Your Christmas Recipes

Posted on: 06 December 2011 by Gareth Hargreaves

50connect reader recipes for the festive season

coronation chickenForget your celebrity chefs and Jamie Oliver's latest food crusade, we believe that the best recipes are the ones cooked by the great British public.

As Christmas approaches he is the pick of our reader recipes for you to have a go at yourselves. There's everything from Turkey stew to delicious winter berry cocktails. Enjoy!

For your chance to see your recipe on 50connect email


Theresa's Coronation Chicken.

"This is one of the tastiest versions of Coronation Chicken and is one I am always asked for, for buffets."


  • 3lb cooked chicken
  • 2 oz butter                                
  • 1tbsp olive oil                         
  • 1 small onion                            
  • 1 level tbsp curry powder
  • Flour to thicken                    
  • ½ pint stock
  • 1 rounded tsp tomato purée
  • 2 rounded tbsp apricot jam
  • Juice ½ lemon
  • ½ pint Hellman’s mayonnaise
  • 3 tbsps single cream


  • Heat oil and butter in a pan, add chopped onion and soften.
  • Stir in curry powder, add flour and cook.
  • Stir in stock, tomato purée, lemon juice and jam.
  • Stir until boiling then simmer for five minutes.
  • Place in a bowl and leave to cool.
  • Add mayonnaise and cream, stir well then blend.
  • Pour over diced/chopped chicken.
  • Be careful when reheating - mayonnaise curdles.

Louise's Chocolate Cherry Marzipan Bites

If you've iced a Christmas cake and have marizipan left over, this is a great way to use it up. The festive bites can be used as a gift as well as a treat for guests or yourself.


  • Glace cherries
  • Marzipan
  • Dark chocolate


  • Roll out the marzipan.
  • Take some glace cherries, and wrap each one completely with a piece of marzipan, pinching ends together.
  • Melt the chocolate. A minute in the microwave, then stirring and testing every 10 seconds, seems to work well.
  • Skewer each of the wrapped cherries and dip into the chocolate until coated.
  • Place on aluminium foil and leave to set.

Jenny's Christmas Tree Angels

I find mince pies a little heavy to eat after a meal so:

  • Make a standard sponge mix.
  • Stir in two tbsps of mince meat.
  • Bake in the oven - size of small cakes.
  • Once they are cool cut out the middle - like fairy cakes.
  • Fill the hole you have made with brandy butter, cream if you prefer.
  • Then put the slice back on top - or cut it in half and make wings again as you would for fairy cakes.
  • Dust with icing sugar.

We call them Christmas tree angels.

The best bit is the kids can help make them.

Hope you like it.

Turkey stewAlan's Turkey Stew

  • Strip turkey carcass and put meat aside
  • Boil carcass in water for about 2 hours, then strain
  • Keep the stock and dispose of bones
  • Add approx 250g each of lentils, mixed beans, pearl barley that have previously been soaked overnight and cooked as per instructions on bag
  • Add chopped onions, herbs, garlic, salt & pepper to taste
  • Bring to boil, add prepared herb dumplings - recipe on ATORA packet, chopped turkey meat and simmer for 20 minutes
  • This needs to be cooked in a stockpot. It will freeze well.

This recipe also works well for chicken and rabbit but not with rabbit stock, use chicken stock.

Jeanette's 10 Minute Microwave Dumpling

Put the following in a pot:

  • 4 oz Brown Sugar or Castor Sugar
  • 8 oz Sultanas
  • 8 oz Currants
  • 4 oz Margarine
  • ½ Pint Water
  • 2 Teaspoons Mixed Spice
  • 1 Teaspoon Cinnamon


  • Bring to the boil and simmer for 2 minutes
  • Remove from the heat, let cool slightly.
  • Add 8 oz Plain Flour
  • 1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 2 Eggs, lightly beaten
  • Mix Well
  • Line at least 2 pint size, casserole dish with cling film.
  • Put mixture in casserole and cook on high in Microwave for 10 Minutes
  • Remove from casserole to oven plate - removing cling film
  • Gently dry off in oven to form skin

Winter berry cocktailsAnna's Winter Berry Vanilla Twist Cocktail


  • 25ml freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 25ml spiced winter berries cordial
  • 25ml raspberry liqueur
  • 75ml vanilla vodka
  • 1 tbsp plain natural yoghurt
  • 25ml sugar syrup
  • 2 ice cubes, for shaking


  1. Place the orange juice, spiced winter berries cordial, raspberry liqueur, vanilla vodka, yogurt, sugar syrup and ice in a cocktail shaker.
  2. Shake thoroughly, strain into an old-fashioned glass, garnish with boozy berries and serve.

spiced banana cakeAnna's Spiced Banana & Walnut Cake


  • 250g (8oz) self-raising flour
  • 125g (4 oz) butter/margarine
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 125g (4 oz) caster sugar
  • Grated rind of one lemon OR hearty squeeze of lemon juice
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 3 bananas, mashed to within an inch of their lives with a fork - the squishier the better – it helps if they're softish to begin with
  • hearty handful of walnuts
  • hearty handful of sultanas
  • 6 heaped tbsp honey


  1. You will need a cake tin, or a loaf tin. Alternatively, double the quantities of everything and use a roasting pan.
  2. Pre-heat oven to 180°C/Gas Mark 4.
  3. Mix sieved flour, nutmeg and cinnamon into a big mixing bowl, and rub in the margarine with your fingers. Yes, your fingers, those things on the ends of your hands. Make sure they're clean and then rub the dry stuff with the marg until you end up with a sort of breadcrumb mixture.
  4. Use a big wooden fold in the sugar, eggs, lemon, sultanas, walnuts, mashed bananas and honey. The mixture will seem too dry at first, and very sticky. Once you add the bananas, it will get all gloppy, not to worry!
  5. Pour the whole gloppy lot into the cooking receptacle of your choice and then bake for about 70-80 minutes, depending on how efficient your oven is. My fan oven is like a furnace at any temperature, so it only takes an hour. Your mileage may vary. You'll know it's done when:
    a) the top is golden brown, the colour of, um, white toast and
    b) when you jab it with a sharp knife (I'm going to assume you don't own a skewer, because really, who does?) the blade comes out clean, or just a little bit moist.
  6. Leave it to cool for a bit (the nuts and sultanas are like molten lava when they come out of the oven) and then chop into slivers and eat lightly buttered with a nice cup of tea.

You can justify the fact that you're eating cake by reminding yourself that it's actually got bananas in it and therefore it can count towards your daily fruit and veg quota. Honest.

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