I’ve compiled a list of top tips and a schedule which I find works well. Feel free to share your top tip? I’d love to hear more.....
• Delegate - people enjoy being involved and are more than happy to bring a plate of food. For example, if I’m cooking the lunch, my mum will make the canapés and bring them to me. My Aunt is in charge of homemade sausage rolls and my Mother in law brings a lovely selection of local cheeses.
• Write a schedule and set alarms - it’s too easy to get distracted.
•Make sure your turkey fits in the oven! Also check you have a roasting tin big enough.
•Stuff the turkey and wrap in bacon on Christmas Eve - this way you can wake up and just put the turkey in the oven.
• Follow @jamieoliver ‘s make ahead gravy
• Wash pots and pans up as you go (or ask someone nicely 🥰)
• Prepare vegetables on a large platter the day before and reheat on the day - my Brussels work perfectly this way
Stuff the Turkey with 1 onion 1 clementine halved and garlic. Stuff with sausages and chestnut stuffing and cover with 2 packs of streaky bacon. Cover loosely with foil and store in a fridge. Remove from the fridge on Christmas Day morning.
A higher-welfare bird will take less time to cook - about 30 minutes per kilo. A standard bird will take about 40 minutes per kilo. As a guide a 3.6kg-5.4kg turkey will take 2 hours, a 5.4kg-7.25kg bird will take 2.5-3 hours. Plus resting time. Remove the foil for the last 45 minutes.
My times are for a 6kg Turkey.
simmer the giblets in water with 3 carrots & 2 onions. Cook for 3 hours. Strain and save stock for use in the gravy.
(if you haven’t delegated!) prep canapés and cover somewhere cool and covered.
the Turkey goes in the oven.
(this could be done the day before)
veg prep - peel potatoes (leave in salted water) follow Brussel sprouts recipe (to be re-heated later) follow red cabbage recipe (to be re-heated later) Follow harissa carrot recipe (to be re-heated later)
ask someone to set the table, get glasses ready, dish up crisps and nuts.
remove cheese from the fridge and open red wine to breathe.
upstairs for a shower!
remove the foil from the turkey
Turkey comes out of the oven to rest, covered in foil.
Roast potatoes go in the oven
ask someone to wash up all the pots and pans used in the prep.
make the gravy, by removing most of the fat and adding flour to the juices from the pan. Add a glass of wine and reduce followed by the stock from the giblets. Bubble until rich and delicious.
stuffing goes into the oven
pigs in blankets go into the oven
3pm Lunch is served