This is the first time I have cooked a Turkey, I’m not overly keen on it and Graeme doesn’t like it either.
However every year my inbox is flooded with questions of how to do it so this year I decided as part of my Christmas Cooking sessions to bite the bullet and cook one.
For me turkey can be tasteless and dry and most recipes will start with laying bacon on the breast or pushing butter and herbs under the breast skin. I decided to ignore all of these a tried and tested methods and pop my turkey into the slow cooker.
Using a slow cooker to cook lean meats is a fantastic way to lock in moisture and stop the meat drying out so for me the ideal way to cook turkey.
Then there is the tasteless part I decided to add sweetness in the form of orange and marmalade these flavours worked really well and also helped the gravy taste amazing.
The below method can be used for any turkey joint whole, crown etc.
As you will have guessed by now I’m a huge fan of cheating when it comes to cooking and i make no apologies for doing so.
When the weekend comes there are times i have just had enough of cooking and the thought of cooking a full Sunday Dinner can fill me with dread, so adding a few ingredients that just need microwaving really helps.
In this video i have used Asda beef in gravy which was lovely i have also used the Tesco beef in Gravy and its equally as good.
There is no written recipe for this as its more of an idea than a hard and fast recipe.
Now as a child my mum traumatise me with her cooking of these little suckers they were boiled to death mush, even the dog wouldn’t eat them 😂
So now we take a different approach and slice or shred them and basically stir fry them to ensure they still have some crunch.
I added bacon Lardons to these but you could add pancetta. Use smoked or unsmoked whichever you like, to be honest I’m not keen on smoke bacon but the smoke Lardons worked really well with the Sprouts in this recipe.
Pine Nuts can be expensive so I will leave it to you if you want to add them or not.
I’m not a lover of cranberry sauce so I added a couple of spoonfuls of beetroot and orange chutney and it was delicious any sweet chutney will work.
Love a beef curry but making one can but a bit of a ballache at times. In this recipe I have cheated to the max 🙈 but don’t let that put you off because this recipe is still super tasty but super easy.
I used Pataks curry paste to create the base of the curry let’s face it grinding up spices during the week isn’t going to happen, this cheat works really well.
In the video I have done all the added bits that create the layers of flavour, softening down the onions and browning off the beef. However I’ve also made this curry without doing any of these things and ok there is a taste difference but it’s not a deal breaker.
If you are on a tight time schedule and don’t have time to faff around just leave these extra steps out, remember this is your meal for you and your family so do whatever is best for you to get food on the table. I’m pretty sure no one died because these steps were missed out.
How many chicken carcasses have you thrown in the bin?? if you’re anything like me probably a fair few. We are lucky as we have a family of foxes who visit so I give mine to them so nothing goes to waste.
However I thought it was about time I started using the carcass to make stock it’s such an easy process especially if using a slow cooker. Pop it in walk way let the slow cooker do all the hard work for you.
In the video you will see i used a fat separator, now I have used every method known to man to do this and to be honest they are all a ballache. Why have I not had one of these gadgets before now?? I have no idea, it takes all the hard work out of the equation and does a perfect job of removing the fat.
From my batch I made 1ltr of ready to use stock, my top tip is to taste the stock once all fat is removed and check for any adjustments you may need to make. If the stock is strong in taste you may need to add more water to dilute it further also check season you may need a touch of salt & pepper.
I love doing these “money saving” meal ideas as they can really help when you need to pull in those purse strings.
Cooking a whole chicken in the slow cooker and then stripping it from the carcass is probably the ultimate money spinner the chicken I’m using was 1.4kg costing £2.95.
This a a perfect size chicken for 2 with lots leftover or a family of 4 for 1 meal.
TOP TIP‼️ As soon as the chicken is cool enough to touch remove as much meat as possible, unfortunately I had to pop mine in the fridge overnight which makes it slightly more difficult to get all the meat from the carcass.
