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Dec 192012
 

How to cook the perfect Christmas Dinner – a few tips

It’s one of the most important meals of the year – one you don’t want to get wrong. The pressure on your shoulders to deliver a brilliant meal is huge!

But never fear, you are not alone. Far from it.

If you’re freaking out about festive food, or want a stress-free schedule, here’s a few top tips from the range cooker provider Leisure Cooker.

A few days before…

Before the Christmas period it makes sense to go through your fridge and clear it out of all the food approaching its use by dates to free up a bit of space. Stock up on all the essentials you are going to need to see you through – from sauces and soft drinks, to wine, beer and nibbles.

Christmas Eve

Right, you’re 24 hours from the Big Day – and now’s the time to get prepared…

Wash and peel all your vegetables. Potatoes can be stored in a saucepan of salted water, while carrots and sprouts can be peeled and left wrapped up in the fridge overnight.

For bread sauce, cut all the crusts off as many slices as needed and leave them covered until Christmas morning.

You may need to defrost your turkey at this point – so go by the golden rule of 10-12 hours per kg if in a fridge, 3-4 hours per kg if at room temperature. You also need to plan the time you will be sticking it in the oven. According to the Food Standards Agency, a turkey weighing 4.5kg or under will take around 3 hours at 180 degrees.

Christmas Day

It’s the Big Day! Time for all that preparation to pay off!

Now you know what time you need to put the bird in the oven (say midday?, ready for 3pm) here’s a guide.

6 hours before (9am) – Take the turkey out of the fridge and let it reach room temperature

5 hours before (10am) – Time to make the stuffing

4.5 hours before (10:30) – Preheat your oven

4 hours to go (11am) – Season the turkey, stuff it and fasten it

3.5 hours to go (11:30) – Lay the table and get all the bits and bobs ready for serving up

3 hours to go (12pm) – Stick it in the oven and warm the water in saucepans ready for boiling

2.5 hours to go (12:30pm) – Take the potatoes and part boil for 10 minutes, shake them up to get them fluffy and put them on the roasting tin with your turkey

2 hours to go (1pm) – Open up red wine and let it breathe, put out the nibbles and things

1 hour to go (2pm) – Roast the bacon-wrapped-chipolatas on a separate tray. Check the turkey’s not overcooking and pierce the skin to crisp it up.

30 minutes to go (2:30pm) – Remove the turkey from the oven and check it’s cooked. It may need a bit more time depending on its weight. If satisfied, cover with foil and let it stand.

20 minutes to go – Get the veg on!

15 minutes to go – Make the gravy, and pour yourself a glass of wine – you deserve it.

Good luck, Happy Cooking and Happy Christmas!

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