Christmas dinner recipes - main courses

The staff and students of the City of Glasgow College give us a choice of three great main courses

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The staff and students of the City of Glasgow College give us a choice of three great main courses

Traditional Roast Turkey


1 x 5kg Turkey


Remove legs and bone out (reserve bones for stock)

Remove any sinew or tendons

Place in stuffing and roll up

Wrap in cling film and then in tin foil

Remove supremes from crown (reserving bones for stock) and season well - sear in hot oil, skin side first.

Cooking time for breasts are 25 minutes for 500g plus 25 minutes or probe to 75C at gas 4/175C. Cooking time for leg in a water bath is as for breast.

Stuffing for leg meat


600g pork sausage meat

50g chopped onions (sweated in 25g butter)

100g chestnuts (peeled)

Ground black pepper


Coarsely chop chestnuts and bind with other ingredients

NB remember sausage meat is well seasoned so avoid use of salt

Use to stuff the legs or alternatively for a roulade on its own

Bacon Rolls


10 Chipolata sausages

5 slices back or streaky bacon


Slice bacon in half lengthways

Roll sausage in bacon

Roast in a hot oven for approx. 10 minutes

Bread Sauce


375mls whole milk

1 small onion (finely diced)

1 clove garlic

1 bay leaf

30-50g fresh white breadcrumbs



Infuse onions in warm milk with garlic and bay

Strain through a sieve, add breadcrumbs and season

NB Sauce may thicken on standing, therefore adjust as necessary

Cranberry Sauce


400g fresh cranberries

50-100g caster sugar (dependant on acidity of fruit)

Zest and juice of 1 lime


Stew gently together until cranberries just "pop". Serve hot or cold

Roast Potatoes


Floury potatoes, such as Cara or King Edward, cut fairly small - roughly egg size

sunflower or groundnut oil


1. Par-boil the potatoes in gently boiling salted water for about 8 minutes. Stop cooking before they're cooked right through.

2. Leave to cool completely, then scratch roughly with a fork and season with a little fine salt. If you want, you can shake the potatoes vigorously in the cooking pan to ruffle up their edges to gaurantee a delicious crunch when they come out of the oevn

3. Only roast around the turkey if there is plenty of fat - at least ½cm/¾in in the tin - and plenty of room. If you crown the pan, the potatoes will never crispen up. It's better to preheat the oil in a separate pan, adding any turkey fat from the roasting tin just before the potatoes go in.

Don't add the potatoes until the oil is sizzling hot. Baste or turn the potatoes (carefully) as soon as they go into the pan so they have a light coating of oil from the start.

4. Roast for the last 45 minutes of your turkey's cooking time, turning at least once. If they look like they could use a bit more browning/crisping, leave them in after the turkey has come out to rest.

6. Drain well and keep in a warm oven, uncovered and not too piled on top of each other. Season again with salt and pepper before serving.

Pan-fried Sea Bass with Arran Mustard and Saffron Vinaigrette


4 sea bass, filleted and scaled

150g bag of watercress, washed

1 punnet of cherry tomatoes halved

1tbs sunflower oil

15g butter


1tbs tarragon white wine vinegar

1tbs Arran wholegrain mustard (or another good quality grain mustard)

1 pinch of saffron strands soaked in 1tbs boiling water

4tbs sunflower oil

Salt and pepper


1. Trim the sea bass fillets and score the skin several times with a sharp knife. This prevents the fish from curling up during cooking. Dry the skin side by placing on a kitchen towel and refrigerate until ready.

2. Make the vinaigrette by placing the vinegar, salt and pepper into a bowl, whisk in the saffron water then the mustard. Drizzle the oil in slowly with one hand while whisking with the other. When all the oil is added, you should have a fairly thick dressing. Check for taste and set aside.

3. Place the oil for frying into a frying pan. Once a thin haze of smoke starts to appear, add the sea bass fillets skin side down. Season the fillets with salt and pepper and cook on a high heat for 3 minutes or until crisp. Carefully turn the fish, lower the heat and add the 25g of butter. Cook on a medium heat for a further 2 minutes.

4. Reserve ¼ of the vinaigrette and toss the rest with the watercress and cherry tomatoes.

5. Place the salad onto plates and present the fish on top. Drizzle the last of the dressing around the plate and serve with a potato and vegetable dish of your choice.

Duck À L'Orange


1 whole duck

20ml oil

50g carrots

50g onions

500ml brown stock

2 oranges

15ml orange liqueur

180g sugar

120ml White wine vinegar


1 Prick the fatty skin all over with a fork. This helps the fat to render out during roasting. Remove the neck, wishbone and the wings and chop all the duck trimmings except for the duck liver. Brown the trimmings in a pan with the roughly chopped carrot and onion and continue to brown.

2 Pour off any excess fat and add the brown stock. Simmer for a minimum of 15 minutes, strain, discard the solids, and degrease. Reduce liquid until desired consistency and reserve.

3 Rub the duck with salt, pepper, and a little oil. Place in an appropriately sized roasting pan and put into a preheated oven at 230C. Roast for 20 minutes; then reduce heat to 200C, and continue to roast, basting every 10 minutes with the pan drippings. This will take approximately 1 hour 30 minutes.

4 Meanwhile, prepare the sauce flavouring. Place the vinegar and sugar into a small saucepan and caramelise lightly. Add a little cold water to stop the cooking. Set aside.

5 Zest the orange, and blanch the zest in simmering water for 4 minutes. Drain and soak in orange liqueur. Segment all the oranges reserving any orange juice.

6 To make the finished sauce, according to taste add the vinger and sugar mix, zest, orange liqueur, and the orange juice to the reserved sauce and simmer briefly to marry the flavours.

7 When the juices of the duck run clear, remove the duck from the pan and allow it to rest for 15 mins. 8 To serve, carve the slightly pink breast and garnish with the reserved orange segments and sauce. Dauphinoise potatoes are a good accompaniment to this dish.

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