Christmas is meant to be a time of reflection and solemn appreciation of the joyful bounties that our lives have bestowed upon us -- or, more likely, a time for presents, family and good food. But who wants to spend every waking hour over a hot stove on Christmas? Not you. Here's how you can cook an entire Chrissie feast using nothing but your microwave.
Image - Jason.Lee
Your bird is the centrepiece of the meal and better be done right -- even if you are just nuking it. In fact, cooking a turkey in your microwave is, in some ways, even easier than conventional oven roasting (I'm looking at you, basters). So long as the bird fits inside the oven -- with at least three inches overhead and another inch or two on either side -- and doesn't weigh more than 5.5kg to 6.5kg, you should be set.
- 1 turkey, small enough to fit in your microwave
- 1 microwave-safe roasting bag
- spices and seasonings to taste
Prepare your defrosted turkey
- Remove the giblets and set aside for gravy
- Rinse the turkey thoroughly, inside and out, then pat the carcass dry with paper towels
- Apply your preferred seasoning rub.
- Place the seasoned turkey into the microwave safe roasting bag, close the bag (not completely, you need it to vent.
- Note: do not stuff the turkey. If you want stuffing, cook it separately otherwise it throws the cooking time completely out of whack.
Cook That Bird
- Set the bagged bird on a large plate in the microwave.
- Cook for around 10 minutes per pound at 50 per cent power -- this will vary depending on the size of the bird and the power of your microwave so it's best to undercook it slightly first then add time as needed. The turkey's done when a meat thermometer jammed into its deepest bits reads 75C.
- Pull the bird out of its roasting bag and let stand for 15 to 20 minutes before carving.
Just because you can't cook it in the the bird doesn't mean your microwaved holiday meal must do without the bready deliciousness that is stuffing. And as Food.com contributor Northern_Reflectionz shows, you'll spend more time collecting the ingredients than you will actually cooking it.
- 8 cups breadcrumbs
- 1/2 cup minced onion
- 1 cup minced celery
- 1/3 cup melted butter
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
- 1 dash pepper
Head over to Food.com for the full recipe.
Mashed Potatoes and Gravy
Image: chotda - Flikr
With even the best cooked bird, you're going to need some starches to help fill up your guests' plates. Luckily, making mashed potatoes in the microwave is just as easy on the stovetop. Here's what you'll need, get the full recipe on What's Cooking America
- 1kg potatoes, peeled, cut in chunks
- 1 cup milk
- 4 tablespoons of butter
- salt and pepper
How to Make Gravy
Whisk 2 tablespoons of all purpose flour into 2 tablespoons of turkey drippings. Add 1 cup of heavy cream, 1 cup chicken or ve broth, and mix until smooth. Cook on high for 3 minutes, then remove from the microwave and add salt and pepper to taste.
Illustration by Sam Woolley