There once was a gal from Turducken….

Sponsored by ALDI

When supermarket ALDI got in touch with me and asked whether I would be able to prepare a Christmas Feast using their “Specially Selected” range, I was all like….

“Of course I can!”

But the truth was quite different to my confident claims. You see, I have never cooked a Christmas meal before. How can I get to the age of 41 and never done this? Well, the woman who gave me life is the Queen of the Christmas Kitchen, and is not to be messed with.

So I took on this challenge with gusto. Christmas is not just about the actual day of the 25th. If you are anything like me, there are Christmas catch ups up the yazoo, street parties, cocktail parties and all sorts of excuses to celebrate leading up to the big day.

Now, I shall confess. I am not known for my brilliance in the kitchen, but I am great company, good for stirring things and excellent at sipping on wine as I do so. So I invited some top guns over to guide me through what turned out to be an absolute cracker of a meal. Please note that absolutely EVERYTHING came from ALDI.

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Combined together, these two mates are a force to be reckoned with. Armed with my kitchen and my limited ability, they turned our ALDI stash into something magical.

Yes, it was out Early Girly Christmas Lunch! One of the highlights of the Christmas Social Catch-ups, don’t you think?

Can we talk a little about turduckens for a moment?

A turducken is a turkey, stuffed with a duck, stuffed with a chicken, which all sounds very complicated and confusing, but after researching a little bit about them, is actually quite simple and easy to cook.

If you consider that back in 1807 a chap called Grimod de La Reynière proved himself to be no friend of any fowl when he concocted his “Roast without Equal” which was a bustard stuffed with a turkey, a goose, a pheasant, a chicken, a duck, a guinea fowl, a teal, a woodcock, a partridge, a plover, a lapwing, a quail, a thrush, a lark, an ortolan bunting and a garden warbler.

As Horatio would say TITF Grimod de La Reynière! (Took it too far.)

Specially Selected Three Bird Roast. Are you game? (In store now: Frozen 1.5kg, $29.99. On sale 18 Dec: Fresh, $16.99 per kg)

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And what is more Aussie than a bucket of prawns served simply with some lemon?

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But before you get to the main event, it is customary to pop a bottle of champagne and get stuck into some fabulous nibbles. Now, here is a little lesson from me to you. Are you sitting down?

ALDI sells some of the best Champagne in the world! I know, I promise you I was as skeptical as hell. How can a budget supermarket do this? I don’t know but it is a well-kept secret. Monsigny Champagnehas beaten the big names such as Moet and Veuve Clicquot in blind testings. So we can all stop being Champagne snobs and enjoy, and at $29.99 a bottle, best get two!

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While you are at it, get yourself to the delicatessen section where the ALDI offerings are famous for their deliciousness. This is their famous Black Truffle Salami ($9.99) served with Italian Rustic Crackers ($2.99) Antipasto and their Roquefort Blue Vein Cheese ($6.49)

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This year our family is breaking with tradition. We always have lunch at Mum’s place, but I gently floated the idea of a picnic at the beach where Jabba the Hut lives, and the big wigs approved it. By the sounds of it, we’ll be one of many families breaking tradition with a family gathering over a picnic too. According to ALDI, family gatherings with a picnic at the beach will be a popular choice for nearly half (43%) of Aussies this Christmas.

So we will be that family sitting under the trees with trussle tables, eskies, Frisbees and soaking wet kids everywhere. And I can hardly wait! A Christmas Picnic takes out all of the stress, with simple food, platters of ham and prawns, a few salads and of course Champagne.

But back to the Early Girly Christmas Lunch…

So we all know that brussel sprouts divide the masses, but check out Mrs. Goodman’s version. You might just change your mind.

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  • Slightly steam your sprouts and set aside
  • Whack some olive oil in a pan and fry up some garlic with pancetta, chilli flakes and panko crumbs.
  • When done throw the spouts back in and coat them in goodness.
  • This can all be done ahead and heated up in the oven.

ALDI has covered off all your Christmas essentials, at a fraction of the price you would pay elsewhere. My Dad was an early ALDI adopter and swears by the chain. He is thrifty with his dough.

So when you look at something really basic, such as a packet wafer crackers, you will pay $1.99 at ALDI and $3.21 at one of the Big Two, for the exact same thing. So save your cash this Chrissie, but don’t compromise on quality.

Aussies spend $1.3 billion dollars annually on Christmas Groceries, with the average family spending $341.90. This has doubled since just 2012, because we have all gotten a little fancier. I blame the onslaught of TV cooking shows.

And Pinterest.

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Pavlova wreath anyone?

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Or Luxury Champagne Pudding ($12.99) and a great big serve of Dollop Cream with Cointreau ($2.79)?

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It was at this point that I changed into a soft pant, and fuelled by 2 glasses of French, fell into a food coma that lasted well into the afternoon. The Early Girly Christmas lunch was done for another year.

Look for the Specially Selected logo when shopping at Aldi this Christmas, and enjoy gourmet groceries for less. For more information on the full ALDI Christmas range, please visit www.perfectaussiechristmas.com.au.

What is your favourite Christmas Food to eat?

Have you ever tried a turducken?

*Please note: Prices are correct as of 18 December 2014