03

I would be surprised but would quickly recover and be quite happy with a casserole.

MrsFlintLockwood Mon 21-Oct-13 20:00:50

BTW last year when it was just four of us we got a little turkey crown thing from tesco, really cheap and perfectly nice (again, because to me the trimmings make the meal)

trixymalixy Mon 21-Oct-13 20:00:50

And I've had 21 on Christmas day twice!!! I know exactly what's involved!!

We never have turkey as I hate it.
However, I would cry if DH made something as ordinary on Christmas Day.
(I realise that at 44 I am too old to behave like a petulant child, but it's Christmas!)

ILoveAFullFridge Mon 21-Oct-13 20:01:31

If I'm a guest in someone's home, and she cooks me a gorgeous meal that she has obviously taken trouble over, with tasty food, seasonal trimmings and happy company, then I will eat with savour and say "Thsnk you, that was delicious!"

And in my head I will say "What a lovely meal. I feel so welcomed!"

trixymalixy Mon 21-Oct-13 20:02:55

Why chicken casserole? That's a mid week rubbish, saving money dinner. It's just not special enough for Xmas day. Steak or duck or salmon would be more special.

petitdonkey Mon 21-Oct-13 20:03:06

And yes, I cook it myself - this year there is only the five of us and I will still do all the trimmings, the last five years I have cooked for between 12-16 people. I Love it!!

LauraChant Mon 21-Oct-13 20:06:03

I see a casserole as not being very festive. I would be very disappointed and surprised!

raisah Mon 21-Oct-13 20:07:40

Just get a small turkey crown or breast from m&s that you can bung in the oven an hour before the potatoes go in the oven so atleas your inlaws can have a traditional meal. If you have a slow cooker, you can cook your casserole in that & it will be one less thing to worry about.

Has to be a proper roast dinner with the Christmas Fiddly Bits.

DH and I are vegetarian. We have a Quorn Roast. The DC will each have a roast chicken breast (Taste the Difference Free Range, push the boat out grin )
They are cooked and covered up, the Quorn Roast can be cooked, sliced and put in vegetable gravy.
Leaves room for all the extras.

If I'm cooking for my parents too I make a small good quality roast chicken.
Not as dry as turkey.

LauraChant Mon 21-Oct-13 20:08:32

To me it would be a bit like "we are not having Easter eggs, how about a packet of Haribo?". But worse, because I can take or leave chocolate, but I love Christmas dinner!

AuntyEntropy Mon 21-Oct-13 20:09:34

Roast potatoes with casserole confused?

I agree with those who say that surely shoving a large chicken in the oven with some streaky bacon on top and M&S ready made stuffing down its neck is much easier than a casserole anyway.

PosyNarker Mon 21-Oct-13 20:09:39

Oh no, not casserole.

Is a shallot naice? I'd cook that midweek with the chicken dinner leftovers

I reckon people expect a roast of some sort, though I know not all do turkey. (I'd do goose if I could, but my DM is oddly phobic about any 'funny' meat. Beef, turkey, chicken, pork okay. Goose, venison, any game meat really, not okay.)

Oblomov Mon 21-Oct-13 20:10:26

This is a total no-no. And I love chicken casserole. But for Christmas Day? No way. Please don't.

EugenesAxe Mon 21-Oct-13 20:10:37

No sorry, I would think it was a bit rubbish. Although to be fair, the one you've described sounds alright.

And yes, DP and I will be cooking for 9.

EugenesAxe Mon 21-Oct-13 20:10:54


EugenesAxe Mon 21-Oct-13 20:10:54


EugenesAxe Mon 21-Oct-13 20:10:55

Fucking h

EugenesAxe Mon 21-Oct-13 20:12:28

...ell; I should have written DH! Just wipe out a major life event....

aftereight Mon 21-Oct-13 20:13:24

Can I come to yours please?
Roast dinners are vastly overrated imo.

EugenesAxe Mon 21-Oct-13 20:14:16

And actually my phone did something really odd there. I didn't accidentally post three times. confused

Oldandcobwebby Mon 21-Oct-13 20:14:41

Can I come? Sounds great. We had spag bol for Christmas dinner last year. Why do you have to do things just because society expects you to?