SLOW COOKER CHICKEN HOW TO COOK
You can find all information herehttps://julesthelazycook.co.uk/2017/09/13/slow-cooker-chicken/ but I’ve also done a really short quick video to help
MEAL 1 – CREAMY CHICKEN & CHORIZO PASTA BAKE
A fantastic easy midweek meal that is pure comfort food. In this recipe I have used cooked chicken, because at the beginning of the week I cooked a whole chicken in the slow cooker and this is one of the meals I used it in.
This recipe is another one where you can add in any vegetables you like and any vegetables that need using up its a really versitile meal.
For the cream cheese use any make or brand you like i used Primula as its really easy to work with and handles heat well.
TOP TIP ‼️ When making the sauce ensure there is enough to coat all the contents of the pan and extra sauce, as this dish needs to be put under the grill – this will “cook off” some of the liquid (sauce)
MEAL 2 WINTER CHICKEN & VEGETABLE SOUP
A perfect soup for this time of the year and is a fantastic way of using up leftover chicken from Sunday dinner. This soup is from my “Fuller For Longer” recipes as it has extra ingredients to help fill you up on colder days.
MEAL 3 – BBQ CHICKEN & CHEESE QUESDILLA
A perfect way to use up leftover chicken to make a tasty quick easy lunch, use any wraps you like, cheese and BBQ sauce.
There are so many different methods for doing this and I’m pretty sure we all have our favourite. Today I’m giving you one method which out of most of them is probably the quickest.
For me making gravy from the meat juices is the tastiest but not always the most healthy.
When I’m cooking a really fatty joint such as pork I use a completely different method (ice cubes) but I will come back to that on a different day – the sieve method works on fatty joints but you may need to sieve it twice just to be sure the fat is removed.
As you know I’m huge fan of making these because they are minimal effort but always look fab and are a great way of cooking in the hotter months.
This is basically my Slow cooker chicken to roast chicken served with bread buns stuffing amd roast potatoes… so a kind of deconstructed Sunday Dinner. Serve woth anything you and your family like it all works with these kind of meals.
This feature follows on from the one i did with a whole chicken but this time i used 1kg joint of unsmoked gammon costing £3.19. I buy unsmoked as i think the flavour of the smoked one can be too strong and sometimes too salty – you can always soak a gammon joint overnight in cold water before you use it if you are worried about it tasting salty.
I always cook my gammon in the slow cooker as it comes out so tender, this joint i cooked in diet orange with a couple of black peppercorns as i didn’t want to over flavour the meat as im using the leftovers in other meals therefore i needed to be careful with the flavours. The end result was a subtle flavour perfectly balance and wasn’t overpowering.
Once the gammon was cooked i cut off a chunk and shredded it with 2 forks and used that in our Sunday Dinner so this is meal 1. The other piece i left whole to use cubed or sliced.
MEAL 1 – SUNDAY DINNER – PULLED GAMMON
MEAL 2 – HOMEMADE FLATBREAD PIZZA
This is my flatbread recipe sized up to create a pizza base and if you are a pizza lover but dont like the calories then this is for you!
I used 60g of flour and approx 2.5 heaped tablespoons of fat free Greek yogurt made up the dough cooked it in a scorching hot frying pan – once cooked add the toppings. The ham used on the pizza leftover from Sunday dinner so i still haven’t used the piece of gammon that was left whole. Here is the link to the flatbread method i used https://julesthelazycook.co.uk/2019/07/11/flatbreads/
I think this has got to be one of the most asked questions i get from my Facebook Group and Instagram – so i thought i would make a little live video to show you how i do mine, i use this method a lot and it never fails plus i find it a nifty quick hack for whipping up a jug of tasty gravy.
If you don’t have a red onion then use a white one, you can leave it chunky as i did or blend it smooth – onion is a natural thickener so it will really help get a fab thickness if like me you like your gravy to coat the food.
The key is to have patience softening onions takes time and the more you soften then the sweeter & tastier they become. Also this gravy freezes well so any leftovers pop it in the freezer, during the winter months I make up a huge batch and freeze it saves me doing it every week 🤣.
