A Foolproof Christmas Dinner

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Christmas means food, be that with your flat or with your family when you go home. Christmas meals are famous for their complexity and high stakes, but I’m here to tell you that with proper planning and optimism, anything is possible! 

I cooked the Christmas meal for my flat and at midday, we had a frozen turkey and our oven didn’t work so if we can do it, so can you!

You can bang out a Christmas dinner in about two hours, and it’s so easy! The hardest part of a Christmas dinner (or any roast) is timing everything. If you plan out your timings meticulously, you can’t go wrong.

All of the ingredients can be found in bold in the method below so make sure you have a proper read when making your shopping list. You wouldn’t want to go shopping and get home to find that you forgot the gravy…

This may look slightly daunting, but I did this by myself and managed it, so get your flat involved and it’ll be easy!

Timings:

Turkey Crown – 2 hrs 10 mins (timings may change depending on the size and weight of your Turkey, so check)

Roast Potatoes- 1hr 10 mins

Carrots and Parsnips- 35 mins

Pigs in blankets- 30 mins

Stuffing- 20 mins

Green Beans- 10 mins

Gravy- 10 mins

Yorkshire Puddings- 5 mins

My timings were arranged so I could serve at 19:30, but you can adjust the timings to suit you.

Credit: Unsplash / @miroslava

It begins…16:45 Preheat your oven to 180°C.

Prepare a Christmas butter. Mix some soft butter with chopped dried cranberries, the zest of one orange and some rosemary (fresh or dried is fine).

Here comes the tricky part, you need to put a spoon underneath the skin of the turkey, but above the meat, to create space for the butter. Get a dollop of butter on the spoon, and spread it across the breast, under the skin, so that the turkey can absorb the flavour.

Season the skin with salt and pepper and your turkey is ready to go!

17:00 Place your turkey in a baking tray and cover with foil. Place the baking tray in your preheated oven.

Now you have some time off, it’s probably a good chance to peel some veggies so you’re ready for the next steps (Potatoes).

Also, keep spooning the juices from around the turkey, back on to the turkey so it doesn’t become dry.

18:20 Place your peeled and chopped potatoes into boiling water and leave to boil for 10 minutes. Take the foil off the turkey so it can turn a lovely golden brown.

18:30 Put around 100ml of olive oil into a roasting tray big enough to fit your potatoes in, and place in the oven.

18:35 Drain the potatoes and place in your hot roasting tray, then season with salt and pepper. After those are in the oven, peel your carrots and parsnips, and cut into batons.

18:45 Carrots and parsnips go in to roast, drizzled with olive oil.

18:50 Put your pigs in blankets in the oven on a baking tray.

Boil water according to packet instructions for your stuffing. I like to add some extra dried cranberries to the stuffing, just to make it have a more ‘Christmassy’ flavour. When the stuffing has taken on some of the boiling water for around 5 minutes, make it into ball shapes.

19:00 Put the stuffing balls into the oven on a baking tray.

19:05 Drizzle some honey on the carrots and parsnips.

19:15 Take the turkey out of the oven to rest, and wrap it in foil so it stays warm.

Put your Green Beans on to boil.

Place the roasting tin you have just taken out of the oven onto the hob, to heat up the turkey juice. When they begin to bubble, add 200ml of White Wine to the turkey juices and stir in.

Add 300ml of chicken stock to the gravy. To thicken, add two teaspoons of Cranberry Sauce and two tablespoons of chicken gravy granules. If you like your gravy thicker, add more granules, and if you like it thinner add more wine or chicken stock. Sieve the contents into a pouring jug and you’re ready to go.

19:25 Put your Yorkshire puddings in the oven. Drain your green beans and get everything else out of the oven.

Hopefully you can enjoy your delicious meal at 19:30 Serve and enjoy!

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