ErrolTheDragon Mon 21-Oct-13 20:15:17

I can't believe all the people dissing chicken casserole - esp as described by the OP. (my DH is funny about chicken so its something I never get to make and it can be sooo good)

happyyonisleepyyoni Mon 21-Oct-13 20:18:59

I don't see how it will be any easier to do casserole instead of a whole bird, if you are doing all your usual side dishes. It's getting all the side dishes and gravy ready at the same time that is the hardest part. And even that is not too tricky with a bit of planning.

sparkle12mar08 Mon 21-Oct-13 20:24:22

I've nothing against chicken casserole Errol, just not on Christmas day! As someone else said, it's a Christmas Eve/Boxing Day meal, not a main event Christmas Day one.

sonlypuppyfat Mon 21-Oct-13 20:25:29

Why don't you buy one of those prepared turkey breasts that come in a foil tray?

Sparklysilversequins Mon 21-Oct-13 20:27:17

I never get Christmas Dinner. Both dc have ASD with sensory issues and wouldn't eat it and there's no point doing it for just me sadsadsad.

littleblackno Mon 21-Oct-13 20:33:01

I'd be happy that someone else was cooking! grin For the past few years i've done xmas dinner on xmas eve and have had cooked breakfast then selection boxes for the rest of the day on xmas day. I have a pretty open house and anyone who wants to come is welcome but no moaning about lack of 'proper' dinner. It's great, the washing up can wait till boxing day and i can concenrate on important things like getting drunk grin

BeCool Mon 21-Oct-13 20:41:35

I would eat it and probably enjoy it but be slightly gutted too.

Like the time I went to Germany for Xmas and had trad German Xmas eve meal of sausages. hmm The sweets and cake and schnapps softened the blow.

I have turkey and trimmings at my work do so I don't mind not having turkey on Xmas day at all. But I do love a roast on Xmas day.

everydayaschoolday Mon 21-Oct-13 20:46:45

I'd just be happy that someone else was doing the cooking, but I'm not overly excited about roast dinners anyway! It does sound lovely, but there are some die-hard-roast-dinner-eaters out there <looks at DH>. grin

ShoeWhore Mon 21-Oct-13 20:50:06

I'd be gutted OP (sorry).

I'm a bit puzzled by this as an "easy" option though if you are planning to do all the trimmings anyway - it's surely getting all the trimmings ready at the same time that makes it stressy rather than roasting the actual bird?

Marne Mon 21-Oct-13 20:53:03

Sparkly, my dd1 has pizza for Christmas dinner like she does almost every day smile , Luckily dd2 will now eat a roast so we will have Christmas dinner this year.

Marne Mon 21-Oct-13 20:53:28


I'd be disappointed in all honesty, although I wouldn't say anything of course. I can't find your other thread about crackers sorry!

ILoveAFullFridge Mon 21-Oct-13 20:59:34

We never have toast turkey anyway. If you want something that can be made a couple of days before, so removing some of the 'timing stress', why not do what we do:

We usually have Guards of Honour, which I truss up, stuff and freeze at any time after half term. I also prepare Sheep in Slankets (lamb chipolatas wrapped in pastrami) and freeze them raw.

Xmas Eve everything comes out of the freezer, and the only things that need preparing are gravy, roasties and greens.

Floralnomad Mon 21-Oct-13 21:00:29

I wouldn't say anything at the time but I doubt I'd come to Christmas dinner again ,so if you're not keen on the Inlaws go for it .

Chubfuddler Mon 21-Oct-13 21:02:22

I always cook chrustmas dinner and I make a bloody good job of it, so to be invited to someone else's house and be given casserole... Don't do this to yourself op. You cannot hand your MIL that kind of ammo.

Of course I would say "yum, great, thanks ever so..."
But for ever more Christmas 2014 would be known as "chicken casserole year". And not in a good way wink

Sparklysilversequins Mon 21-Oct-13 21:05:02

Marne ds will be having pepperoni pizza on Christmas Day, like he does almost every day too grin.

HuevosRancheros Mon 21-Oct-13 21:26:49

OK, OK, I admit defeat grin

Whilst I know that the casserole would be damn good, I get that, for most people, it wouldn't be Christmas without a roast.

So I shall do a chicken, brining it and praying it doesn't dry out

petitdonkey Mon 21-Oct-13 22:22:49

No need to brine a chicken- honestly!! I make a mean roast chicken- just buy a good quality bird and ignore the cooking instructions!!! One hour is enough- maybe add ten mins if it's massive. 200•C just with olive oil, salt and pepper. Easy peasy!!

WallyBantersJunkBox Mon 21-Oct-13 22:50:47

If you place the chicken upside down for the first part of the cooking time it won't be dry. I use an IKEA Dutch oven and just remove the glass lid for that last 20 mins.

Never had a dry chicken.

