Christmas Day Timetable
Timing is everything
Here is my Christmas lunch timetable. Complete with a Salmon starter, Turkey main course including vegetables, Pigs in Blankets and lovely fluffy Roast Potatoes, and last but not least the classic Christmas Pudding for dessert, all finished off with some delicious Mulled Wine. Now, the sound of cooking turkey may seem quite daunting at first, but I think we're just out of practice. Stick with my recipe and you'll be perfectly fine. It really is easy!
To make Christmas Day a little smoother, I suggest making the Christmas Pudding, Mince Pies and Cranberry & Apple Sauce beforehand as to keep your time in the kitchen to a minimum. But follow these instructions and Christmas will be a breeze.
- Pre-heat the oven to 200 ºC, Gas 6-7.
- Prepare the Stuffing. (View Recipe)
- Prepare the Turkey. (View Recipe)
- Place the stuffed Turkey and the vegetables in a deep tray, add the wine and hot stock, cover tightly and pop in the oven. (View Recipe)
- Make the Mulled Wine, finish and keep warm, covered or better still place in a thermos flask. (View Recipe)
- While the Turkey is in the oven prepare the veg and pre-cook them ready for going into the oven
- Blanch the parsnips, carrots and potatoes separately in boiling water, drain well and cover. (View Potatoes Recipe , View Carrots & Parsnips Recipe)
- Prepare the Salmon Salad starter, along with the Pigs in Blankets for cooking later on. (View Salmon Recipe, View Pigs in Blankets Recipe)
- Place the Christmas Pudding over a pan of boiling water to heat through gently or get ready to warm in the microwave.
- Make up the bread sauce and pop into a simmering water bath and cook slowly, covered.
- Pop mince pies on tray ready to warm. Make sure icing sugar shaker is ready.
- Put out Cranberry sauce out of the fridge so it is not cold upon serving.
- The Turkey should be ready now, carefully remove from the oven and unwrap. Drain off the juices and skim, place this back on the stove and simmer gently to reduce for a fuller flavour. Thicken, strain and keep warm.
- Check to make sure the bird is cooked through. If not, cook for another 20 minutes.
- Once it is cooked, brush with melted butter, turn the oven up to 230 ºC, Gas 8 and brown the skin for 15 minutes, then leave to rest wrapped in tinfoil until you are ready to serve.
- Return the oven to 200 ºC, Gas 6-7.
- Melt the dripping in 2 trays. Add the Potatoes to one tray, season well and pop in the oven. Now do the same with the Carrots & Parsnips. Put Sprouts on. (View Sprouts Recipe)
- Pop blanched leeks into a pan and add the cream, season with a little nutmeg. Warm through and keep warm. (See the Turkey recipe for the leeks)
- Turn the Potatoes. Honey the Carrots & Parsnips, return to the oven, but keep and eye on the Parsnips as they can burn easily.
- Drain the Brussels; add the ginger to the sprouts. Keep warm and covered.
- Cook the Salmon starter that was prepared earlier, and also cook the Pigs in Blankets. (View Salmon Recipe, Pigs in Blankets Recipe)
- Turn the oven right down so things don't burn while you cook and eat your starter.
13:00 (ish, don't worry too much about the time)
- Open a bottle of fizz or pour out the Mulled Wine.
- Eat your starter while everything is finishing off and keeping warm in the oven.
- Everything should now be ready to bring together and serve the main course.
- Drain the potatoes and carrots & parsnips, place in hot bowls.
- Spoon the stuffing into bowls and serve.
- Serve all vegetables, sauces and pigs in blankets.
- Turn the oven off, slide in the mince pies, but leave the door open so they do not burn.
- Finally carve the turkey and serve on hot plates.
- Enjoy your Christmas Dinner with the family!
The Christmas Pudding will take about 60 minutes to heat through by steaming in a pan of boiling water with a cover. If you would like it soon after your Christmas dinner, pop it in as you are serving up or just squeeze in a couple of Mince Pies while you wait.