I made this for Christmas and have to say it was gorgeous, in our house at Christmas this is usually Graeme’s job but this year i decided i wanted to give it a whirl – was dreading ruining it lol. It all worked out fine and i have no idea what i was worrying about the glazed worked perfectly and the meat was beautifully infused. This is a fantastic way to cook ham or gammon for those special occasions and it really is super easy.
I used Marmalade and Ginger as the Glaze but you can use whatever flavours you like. You can also cook the ham in and liquid you like i use diluted orange juice as it adds a sweetness to the ham.
Cooking it in the slow cooker ensure the ham stays beautifully tender, after its cooked I always leave mine to cool completely the pop it in the fridge overnight then the next day add the Glaze I find this helps of you want to carve the joint.
If you over cook the ham in the slow cooker it will fall apart to prevent that happening use a digital meat thermometer and once the internal cooked temperature is reached remove it from the slow cooker.
Healthy Yorkshire Puddings? absolutely! these really do work and i use this recipe frequently. A fab addition to Sunday Lunch and super easy to make.
In this recipe i made a batch of 12, let them cool then I froze them. However, if there are only 2 of you like Graeme and I just half the ingredients to make 6.
I’m the older version of this recipe it asks for 40ml water but today I didn’t need the water as it depends on the size of the eggs you use.
My top tip is to add all the ingredients to a jug mix well and leave the batter to sit for a minimum of 20mins then if needed add small amounts of water.
Another top tip is to test the heat of the oil before adding the batter as this will really help the puddings rise, drop a small amount of batter into the tray and if it sizzles then it’s OK if it doesn’t put it back into the oven.
This works a treat and a lovely way of getting ahead of the game as you can do this in the morning pop it on low and walk away without worrying is it too hot or has it gone cold
My top tip here is only add 2 or 3 tablespoons of sugar because it is going to depend on the wine you use as to how much sugar you really need and how sweet you like it….. you can always add but not take away so let the wine cook taste and gradually add more sugar if needed.
You will see in the video (a very old one lol) i will remake this at some point, i used all fresh fruits and spices but if you really do not want to bother with this you can always just use a Mulled Wine Kit from the supermarket i have done this many times and they are equally as good.
There is no right or wrong recipe for Mulled Wine its basically a case of adding whatever you like to get the taste you like, the recipe here is just a guide.
Sit back relax and enjoy your Christmas and your wine
Nom Nom i love beef but sometimes it can be a bit “chewy” and tough but not when done this way plus its another of my Lazy Sunday Dinners which makes the beef melt in your mouth beautifully tasty. For 2 people i tend to use a joint approx 750g – 1kg.
I have cooked all cuts of beef in the method below and it always turns out delicious for me the key is to give yourself plenty of time and cook the joint on low and for a long period i find if you rush it you can run the risk of not cooking it for long enough and ending up with a tough piece of meat on your plate.
You can add any flavours you like i have even used a small bottle of lager to cook the meat in and that works really well, but a dash of water works equally as well.
Ahhhhh you’ve got to love a lazy Sunday lunch and this has got to be it! I absolutely love pork but it can have a tendency to be chewy and dry but not when cooked this way it turns into melt in your mouth yummyness. In the video below i have also shown how to create crispy crackling, we dont like the fat off any meats so for us this usually gets given to our local fox lol………however i know a lot of families like it so here is how i would do mine.
I always say you must lift the pork or any meats off the bottom of the slow cooker …why??? the heating element is right under the inner pot when you place it back into the slow cooker housing this is the hottest part of the slow cooker and this can make the meat cook quicker in the centre which can make it dry but more importantly not cook it evenly which can be dangerous when cooking meat.
This makes a fab very easy weekend curry i have also made it using beef and it is equally as good this curry is very similar to a rogan josh in taste.
A very easy simple curry but dont let that fool you its packed with flavour it also batch cooks and freezes well i have made this many times now and it turns out perfect every time.
You will see i use frozen spinach purely because during the winter months spinach tends to not get used in our house so buying frozen stops any food waste. Both fresh and frozen work well in this recipe and both are added towards the end of cooking.