ShoeWhore Mon 21-Oct-13 23:01:54

Get a decent chicken and it won't be dry I promise. Cook it like petitdonkey suggests (I like to add half a lemon and some thyme in the cavity too, if you push some butter and thyme under the skin on the breast it will be even nicer)

BeCool Mon 21-Oct-13 23:58:55

I'm now thinking nachoes and all the trimmings for Xmas eve dinner. grin

BikeRunSki Tue 22-Oct-13 06:21:38

I make them with salsa, cheese, sour cream, guacamole, retried beans, jalapeños, then a bowl of meaty chilli, salad and taco shells for those who prefer tacos to nachos. Really good ice cream and pecan pie for pud as well as Christmas pud as DH is the only one who likes it.

Sometimes we have this on Boxing Day and a "proper" Christmas dinner if people promise to help, and yy to preparing all the veg the night before. The meat eaters can deal with the meat though.

elQuintoConyo Tue 22-Oct-13 06:46:56

I wouldn't bat an eye.

I buy a small pre-cooked chicken.for Christmas day that I just re-heat, make roasties, packet stuffing, Bisto, some peas... that's about it.

I'm abroad so.can't get many traditional things and I hate cooking, there are only three of us so no point making acres of food.

The one time I cooked for three extra people was when DMil was in.hospital and family was going to go have a Chinese (bloody horrible things in Spain, inedible). They were too polite/too converned with their DM to complain.

I'd tell your in-laws, then they have the choice of having a roast on a different day. I never make casserole so it'd be a novelty to me!

MrsDavidBowie Tue 22-Oct-13 06:52:58

God I hate turkey . In fact I hate Christmas food full stop.
We had a M and S steak and kidney pie last year (dh and ds had just flown off to Oz for 3 weeks so it was just me and dd)

If it's the 4 of us I do a lasagne, or shoulder of lamb.
We go out for dinner on Christmas eve and Boxing Day.

Mr DB does not like me being a slave in the kitchen grin

LtAllHallowsEve Tue 22-Oct-13 07:15:47

When we go to MILs I end up cooking for at least 16 (21 was my worst). The first time she sprung it on me I was a worn out screaming banshee by mid afternoon.

Now I cook the turkey the day before, slowly, sitting on carrots and onions and with lemon and garlic shoved up his bum,slice it, put it in a roasting tin and cover it with the juices (and chuck the legs on top whole)

I also prepare all the veg the night before, with various helping hands (DH, DD, DSIL sometimes)

Xmas day I put the foil covered turkey slices in the bottom of the oven whilst I cook the roasties/parsnips etc. Using the juices to make gravy at the last minute.

Never had any stress since and never had a dry turkey.

merrymouse Tue 22-Oct-13 07:22:32

For me Xmas is about the trimmings, not the roast itself. I would be upset if no brussel sprouts and little sausages in bacon but not bothered about no turkey.

However, I think it's perfectly acceptable to prepare the roast the day before, and if only a small number of people want to eat turkey I don't think you need to roast a whole turkey, and it's perfectly acceptable to buy something ready prepared.

ProfondoRosso Tue 22-Oct-13 07:39:13

We never had turkey when I was growing up, OP. We usually had honey glazed ham or something like that. Last year my DM did do a turkey and it was good, but I don't think she'll do it again this year (it's so much work and she is a proud unreasonable woman who will not accept help).

The year I did Christmas dinner, I made a massive batch of my best mac and cheese for the main course (DSis is veggie and DH's favourite dinner is M&C). Everyone really enjoyed it.

So yah boo sucks to tradition, in my book! grin

I love chicken for a main - vastly underrated bird. You could have a look at Nigella's Christmas book, see what turkey alternatives she has in there?

aliciagardner Tue 22-Oct-13 07:53:02

Roast chicken is so, so easy. You just shove it in the oven!! Don't faff with brining, there's no need at all. Just get it out of the pack, a little olive oil in the roasting tin, breast side down and sprinkle of salt and pepper on it. Then in at 200 degrees for first 20 mins, turn whole bird over and turn oven down to 180, then cook for the remaining time - I do follow the preprinted time on the packet and I've never had a dry bird this way. If you want to be fancy, cut a London i. 2 and shove in the cavity. Nothing more needed and a lot less hassle than a casserole.

