EASP05H: Twas' The Night Before Good Eats

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Title 'Twas The Night Before Good Eats
Transcript 'Twas The Night Before Good Eats
Show # EASP05H
Original Air Date


Topics Wassail, Saint Nicholas, Crab Apples, Goose, Duck, Oysters
Synopsis     A dark holiday night finds Alton Brown visited by a series of culinary spirits which drive him to prepare long lost yuletide classics. (foodnetwork.com)

Foodnetwork.com never provided recipes.
Here's my copy from the transcript (below).

1) Wassail
2) Roasted Duck with Oyster Dressing
3) Sugar Fairy Plums

Show No. 220th
FN's Info

FN's Show Info

The Locations --none--
Where's the
Title From?
"Twas the night before Christmas", the first line of the poem, "A Visit from St. Nicholas", by Clement Clarke Moore or Henry Livingston depending on who you believe.
Youtube Part 1  Part 2  Part 3  Part 4  Part 5

The Cast

Santa Clause Bart Hansard
Charles Dickens Daniel Pettrow
House (the butcher) Cole Cassell
Sugar Plum Ferry Jen Apgar
Ghost of American Christmas Feasts Past Lucky Yates

Cratchit Gang (names taken from Dickens' Novel)
Mr. Bob Cratchit Paul Merchant
Mrs. Cratchit Meghan Foley
Martha Cratchit (daughter) Lily Chambers
Peter Cratchit (son) George Litchfield
Tiny Tim Royce Mann: played Tim Tim in the Alliance Theater (Atlanta), "Christmas Carol"




  1. Preheat oven to 350 F

6 Fuji Apples, Cored

  1. Core the Fuji apples using a standard apple corer. Place them in a oven proof glass cooking dish.

1 Cup Brown Sugar

  1. Using a funnel, fill the holes with brown sugar. Tap them down (AB used chopsticks).

1 Cup Water

  1. Place apples in the oven and add 1 cup of water to the dish. Cook for 45 minutes.

10 Cloves
10 Whole Allspice Berries
1 (2-Inch) Stick Cinnamon

  1. Place cloves, allspice berries and cinnamon into a reusable muslin tea bag. (A tea ball strainer could also be used.)

1 tsp. Ground Ginger
1 tsp. Freshly Ground
750 ml Madeira (one
72 Ounces Ale (6 pack)

  1. Turn a crock-pot onto low or medium.
  2. Add the spice bag, ginger and nutmeg, Madeira and ale.
  3. Cover and bring to 120 F.

6 Eggs, Separated

  1. Whip the egg whites until you get stiff peaks (8 to 10 minutes)
  2. Whip the yolks until the ribbon state (lighter in color and thicker in consistency.)
  3. In 2 to 3 batches and using the mixer, work the whipped whites in to the yolk as quickly as possible.
  4. Temper the egg mixture by mixing in 3 full ladlefuls of the hot liquid.
  5. Remove the satchel of spices.
  6. Add the egg mixture to the punch using the mixer to blend it together.
  7. Once the apples are done, place them in the wassail along with any juice in the dish. The apples may or may not float.



1 (5-6 Pound) Duck

  1. Butterfly and prepare the duck by:
    1. bending the wings backwards under themselves
    2. remove the spine with kitchen shears (cut up both sides)
    3. slice through the breastbone (but not all the way) with a boning or paring knife, and then flatten it out as much as possible
    4. flip
    5. make one shallow sideward incision (turn the knife sideways) down the length of each breast into the skin, only (not the meat) to let the fat out when cooking
  2. Place the duck in a 2 piece broiling pan (the one that came with the oven) that has paper towel in the bottom.

1 tbs. Kosher Salt Per
    Pound of Duck

  1. Evenly sprinkle of the salt on each side of the bird.
  2. Store the unwrapped bird on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days.
  3. After removing, the skin should be darker and dryer. Brush off any solid salt that remains. Toss the paper towel.
  4. Let the bird sit at room temperature.
  5. Preheat oven to 350F. Put the bird in as soon as the oven says its ready.
  6. Cook in the middle of the oven for 30 minutes.
  7. Turn the bird horizontally 180 and cook for another 30 minutes.
  8. Check the birds temperature. At 180F, remove it from the oven and allow it to rest while the oven preheats to 450F.
  9. When its ready, return the bird and cook for 10 minutes to crisp the skin.
  10. Allow bird to rest while you make the dressing.
  11. Drain all bird drippings.

Cup Reserved Duck Fat

  1. Reset oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Place backing bottom pan over medium heat.
  3. Pour fat into the pan.

1 Cups Chopped Onions
1 Cups Chopped Celery
tsp. Kosher Salt
tsp. Freshly Ground
    Black Pepper

  1. Place onion, celery, salt and pepper in hot pan with fat.
  2. Cook, stirring, until the aromatics become nice and translucent, about 10 minutes.

1 Pound Cornbread Staled
    & Crumbled
5 Ounces Oyster Crackers,
1 tsp. Dried Thyme
1 tsp. Dried Sage
2 Eggs, Lightly Beaten
1 Pint Small Oysters, With Liquor

  1. Turn off the heat. and combine them (by hand) in a bowl with the cornbread, oyster crackers, thyme, sage, eggs and oysters. Be sure to break the oysters into bite-sized pieces.
  2. Return the mixture to the pan spreading evenly but not over packing.
  3. Now wash those oystery hands.
  4. Put the pan in the oven and cook for 30 to 35 minutes or until golden brown and crisp around the edges.
  5. Plate up by spreading the dressing on a serving platter with the duck right in the middle.



6 Ounces Slivered
    Almonds, Toasted

  1. In a food processor, chop the almonds leaving a few small pieces

4 Ounces Prunes
4 Ounces Dried Apricots
4 Ounces Dried Figs

  1. Add the fruit and continue to chop, but not into a big ball.

tsp. Anise Seed
tsp. Fennel Seed
tsp. Caraway Seed

  1. Toast the seeds.

Cup Confectioner's
Pinch of Kosher Salt
tsp. Cardamom

  1. In a bowl, mix the seeds with the sugar, salt and cardamom.

Cup Honey

  1. After mixing, add the prune mixture and honey and mix with a gloved hand until it forms a ball.
  2. Using a ounce disher, form into balls that are flattened on the bottom and place out on a waxed-lined tray.
  3. Allow to sit on the counter for a few hours to dry or under a tea towel overnight.

1 Cup Course Sugar

  1. Roll them around in your hand to warm them and coat in coarse sugar.




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Last Edited on 08/27/2010