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Master perfect poultry and fancy fish dishes with Mrs Crunch’s Christmas tips

SALES of turkey crowns are expected to soar this Christmas as families host smaller gatherings than usual.

I have found great deals on the popular cut, as well as on traditional turkeys and other alternatives.

Go all-out on your big Christmas lunch - without breaking the bank


Go all-out on your big Christmas lunch – without breaking the bankCredit: Getty

And for a lighter festive meal, look no further than fish and seafood – I have netted some great deals, including on ready meals.

There are cooking tips, too, from top chefs, and scrumptious sprouts and savoury cheesecake recipes from

Great tastes, great options

IF you fancy an alternative to turkey, but still want meat, here are some great ideas . . . 

Morrisons Three Bird Roast, £20, is part of its festive selection. Available in store while stocks last or order online by the end of today.

For a no-fuss festive feast, opt for Tesco’s covered lamb leg


For a no-fuss festive feast, opt for Tesco’s covered lamb leg

Upgrade your Christmas Day chicken to a flavoursome free-range bird from Sainsbury’s, £9.74 and approx 1.7kg. For another delicious treat, save £4.50 per kilo on a lamb leg at Morrisons, now £6 per kilo.

Aldi has a Specially Selected British wagyu joint, £19.99, per kg, topped off with a fabulous wine-and-treacle jus.

For a no-fuss festive feast, Tesco’s lamb leg with Seville marmalade maple glaze & seeded crumb, 1.3-2.3kg, is priced from £30.

For fans of pork, the Co-op’s British pork rib rack joint with rosemary and thyme seasoning and Cornish sea salt, £12 per kilo, is a lip-smacking proposition for the big day.

Or to ham it up this Christmas – Morrisons’ rum-and-blackberry glazed gammon joint, 1.2kg, is £10. Order online today only or pick up in store.

Chef’s tips for perfect poultry

FOLLOW these Morrisons chefs’ rules for a fantastic turkey:

  • If you buy a frozen turkey, allow plenty of time to defrost it in the fridge – it could take a couple of days. Always follow the pack instructions and ensure your turkey is fully defrosted before cooking.
  • When roasting a turkey, cook in a preheated oven at 190C℃ (170 fan) or gas mark 5 and calculate the weight of your bird after stuffing.
  • As a rule, allow 20 minutes per kilo, plus 70 minutes, to cook a turkey weighing less than 4kg. Allow 20 minutes per kilo, plus 90 minutes, for a turkey weighing more than 4kg. These timings also work for a turkey crown.
  • To check your turkey is cooked through, insert a skewer into the thickest part of the thigh. If the juices run clear, the turkey is cooked. If they’re pink, return it to the oven and check every 20 minutes until they run clear.
  • Leave your turkey to stand for at least 30 minutes after cooking to let the juices settle.

Stilton cheesecake with glazed vegetables

Serves eight

Prep time: 25 mins

Cook time: 80 mins

This savoury cheesecake is sure to delight everyone - vegetarians especially


This savoury cheesecake is sure to delight everyone – vegetarians especially

You need:

  • 150g butter
  • 150g oatcakes
  • 300ml semi-skimmed milk
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 150g blue Stilton, crumbled
  • 75g white breadcrumbs
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 1 large parsnip, peeled, cut in batons
  • 175g Chantenay carrots, trimmed and halved lengthways
  • 4 small shallots, peeled and halved
  • Juice of 1 orange, and finely grated zest
  • 2 tbsp cranberry sauce
  • 300ml vegetable stock, hot, made from a cube
  • 1 small handful flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped


  1. For this recipe from first preheat the oven to 170C/150C fan/Gas 3. Grease and line a 20cm springform cake tin with greaseproof paper. Melt 75g of the butter and mix with the oatcakes, spoon into the tin and flatten.
  2. Let it chill for ten minutes while you heat the milk and mustard for one to two minutes. Add the Stilton and breadcrumbs, season and stir until most of the cheese has melted.
  3. Allow that to cool for 15 minutes then beat in the egg yolks. Whisk the egg whites until stiff, fold into the sauce. Spoon over the oatcake base and bake for 50 minutes until just set, covering with foil after 20 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, melt the remaining butter in a pan and fry the parsnip, carrots and shallots for five to six minutes.
  5. Pour over the orange zest and juice and the stock and bring to the boil.
  6. Simmer for 15 minutes, until the vegetables are tender and most of the juice has been absorbed. Stir in the cranberry sauce and cook for a further three minutes.
  7. To serve, spoon the cooked veg over the cheesecake, scatter with parsley.

Turkey crowns and whole birds

FROM Saturday, you can buy a whole British turkey crown at Morrisons for £7 per kilo.

Lidl’s Broadland free-range bronze British turkey breast joint, wrapped in a bacon lattice, with pork, apricot and cranberry stuffing, makes a tasty package, 1.8kg, £29.99.

Lidl’s turkey breast joint wrapped in bacon is just £29.99


Lidl’s turkey breast joint wrapped in bacon is just £29.99

For every fresh whole turkey or turkey crown sold, Aldi is pledging £1 to the Neighbourly Foundation charity to fight food poverty. Pick up a fresh large British turkey crown in store for £6.89 per kilo.

For a good-value meal, Asda’s frozen small British turkey crown, serving three to four people, is £10.

Morrisons’ fresh British whole turkey is just £3 per kilo from Saturday.