It's the trimmings and their timings that make it tricky. If I have a lot, I tend to prep everything ready for the oven day before, then write a list with timings (work backwards to calculate when everything needs to go in). It's really no more stressy than putting things in the oven this way - which means I can drink a few glasses of wine at the same time smile

aliciagardner Tue 22-Oct-13 07:53:58

Lemon, not London smile

bigTillyMint Tue 22-Oct-13 08:20:19

Wallybanter my ex MIL taught me that trick nearly 25years ago - it never failssmile

Maryann1975 Tue 22-Oct-13 20:55:06

I wouldn't be impressed to be given casserole on Christmas Day, but if you told me before the day, I would have the option of changing my plans and cooking for myself. I would have to decide how much I wanted your company on Christmas Day and if you were worth missing a lovely roast dinner for.

aintnothinbutagstring Tue 22-Oct-13 21:46:00

Chicken is meh full stop, its an everyday food. Give me a lovely marinated lamb leg or shoulder of lamb cooked slowly, even salmon en croute for a lighter alternative.

NoelHeadbandz Wed 23-Oct-13 07:57:40

Thank god you've seen sense grin

I'd be gutted, although I'd never say anything and you would never guess from my face. I'd tuck in and enjoy.

But forevermore, within the confines of our own four walks, it would be known as 'oh yes...the year we had casserole <sad face>'

NoelHeadbandz Wed 23-Oct-13 07:58:10


LauraChant Wed 23-Oct-13 08:11:43

I don't think it's roast or nothing. Nor do I think casserole is not yum. But as a PP said casserole is an everyday food however jazzed up it is, and I would want something special/ festive on Christmas Day.

Morgause Wed 23-Oct-13 08:16:52

Has to be roast on Christmas day. I'd feel cheated.

PetiteRaleuse Wed 23-Oct-13 08:22:43

I would be delighted with a casserole, but I don't like turkey and do roast chicken quite often anyway. A really good casserole would be lovely, and would free you up time to spend with everyone else.

I was a lot little pissed off when my mil, without consulting me, decided I wouldn't like the partridge she was cooking for everyone else so bought me lamb chops. Which she could and served up with plain veg while everyone else got yummy gamey meat and veg in sauce.

The next time we spent Christmas with them she did the whole meal (except pudding) based around shellfish (which she knows I don't eat) and did fried fish for me. Pudding was a creamy coffee thing, which she also knew i wouldn't eat, so i got a scoop of ice cream. I'm not fussy, the only two things I don't like are uncooked cream and shellfish.

Your casserole sounds lovely.

BanjoPlayingTiger Wed 23-Oct-13 08:25:32

I'd just be happy that someone else was cooking for me!

In our house we have what we fancy for christmas dinner, which for the last couple of years has been crispy duck pancakes and chinese dumplings. It's so much tastier than a turkey and significantly easier too.

idiot55 Wed 23-Oct-13 08:27:35

Itvsounds lovely, but i personally would miss the turkey.

I havnt read all replies but cook yourvturkey crown etc cuople of days before.

WallyBantersJunkBox Wed 23-Oct-13 12:50:25

Petite - does she hate you? What a strange scenario!

Why is a turkey a pfaff - it's just a big gangly chicken! Brine it in a bucket and slam it in the oven a la Nigella.

I'm surprised no one has brought up the Aldi 4 bird roast....ease, sophistication and history in one tin foil tray.....

oakmouse Wed 23-Oct-13 13:03:26

I like casseroles, but for me it would be all about the company anyway.

ophiotaurus Wed 23-Oct-13 13:06:20

I love a Christmas roast sorry. How about a turkey crown? Asda do nice ones and it's all breast meat so not as much waste?

Aintnobodylovesnanbetter Wed 23-Oct-13 13:17:19

We had a cooked breakfast for our christmas lunch last year.it was lovely.we had our roast dinner on christmas eve.
I think your casserole sounds really nice and it wouldn't bother me tbh.

PetiteRaleuse Wed 23-Oct-13 13:18:29

WallyBanters she does hate me, but the food thing is more to do with the fact she is convinced I am fussy because, once, I didn't like something she cooked. She makes a big deal of the effort she puts intocooking me separate food. It's really annoying as she is a great cook but I have missed out on the good stuff several times.

Or she could just hate me.

aturtlenamedmack Wed 23-Oct-13 13:47:11

I would think 'yum, aren't I lucky that someone else has cooked a delicious meal for me'!

ILoveAFullFridge Wed 23-Oct-13 13:51:50

Turkey crowns are freakish horrid things. We had one once, and I refused to touch the weirdosity.

sonlypuppyfat Wed 23-Oct-13 14:29:03

I buy just one giant turkey breast they are huge dead easy to carve no bone no waste

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