Ways & How

how to cook Christmas dinner

how to cook Christmas dinner

What could be the greatest challenge on how to cook Christmas dinner when cooking for special dinners are already part of your regular routine? The element of timing is of the essence. Each chef has certain characteristics and preferences that will make their menu far from the ordinary. Here are some points that are guaranteed to make your Christmas preparations special:

  1. Plan and shop early before Christmas Eve. Jotting down everything you need for your menu will put you ahead of your tasks. Creating a schedule that considers marinating and setting times for the turkey will prevent you from stress.

  2. Start your food preparation methods on Christmas Eve. If your cooking time is 45 minutes in the oven, allow another hour for the turkey to rest. You should have enough time for any addition or modification of your recipes before eating time during Christmas dinner.

  3. Check all elements of the preparation.  Bread is sliced into cubes for the dressing, vegetable trimmings are done, and the chicken stock has been pre-boiled to easily form the base of the gravy just before Christmas dinner.

    You will surely spot some missing items, but you’ll be able to fix them right away if you start early.

  4. Double-check with your pre-processed ingredients before bedtime on Christmas Eve. Have you transferred the stock into a bowl for the fat to separate while in the fridge? This will make the removal of fats easier when the morning comes. Salt the turkey inside and out before wrapping it with a sanitized tea towel. Secure it in a safe place.

  5. Turn the oven up to the maximum heat required first thing on Christmas day. It will take an hour to come up to the ideal temperature. Remove the wishbone from the turkey using a knife. Slather it with butter and pepper. Press the dressing inside the turkey cavity and close securely. Put two onions in their skins on either side of the turkey in the pan. They blacken on the outside, but the insides soften so that they can be crushed into the pan juices to enrich the gravy.

  6. Place the turkey inside the oven for half an hour. Don’t forget to set the timer. While the turkey is cooking, boil carrots and sprouts until just underdone.  Stop their cooking by immersing in cold water. In the bottom of the carrot pot, put a pat of butter, a teaspoon of honey, and a tablespoon of water. Then place the cold carrots and sprouts on top.

  7. Manage dressing, cranberries, or any family favorites. Half an hour before the turkey is due to come out, put a big, metal tray into the oven to heat up in preparation for the roast potatoes.

  8. Lift the turkey from the roasting pan when you hear the timer ring leaving the juices behind. Transfer it to a warmed serving plate and top it with a tinfoil hat to retain some heat while it rests.

  9. Turn the oven back up to full. Bring out the potato tray and place it across the two biggest rings on the top of the oven. Melt about a pound of butter in the searing hot pan. Toss the parboiled potatoes into it and turn them over and over with a spatula until they are coated. Sprinkle some salt to taste. They'll be crisp on the outside and steaming and fluffy inside when ready to be served.

  10. Take the roasting tray full of turkey juices onto the two big rings and bring them back up to a simmer. Add flour and give it enough time to cook through stirring vigorously. Finally add Marsala and the stock. Crush the roasted onions with a potato masher and then put the gravy through a sieve into a serving boat.

How to cook Christmas dinner on time is an achievement. You will be the happiest cook ever when everybody is happy.


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