A step-by-step guide to a stress-free Christmas Day

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Feeling a little flustered? Don't worry, we've got you covered with this foolproof guide

Christmas Eve

Hopefully you will have all of your food bought and ready to start prepping (your vegetables should be ready too!). Time to visit the main attraction – the turkey! Christmas Eve is the optimum time to make up the stuffing to go in the bird. Pork sausagemeat is the ideal choice, mostly because of the fatty juices that will keep the bird moist. Cook all of your ingredients together, season with salt and pepper and mix together thoroughly. 

Early Christmas Day (7.45am)

Everyone has their own routine on Christmas Day, and for that reason, cooking times from family to family will always vary. However, let’s say that you are sitting down to eat at 2.00pm and simply adjust your timings if you’re any earlier or later. Heat your oven to gas mark 7 and add your stuffing to the bird. Pack it right up to the neck and secure the loose neck flap under the bird’s back with a small skewer. 

Line your roasting tin with foil and rub your turkey liberally with butter. Season all over with salt and pepper and lay slices of bacon over the breast. Next, wrap the turkey loosely in foil and crimp to make a neat parcel. 

8.15am

Place your turkey in the pre-heated oven and cook on the high temperature for around 40 minutes. Whilst it is cooking, you are free to start peeling your potatoes ready for roasting! 

8.55am

Lower the oven temperature to gas mark 3 and relax for the moment. This is the ideal time to get the table laid up with cutlery, napkins, glasses and crackers! 

12.00 Noon

It’s time to pay some attention to your figgy pud! You’re going to want to leave it for a little while, so the best thing to do is fill a saucepan with boiling water, bring it back up to the boil, put a steamer on top and bring it back down to a simmer. Stick your Christmas pudding in the steamer, cover and leave it until just after 2pm. 

12.30pm

Enlist the help of your strongest dining companions because it’s time to take the turkey out of the oven! Remove your foil nest from the top, take off the bacon and baste thoroughly throughout. Turn the oven up to gas mark 6 and put the turkey back in for a further 30-40 minutes to finish browning. Save the bacon too! Just put it on a heat proof plate and stick it back in to serve with the turkey. 

12.45pm

Time to look after your potatoes! Parboil for 10 minutes, drain and then shake them to get those fluffy edges. Put lard or duck fat in a roasting tin, get it really hot then add the potatoes to it and baste them so they are covered. Put them in the oven with the turkey. Baste and prepare your parsnips and add them in with the potatoes. 

1.15pm 

Time to take the turkey out for the final time. Increase your oven temperature to gas mark 8 and put the vegetables and potatoes in the middle shelf and transfer your turkey to a warm plate. Leave loosely covered in foil until ready to serve, drain the fat and using the giblet stock make your wonderful, rich gravy! 

1.45pm

Love them or hate them, you can’t forget the sprouts! Pour boiling over the little prepared greens, boil for 5-6 minutes then drain. Finally, get all hands on deck to help carve the turkey and dish up!

2pm

Get everyone sat down with a glass of bubbly and enjoy your Christmas feast! 

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