Our Ultimate Easy Christmas Dinner Guide
This is a super simple Christmas Day dinner plan that should save you a few tears on the long road to dinner time. Make Christmas Day 2017 your most stress-free yet, with our easy Christmas dinner guide.
Follow our easy Christmas dinner guide to prepping and cooking the ultimate festive feast and everyone will be wowed by your culinary expertise. Arm yourself with our minute-by-minute time plan (and a bucket of wine) and get Christmas dinner ready.
Before Christmas Day
The key to a easy Christmas Day is to get prepared in advance, when you’re not under pressure. Follow our easy Christmas dinner guide to get these tasks out of the way on the 23rd and 24th and things will be easier on the big day itself.
• A fresh turkey can stay in the fridge until Christmas morning, but if you’ve bought a frozen bird, it could need two days to defrost fully and safely in the fridge, so DON’T FORGET to get it out of the freezer.
• Peel and parboil the potatoes – this means cooking them in boiling water for about 10 minutes, until they’re just tender. Drain them and let them cool, then cover and put in the fridge. Or you can follow our make-ahead roast potatoes recipe and really get prepared weeks in advance.
• Peel your parsnips, cut them length ways into halves or quarters and parboil them for about two minutes.
• Other veg such as carrots, broccoli, swede and sprouts can be washed, peeled if necessary and chopped on Christmas Eve.
• Stuffing – whether you’re making your own or using the packet stuff – can be made in advance.
• All of your prepped ingredients need to be kept in the fridge overnight.
Christmas Day step-by-step
We’ve based our timetable on eating Christmas dinner at 2pm, and on a 5kg turkey, but you’ll need to adjust the timings to suit you.
Make your way, bleary eyed, to the kitchen, and take the turkey out of the fridge. Remove the giblets, then return to the fridge and and wash your hands.
Pour yourself another coffee. Add a generous slug of brandy.
Preheat the oven to the recommended cooking temperature for the turkey. Take the turkey out of the fridge to come up to room temperature. Put the turkey in a roasting tin, brush it with oil and lay some slices of bacon across the top in a lattice pattern.
Put the turkey in the oven, and relax. Relax? As if.
Baste the turkey by spooning oil from the roasting tray over the bird. This’ll help keep it succulent.
Baste the turkey again.
Baste the turkey again.
Baste. The. Turkey. Again.
Baste the turkey for the last time, but this time leave the foil off and put it back into the oven to crisp up. Pour yourself a victory drink.
Heat up a couple of spoonfuls of olive oil in a roasting pan. Add the potatoes. Put the potatoes in the oven.
Take the turkey out of the oven, cover it loosely with foil and let it stand. It helps the flavours develop.
Brush the parsnips with oil, arrange them on a baking tray and put them in the oven. Pour pre-dinner bucks fizz for all your adult guests. Leave them to enjoy themselves whilst you pour the rest of the bubbles directly down your throat.
Grab a packet of chipolatas and a packet of streaky bacon. Wrap each sausage in a rasher and put them in the oven. Put stuffing in the oven, too.
Put the kettle on for the vegetables.
Put the sprouts and swede on to boil.
Put other vegetables, such as carrots and broccoli, on to boil. Stick head out of kitchen window and take deep breaths.
Make gravy. If using Bisto, add 4tbsp of dry white wine and 4 sprigs of fresh thyme. They’ll never know.
Remove the potatoes, stuffing and pigs in blankets from the oven. Drain the veggies. Mash the swede with lots of butter, salt and pepper. Transfer everything to warmed serving dishes and then to the dinner table.
Dinner is served. Happy Christmas – you survived!