Time of Year for Special Dinners

With the holidays approaching, this is the time of year when we tend to make something a little more special for dinner. Although we will sometimes treat ourselves to some meats that are a little more expensive like lamb, prime rib, duck, or goose, it doesn’t have to be exotic. Sometimes it is simple as taking chicken and making a special meal out of it. Obviously, it is time for a big turkey or ham dinner here in the States, but the holidays can be an opportunity for something a little different. Here are some of our favorite meals to cook during this festive time of year.

Leg of Lamb with Gravy, Roasted Potatoes, and Sautéed Spinach

Roasted Leg of Lamb with Gravy – Even though it is more food than the two of us can eat, we love cooking a leg of lamb and enjoy making savory dishes with the leftovers. Even if you don’t like rare meat, leg of lamb is best when it is cooked to medium-rare at most, otherwise it can get a little tough.

Prime Rib with Yorkshire Pudding

Prime Rib with Yorkshire Pudding – This is definitely a holiday tradition for our family and something that we look forward to every year. As good as it is the night of the dinner, it is great for sandwiches for days afterwards. It is elegant and easy to cook, making it great for entertaining or just a dinner for family at home. Obviously, you don’t need to make the Yorkshire pudding, but if certainly makes for an extra special treat.

Tender Duck Breast

Roasted Duck with a Plum Glaze – We don’t understand why duck is so expensive here in the United States, but it certainly isn’t something that we get very often. Whether cooking duck or goose, it is important to render out the fat that is in the skin. We tend to cut the duck into breasts and thighs as opposed to cooking it whole so that we can control the cooking more easily. The best way to render out the fat is to start it, skin side down, in a cast-iron skillet and then transferring to the oven to finish cooking.

Tuscan Chicken with Crispy Skin

Tuscan Chicken with Green Beans and Bacon – Like most people, we have chicken on a regular basis. That doesn’t mean that chicken can’t be turned into an elegant dinner for the family to enjoy. By using fresh ingredients and adding a butter under the skin, it is not only delicious and moist, but makes for a great presentation. This is definitely not your boring chicken dinner.

Medium-Rare Lamb Chops

Rack of Lamb – Although this is something that you might think of ordering at an upscale restaurant, it is something that you can cook for yourself at home. For the best presentation, the chops should be “French cut”, which is simply the technique of trimming the meat and fat from the bone tips. This is definitely a meal for a special occasion or when you truly want to impress your guests.

Do you have meals that you prepare for special occasions?

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