Christmas Dinner Cooking Tips
Posted 22/12/2014 by BrightHouse Team
Christmas dinner might be the most important meal you cook all year, and one of the most enjoyable. Everyone has their favourite dish, from stuffing to roast potatoes, to cranberry sauce and pigs in blankets.
It can start to feel a bit stressful if you have family or friends coming round for dinner, and it’s all up to you to make sure everything turns out right. To help make things go smoothly, we’ve put together a few essential tips for creating the perfect Christmas dinner.
There are lots of different methods for cooking turkey, such as Delia’s foil tent recipe, but the main thing is to stop it getting dry, and to make sure it’s cooked through. To check if it’s cooked, insert a skewer into the leg and look to see if the juices run clear (not pink).
You should also make sure your turkey comes out of the oven at least 30 minutes before it’s needed so it is has time to rest. This means the meat will be juicier and easier to carve. You don’t need to worry about it going cold either: just put some foil round it and it’ll retain its heat easily. Don’t forget to save the juices to make delicious gravy, too. You can find lots of great tips about cooking turkeys on the British Turkey website.
Goose fat is often said to make the best roast potatoes, but many top chefs recommend using olive oil instead, which is also easier to get hold of. To make the perfect roasties, shake the drained potatoes in the pan before transferring to the roasting tray as this helps to create fluffy edges that will crisp up beautifully.
To save time on Christmas morning, it’s a good idea to do some preparation for the vegetables the night before. You can parboil your potatoes and parsnips, then let them cool and refrigerate them until needed. You can also do all the peeling and trimming of other veg and place them in pans of cold water until you’re ready to cook them.
Don’t worry about crossing your sprouts, either, unless they’re really on the large side. It’s best to stick to smaller ones and just keep a close eye on them so they don’t overcook.
This is usually a favourite, and there are all sorts of flavours and combinations you can create for a delicious Christmas stuffing. If you want to actually stuff the turkey cavity, make sure the stuffing is at room temperature before putting it in the bird, and make sure the turkey is completely defrosted.
The main thing is not to let Christmas dinner become too stressful and tiring on the day. Hand out preparation jobs to the family, and keep track of timings when cooking, and everything will come together perfectly. And don’t forget to leave the washing up to someone else while you relax in front of some great Christmas TV.