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Unusual Christmas dinners

Anyone do anything unique for Christmas? We're doing sauerbraten this year. I love it, because my husband is the sauerbraten chef in the house, so I'll be able to sit back and continue my annual tradition of the 24-hour Bailey's marathon.

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  1. My family does a whole deboned chicken that is stuffed with mincemeat, chorizos, eggs and savories until it is "re-animated," so to speak, roasted and served with a butter-based soy gravy. It's traditional to the Philippines, but qualifies as "unusual" stateside.

    10 Replies
    1. re: JungMann

      JM, That sounds really interesting! Do you have a recipe you could share?

      Possible to make that ahead and re-heat? I go to a group gathering for skiing and festive fun for NY, and am kind of known for bringing some interesting main dish for the big group dinner that night.... this might just fill the bill this year!

      1. re: gingershelley

        Basically take a whole deboned chicken, about 3 lbs., and marinate it in 3 tbsp. soy sauce, 2 tbsp. lemon juice and 1 tbsp. sugar overnight. The next day bring it to temperature while you combine the following for the stuffing:
        1/2 lb. ground ham
        1/2 lb. ground pork
        1/2 lb. ground chicken
        1 1/2 oz. raisins
        1/4 c. chopped onions
        5 oz. sweet relish
        1 tbsp. lemon juice
        2 tbsp. soy sauce
        1 tbsp. garlic powder
        2 beaten eggs
        2 tbsp. bread crumbs
        2 tsp. pepper
        salt to taste
        Once you've combined the stuffing into a uniform mixture, stuff half of it into the chicken cavity, also filling the legs. Before the chicken is completely filled, arrange 4 hardboiled eggs, 6 cocktail sausages and a length of chorizo head-to-tail inside the chicken. Finish filling the chicken with the remaining stuffing and sew neck and tail-ends shut. Brush generously with melted butter, tent with foil and bake for 40 minutes at 350. Uncover and bake a further 20 minutes until skin is golden.

        To make the sauce, make a medium roux with 2 tbsp. butter and flour, add 1 tbsp. minced garlic and whisk with 2 tbsp. soy sauce and the drippings from the chicken (which will be very generous). Add lemon juice and stock to taste.

        To serve, slice the chicken laterally to showcase the decorative filling. The chicken reheats beautifully so yes, you can make it ahead of time.

        1. re: JungMann

          Please tell us what time dinner will be ready so we will all be on time. :) That sounds a-MAZ-ing, thank you for the recipe!

          1. re: thedryer

            It's a Filipino dinner. You can plan on 7 o'clock, but you know no one will show up until 8!

            1. re: JungMann

              I'll plan on 6:45 so I get a good seat at the table!

              If you think of it, will you please take a pic or 2 to post after Christmas?? I just shared the recipe with my husband and we are salivating just reading about it!

              Merry Christmas!!

              1. re: JungMann

                Ah yes, island time. :-) All kidding aside, that sounds incredibly good! Do you get the butcher to debone the chicken? I'm no good at that. If I can get it deboned ahead of time, I might just try this. What do you serve with it? We have rice with everything, but I imagine you could have pancit and/or vegetable lumpia and/or all sorts of good things.
                Mele Kalikimaka e Hau'oli Makahiki Hou!

                1. re: KailuaGirl

                  A good butcher should be able to debone the chicken, but I've always just done it myself. With a good, sharp knife and some elbow grease, it's easier than one might expect.

                  Once the prep is done and it's fiesta time, out comes the pancit and lumpiang shanghai (vegetable lumpia is more everyday fare), but thinking solely about the relleno, it's a bit soft so I think you need a crunchy vegetable to contrast. Roasted green beans and seven layer salad are usually popular choices at home. And the rice is a must to sop up the delicious gravy. It's so good it could make shoes taste great... especially if they belong to Imelda.

            2. re: JungMann

              Thanks JM - I will let you know if I am making this for NYE! :)

              1. re: JungMann

                We had an American neighbor (Yale-educated college professor) who lectured at one of Singapore's local universities. She's half-Filipino. Once, she gave us a whole 'rellenong manok' which she'd cooked herself as a Christmas gift. That must have been nearly 40 years ago, but I'd thought it was the best-tasting roasted chicken dish I'd ever had then - and I still do!

                1. re: JungMann

                  Wow- That sounds delicious. this is a meal I would love to try and make- though I would probably need a few times to get it sewed up correctly. Thanks for the recipe.

              1. We live just outside Tampa and do a full-on gorgeous table Thanksgiving menu, but with 4 grandsons eager to play, we do things simpler on Christmas. Last year was a summer BBQ menu, with ribs, slaw, potato salad, etc... This year we're grilling some prime steaks and asparagus. We'll add a tossed salad (maybe with cranberries and a cranberry vinaigrette) and hasselback potatoes. We do things we wouldn't normally do as an any-old-day thing. Oh, and we heat the pool!

                1. I've done Pernil the last couple of years - it's a nice break from Turkey etc.

                  Here's Daisy Marteniz's version - I prefer Mojo Crillio for the marinate (exactly the same as this save for fresh oj and lime - or if you can get sour oranges).

                  1. We are doing fondue of all sorts (oils, cheese, chocolate...) and will be gorging ourselves on some lovely foie gras we brought back from Paris.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: chefathome

                      I don't know why, but fondue at Christmas time seems fairly normal to me.

                      1. re: FrankJBN

                        Actually, it's pretty normal to us, too, but not to those in this area for some odd reason.

                      2. re: chefathome

                        I've done fondue on NYE before! Very festive.

                        1. re: chefathome

                          Fondue is our traditional New Year's Eve dinner. I make it with 3 or 4 different cheeses, then serve it with steamed broccoli and carrots, crusty bread, and fried sausage slices for dipping. Wash down with champagne.