If you're hosting a bigger group, Sainsbury’s extra-extra-large frozen turkey is great value for money


If you’re hosting a bigger group, Sainsbury’s extra-extra-large frozen turkey is great value for money

For free-range festivities, Lidl’s Deluxe Ultimate Heritage Breed free-range Silver Slate British turkey is £8.99 per kg.

If you have a hungry group, Sainsbury’s frozen extra-extra- large whole butter-basted turkey, 8.9kg to 10.6kg, is £29.

For hungry families, the Essential large turkey with giblets from Waitrose, 5.5kg to 6.9kg, will serve at least 11, for £22.75.

…and for non-meat eaters

NO meat? No problem. The Wicked Kitchen’s vegan No-Turkey Roast Crown, 500g, is £5 at Tesco, made with savoury soy-and-wheat protein topped with vegan coconut melt and a sage- and-onion stuffing crumb.

Morrisons’ two nut roasts with four-cheese melting middle (2 x 225g) are £5. Order by end of today or pick up in store.

Iceland’s No Beef No Bull Wellington, 560g, £3, is a show-stopper for the non-meat lot. Serves four.

Sauteed Brussels sprouts with pecans

Serves six

Preparation time: 10 mins

Cooking time: 15 mins

Spice up your sides and serve up these delicious sauteed sprouts


Spice up your sides and serve up these delicious sauteed sprouts

You need:

  • 150g pecan nuts
  • 1kg Brussels sprouts
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 15g butter


  1. Toast the pecan nuts in the oven for about five minutes. Cut the sprouts into halves and quarters, depending on the size, then steam for about five minutes until just tender.
  2. Heat the oil and butter in a large frying pan and stir fry the sprouts for about 5 minutes until they begin to brown.
  3. Add the toasted pecans and toss to combine.

Some expert cooking help

IF you’re cooking fish from scratch this Christmas, follow these tips from the chefs at Morrisons.

  • Cover frozen fish with milk when thawing in the fridge to keep it tasting fresh.
  • Look for the “C” when cooking prawns. Straight prawns are undercooked, prawns that have just curled into a C-shape are perfectly cooked, and prawns that have twisted into an O-shape are overcooked.
  • Try a flavouring with your fillets. Ask Morrisons fishmongers for a free butter with your fish, and bake it in the bag.
  • To minimise the smell of fish in your home, bake it in a tin foil or parchment paper parcel. Season the fish well with salt and pepper and a squeeze of lemon. Cooking in the parcel will keep all the flavour inside and the fish succulent.
  • If you are frying fish, try cooking in “half and half” butter and oil – the oil will stop the butter burning and the butter will add flavour. Always finish cooking fish with a squeeze of lemon.
  • Moving fish around too much in the pan can cause it to break up. Try cooking it on one side without moving it for three to four minutes before turning it over carefully with a fish slice to cook the other side for a further three to four minutes. Allow to rest too.

Happy fishmas

START your big feat with The Best triple-smoked, tsar-cut salmon with soy dressing from Morrisons, £8. The dish serves six and is available from Saturday.

Seafood lovers will rejoice at Morrisons The Best seafood thermidor – prawns and scallops in a rich sauce, £5 for a pack of two, also available from Saturday.

For an easy but tasty starter, get your hands on Morrisons' The Best seafood thermidor


For an easy but tasty starter, get your hands on Morrisons’ The Best seafood thermidor

Aldi’s whole Canadian lobster, £5.99, 400g, is a real treat to get your claws into.

For simple smoked salmon, Morrisons has a 200g pack for £3.

Dreaming of a white fishmas? Try Aldi’s Specially Selected cod loin wrapped in bacon, £7.99. Available in store from Saturday.

Get a fresh whole salmon for £4.99 per kilo, down from £8, at Morrisons.

Aldi’s Specially Selected cod loin wrapped in bacon is also a great option at just £7.99


Aldi’s Specially Selected cod loin wrapped in bacon is also a great option at just £7.99

It’s a wrap – Tesco’s finest salmon Wellington, encased in pastry, is £5 for the 700g dish.

If you can wait until next week, Tesco Finest salmon joint with stuffing and cranberry glaze, 904g, launches on Monday for £20.

For a different kind of fish, Waitrose ray wings with lemon butter, capers and parsley, 275g, is £6.

Festive deals on veg

BUY three for £1 on favourite festive veg at Morrisons, including 500g sprouts, 1kg carrots, 500g parsnips, 2kg potatoes or a whole swede.

Get three for the price of two on fruit and vegetables at the Co-op including peeled sprouts, 200g, seedless easy peelers and punnets of Irresistible grapes.

Stock up on carrots while they're on offer at Morrisons


Stock up on carrots while they’re on offer at Morrisons

Save 70p on Sainsbury’s cauliflower cheese, 400g, now £2.

For bargain veg, Asda’s frozen vegetable bundle includes frozen peas, carrots and a vegetable medley mix for £2.57.

Save 95p on Birds Eye petits pois at Sainsbury’s, now £2.50.

Save £1 on Aunt Bessie’s duck fat roasted potatoes at Morrisons, now £2.

For posh flavoursome veg, save 51p on Chantenay carrots at Morrisons, now 49p for 500g. Hurry, offer expires today.

Part of Morrisons’ festive selection available from Tuesday, The Best butternut squash, beetroot and cheese, 400g, is £2.

Sainsbury’s Potato Dauphinoise, 400g, is down from £2.70 to £2.

Lidl Ireland Christmas advert for the 2020 festive season

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