Christmas Day Schedule & Tips

Updated: Dec 14, 2020



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.....

TOP TIPS

• 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.

  • Resting a turkey is essential and the bird will be so much better for it. Don’t be afraid to rest a turkey for up to 2 hours. The residual heat will keep it warm under foil. This also frees up the oven for other ingredients.

  • Follow my version of Jamie’s get ahead gravy. This can be frozen and then defrosted the day before.

  • Follow my Sausage & Chestnut Stuffing recipe and freeze until the 23rd December

  • 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

  • Remember the more you have in a pan the longer it takes to cook/colour. This also applies to having several things in your oven. For example, roast potatoes on your average Sunday make cook quickly, when you have a large tray, you may need to turn up the heat a little.

  • Ask someone to be in charge of drinks, or tell your guests to help themselves.

  • Its the last 15 minutes of cooking that is the most stressful. Ask one person (who takes direction well) to come in at that time and assist you. I personally fine until that time, other people helping can be a distraction.

SCHEDULE

18th DECEMBER

Make your cranberry sauce and keep in the fridge.

CHRISTMAS EVE

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.

TURKEY TIMINGS

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.

18th DEEMBER

23rd DECEMBER

Remove the stuffing from the freezer to slowly defrost overnight in the fridge

CHRISTMAS EVE

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.

  • If you made the get ahead gravy, then remove from the freezer to defrost.

  • Stuff & prep the turkey so it’s ready to go in a large roasting tin.

  • Make my Brussel Sprouts with Pancetta & Chestnuts. Rose Harissa Carrots & red cabbage. These can be place on a large platter and reheated tomorrow.

CHRISTMAS DAY

  • My times are for a 6kg Turkey.

  • 10am (if you haven’t made the get ahead gravy)

simmer the giblets in water with 3 carrots & 2 onions. Cook for 3 hours. Strain and save stock for use in the gravy.

  • 10.15am

(if you haven’t delegated!) prep canapés and cover somewhere cool - covered.

  • 11am

the Turkey goes in the oven.

  • 11am

(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)

  • 11am

ask someone to set the table, get glasses ready, dish up crisps and nuts.

  • 11am

remove cheese from the fridge and open red wine to breathe.

  • 11am

upstairs for a shower!

  • 1.15pm

remove the foil from the turkey

  • 2pm

Turkey comes out of the oven to rest, covered in foil.

  • 2pm

Roast potatoes go in the oven

  • 2.05pm

ask someone to wash up all the pots and pans used in the prep.

  • 2.15pm

If you haven’t made the get ahead gravy, then remove most of the fat from the tray and add 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.

If you have made the get ahead gravy then, remove fat from the juices, pour in a little wine to deglaze the pan, bubble and add to the existing gravy.

  • 2.30pm stuffing goes into the oven

  • 2.30pm Christmas pudding goes on to simmer gently

  • 2.30pm pigs in blankets go into the oven

  • 3pm Lunch is served

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