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Turkey, seafood and the croc-all-u

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Still seeking inspiration for this year’s Christmas dinner or wondering exactly how you’re going to prepare your banquet for maximum sumptuousness?

In this report from the Adelaide Central Market, Richard Gunner shares tips for a juicy Christmas turkey, Kostas Koutrikas talks seafood, and Jo Dunn offers a couple of ideas for something a little more wild – including the croc-all-u.

Richard Gunner, Feast Fine Foods

Turkey can be a challenging bird to get just right but there is a great sense of satisfaction when you nail it, Gunner says. His suggestions are:

1: Cook the stuffing separately rather than in the bird. Instead, loosely put in a few fresh herbs, a couple of wedges of lemon and chopped onion to gently steam the bird from the inside

2: Put some butter under the skin over the breast or alternatively wrap the breast with bacon. Because the breast cooks faster than the thigh, this will help keep it moist as you wait for the thigh to fully cook

3: For the slightly more advanced home chef, mix a light brine with 10 per cent sugar and 10 per cent salt with some suitable spices. Inject this into the breast of the bird at 2.5cm intervals. This will make the breast tastier and help it retain moisture.

Gunner, however, won’t be having turkey himself this year: “I’ll be having a goose and a quandong-glazed ham (wild boar or Berkshire).”

Kostas Koutrikas, Samtass Seafood Brothers

Despite some suggestion last month that the Spencer Gulf and West Coast prawn haul might be smaller than expected, Kourtikas says his store has a good supply of all sizes of South Australian king prawns, with prices ranging from $21.99 to $47.99 a kilo.

Other seafood he recommends for a festive feast includes fresh cooked crayfish ($69.99-$99.00 a kilo), marron ($69.99 a kilo), scampi ($34.99 a kilo), Alaskan crab legs ($29.99-$59.99 a kilo) and oysters ($10.99-$13.99 a dozen).

Kourtikas’s top tip for serving up seafood on Christmas Day is to keep it simple and enjoy the natural flavours. But if you’re looking for a delicious idea that’s a little out of the box, how about oysters with seaweed salad and red caviar, or raw salmon and tuna with wasabi and soy?

So what will Kourtikas’s family be eating this Christmas?

“Prawns, oysters, whole baked Atlantic salmon, crayfish with white wine and coriander sauce, smoked salmon for entrée with dill and cracked Murray River salt.”

Jo Dunn, Something Wild

This Christmas, Something Wild has created the croc-all-u, its own festive version of the turducken (which is a deboned chicken stuffed into a deboned duck, which is in turn stuffed into a deboned turkey).

“The croc-all-u has four different aspects,” Dunns says. “We wrap venison sausage meat mixed with native herbs inside a piece of wallaby. We then wrap the crocodile tail fillet around it, and finally the last layer of emu. The best way to cook this product is wrapped in aluminium foil for 45 minutes at 180 degrees and then with the foil off for a further 10 minutes. Rest the product for five minutes before slicing.”

Dunn says other options for the more adventurous host include wild boar hams, smoked venison legs, crocodile kebabs (for the barbecue), sampler kebabs (barbecue) and guinea fowl.

See tomorrow’s Forager for information about Christmas opening hours for the Adelaide Central Market and farmers’ markets.

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