Our Top 10 Tips: Christmas Dinner
With SO much riding on this meal…it is no wonder that it can be a such a stressful time of year for many of us… Is the turkey going to dry out? Will we have everything out on time? Will we have enough drinks for everyone? You get the picture…
So, we’ve compiled our ‘Top 10 Tips’ to help you with your dinner…and hey, not to brag…but, this year we’ll have served about 16,000 of them!
You may think, OMG that is the best advice EVER! But, hear us out… think now about what jobs can be done before the big day: Wrap any table gifts in advance, make the dinner music selection (and save playlist) AND….
Set the scene!
The night before, get all your cutlery and table decorations together, fold the napkins and start polishing those Champagne flutes!
Prepare your vegetables on Christmas Eve - you will thank us later! Once all the vegetables are done, don’t let them get soggy. Wrap them in damp kitchen roll and leave them somewhere cool overnight (perhaps a garage). For potatoes, parboil and shake in a colander while draining to rough them up, then cool before storing overnight in sealed bag in the fridge. Then, chuck them into hot fat to roast and they’ll be nice and crisp. Guaranteed!
First things, first.
Do NOT juggle all sorts of baking trays in the oven, it’ll end in tears! Instead, cook the turkey first – nice and early. Then, rest it for a couple of hours while you do the rest. (You can then turn up the oven get beautiful, golden and crispy potatoes…without worrying about overcooking that bird!)
Keep the sides nice and simple
Less is more! And with Christmas dinner - it has never been truer! Believe us, no one is really interested in five different side dishes or three types of potatoes. Stick to the classics and you will be everyone’s favourite chef!
'...don't fight for the precious fridge real estate!'
Know your Turkeys!
Frozen or not frozen, that’s the question?! Bear in mind that even though frozen Turkeys are cheaper (and can be bought up to six months in advance) – they are also less flavoursome, and the thawing process can take a LONG.TIME. On the other hand, a fresh turkey needs to be purchased as late as possible. Ideally it needs to be cooked within two days of buying.
Keep it nice and juicy…
Listen to us, brine your bird. Yes, Brine. Brine your Turkey for around 12hours before popping it in the oven to cook. How? Prepare a large bucket, fill it with 10% of saltwater mix, 2 tbs of sugar and lots of black pepper, cloves, cinnamon, a couple of bay leaves and some orange peel. HEAVEN.
Wash as you go
CLEAN UP. AS. YOU. GO! Trust us, professional kitchens swear by this. Save yourself the hardship for later…
Shaken or Stirred?
Simple: If you have a garden – set up an outside ‘chill zone’ for your drinks…don’t fight for that precious fridge real estate! (if not keep them away from the heat of the kitchen in bucket with ice.)
The more…the Merrier!
Simple – cook extra. Extra vegetables, Pigs in Blankets – all you are doing guarantee yourself extra food for Boxing Day! (How about using leftovers for bubble and squeak, which will make a delicious hot sandwich!).