A Christmas Feast (for New Year’s)… Part One (The Back Story and Menu)

We have a group of friends, guys mostly, that have come over once a week for several years to play games, watch a movie, or whatever we end up doing. They chip in towards whatever dinner I make and have served as my taste testers on occasion.

The past several years, we’ve been having Christmas parties, last year’s found us playing live Clue all over my apartment. This year, I proposed several ideas, including making a turkducken and having a feast, guess which one they went for? Yes, the turducken.

The party got moved from our normal evening to the only other everyone had free, New Year’s Eve, hence the confused title of this post.

I’d already been researching the process for making one and set about finding sides to match and round out the feast. The final menu turned out as follows:

Shrimp puffs; These were rather simple and included my one cheat, a roll of store bought biscuits.

Herbed Green Beans; You have to have a vegetable.

Cranberry Sauce; Believe it or not, I’d never made this before and was thrilled with how well it turned out. I put in a little lemon zest and liked the brightness it added. Found a recipe for “cosmopolitan cranberry sauce”, but that wouldn’t have been legal for all my guests, so all I could do was add it to my recipe box.

Giblet Gravy; This had giblets from all three birds, as well as wing tips and spines (but no livers) and was awesome! There was so much flavor that every gravy after this shall have a hard time meeting the mark. We filled a pitcher with it all and had enough leftovers that the next time we got together we were eating waffles and gravy for dinner.

Turducken; Of course. I followed Paula Deen’s brine and roasting instructions, substituting my own preference of stuffing.

Wild Mushroom, Bacon, and Sourdough Stuffing; ala Bobby Flay. Wild mushrooms and bacon need no explanation.

Baked Alaska; with Italian Meringue. Seemed fitting for a winter holiday feast.

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