Celebration of the Holidays Adventure

Celebration of the Holidays Adventure

Happy New Year 2019 full of celebrations of family traditions!

At the beginning of the Holiday season of 2018, Tatiana from www.24joyzd.com and I started an exciting Holiday adventure. We put out a challenge involving cooking a family recipe. Why? Because we wanted to create awareness of traditions and hoped to have a very positive impact in people’s lives.

I think traditions are our identity and they bring us wisdom passed from generation to generation. They connect us with people and friends, and make us slow down and reflect. They also connect us with nature, because ancestral food traditions were created with what was available at that time, always using local seasonal ingredients.

We have been touched with what people have shared with us as part of the challenge. As a cook with passion for traditional and healthy cooking, it made me very happy to see how some of you keep recipes from your grandmother and also how you revive your childhood memories by cooking a family recipe.

I want to thank you for all who participated. Thanks for your generosity and for inspiring other people with photos of your homemade food made with so much love. My hope is that you all get inspired to cook at home, share it with your loved ones and start creating meaningful memories in your kitchen and life.

Now let me share a memory from my family Christmas meal…

Recipe for a Catalan Christmas Deboned Stuffed chicken:
Stuffed chicken:
1 whole organic chicken of about 2 kg/4.4 pounds
100 grams/3.5 oz pancetta
2 cups of dry pitted prunes
1/3 cup of pine nuts
½ cup of lard to cover the chicken
½ cup of Brandi
2 cups of chicken stock
Roasted vegetables:
3 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut in rough chunks
3 onions, peeled and cut in rough chunks
2 parsnips, peeled and cut in rough chunks
4 garlic cloves, with the skin on
2 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon of fresh rosemary, minced
1 teaspoon of dried thyme, minced

– Ask the butcher to debone a whole chicken so you can stuff it at home. Here in Barcelona the butcher does everything for you and gives you the chicken already stuffed with a special bag as you can see in the pictures below. Stuff the chicken with the pancetta, dry pitted prunes and pine nuts and then tie it together.
– Preheat the oven to 180C/350F.
– Place the stuffed chicken in an oven tray and cover with the lard. Cook for 30 minutes.
– Meanwhile in a bowl, add the chunks of vegetables and season with salt, pepper, olive oil and the garlic cloves, thyme, rosemary and bay leaves. Mix well.
– Take the chicken out of the oven and add the vegetables on the same tray. Turn the stuffed chicken, and add the chicken stock and ½ cup of Brandi on top. Put it back in the oven for about 1 hour or until the chicken is cooked (when you pierce the skin and meat of the chicken the juices released should be clear).
– Let it rest and serve with the vegetables.
Below see the photos of our stuffed chicken.

Note: When my mother and I were ready to serve the chicken, the family arrived home and I forgot to take the photo of the final dish with the stuffed chicken and vegetables. The pic you can see was with roasted butternut squash instead of sweet potatoes and parsnip. We finished the whole tray of vegetables that day! 😉

Here are some of the photos you sent me: Stuffing from @prettytrolley. Turkey with pears, photo from @gulchephotography and recipe from @ladyerbapepe. Wontons dumplings from @with_mei. Chicken stuffed with rice from a grandmother from Russia. Sesame seeds bread from a mother from Israel.

Happy 2019 full of new traditional kitchen memories!

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