Thanksgiving inspiration for your Christmas table

Sarah Gamboni
11 December, 2015

For an on-trend festive menu, look to the latest food fads from Thanksgiving, include turkey, salad and pie.

The new turducken
No doubt heard of turducken before – that Frankenstein creation of a chicken, stuffed in a duck, stuffed in a turkey. It sounds like a hectic case of the meat sweats to us.

If the recent Thanksgiving in the States is anything to go by, the new trend in festive fouls is the ‘turketta’. Drawing inspiration from Italy’s fabulously succulent porchetta, turketta takes a boned turkey and flavours it with aromatic herbs and garlic, before rolling the bird up and wrapping it in bacon. It cooks faster and more evenly than a whole turkey, plus it’s easier to carve.

Ask your butcher to bone the turkey for you (be sure to order this in advance), use the authentic flavours of Rosie Birkett’s porchetta for the stuffing, then wrap the whole shebang in streaky bacon. 

Rosie Birkett's porchetta


Cover with foil and bake at 190°C for 1 hour, then remove foil and bake for a further 2 hours, basting every 15 minutes, until the internal temperature reaches 72°C. 

Check out Adrian Richardon’s turkey galantine recipe for more cooking tips.


Light and bright sides
At Thanksgiving, it’s not only the turkey that gets stuffed: the diners do too. In 2015 in the US, there was a trend towards lighter, more virtuous side dishes, forgoing the sweet potato mash with marshmallows (yes really), if favour of crunchy slaws and salads. Try these from the Cooked collection for your Christmas feast. They’re perfectly suited to our warm climate.

Matt Wilkinson’s slaw


Walnut, fennel and pomegranate salad

Walnut and fennel salad

Paul Wilson’s ancient grain salad

Ancient grain salad

The life of pie
Now that you’ve saved all of those calories on the side dishes, you can go all-out with dessert, right?

Over Thanksgiving, the biggest trend was a sweet take on the turducken ­– the ‘piecaken’. That’s three types of pie stuffed in a cake. Bring on the sugar rush!


(Image courtesy of David Burke Fabrick)

While we won’t be attempting this ourselves over Christmas, we reckon a festive, fruity pie would be a fine addition to the dessert buffet. Cherries are at their absolute best right now, so whip up a retro cherry pie.

Rosie Birkett’s cherry pie

Cherry pie

Or try this contemporary and cool take on the all-American pumpkin pie.

Fanny Zanotti’s pumpkin pie

Pumpkin pie

Discover more festive recipes from Cooked for the best Christmas ever.

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