Just a few hours before Christmas, many will rush to the supermarket to pick up the last of the turkeys and sprouts.
But those who are more organized or not affected by last minute changes can salt their poultry and cook their vegetables today.
Andrew Dixon, head chef at the five-star hotel The Grand, York’s cooking school, shared his top tips for preparing the perfect meal to make the Christmas kitchen a little less stressful.
In an interview with FEMAIL, he shows how to perfect crispy roasts and how to prevent your turkey from …
Andrew Dixon, Head Chef Tutor at the five-star The Grand, York’s Cooking School, shared his top tips for preparing the perfect meal to take the stress out of Christmas cooking. His Christmas turkey is shown
Add star anise to your bread sauce
For a flawless bread sauce, add a star anise, two cloves, a teaspoon of spice mixture and a small, finely diced onion to half a liter of whole milk by warming over medium heat. Add 250 g white bread (crusts removed) and stir into the warm milk until the bread breaks.
Season with salt and pepper, mix the sauce to a fine puree and, if necessary, add more milk to thin.
If you prepare well in advance, you can have a stress-free Christmas day and spend quality time with loved ones instead of in the kitchen! ‘
LET TURKEY REACH 75C And let it rest
“Like any poultry, turkey must be cooked to a core temperature of 75 ° C and left uncovered for at least 30 minutes after cooking. It can be common for people to put foil over it, but this only dries out the meat.
Once you’ve rested the turkey, only the surface has cooled down so you only need to heat it in the oven for 3-4 minutes if necessary. ‘
Take off the legs and stuff them
“Using a crown or a full turkey is a very personal preference, but I prefer to take the legs off the bone and stuff them!
“This can be done the day before Christmas and reheated on the day. I will then cook my turkey crown with lots of sage and garlic butter for a perfectly festive flavor. ‘
BLANK YOUR POTATOES FOR PERFECT ROAST
»Blanch your potatoes in heavily salted water until they are just cooked. Then drain them in a colander and toss them for fluffy edges.
Then heat your roasting tray in the oven with duck fat and unsalted butter until it’s hot, add your potatoes and top it with fresh thyme, rosemary and crushed garlic.
Turn each potato until it is covered in duck fat and butter and place the tray in the hot oven for about 30 to 40 minutes. Once they start tanning, turn them around regularly. ‘
Andrew Dixon (pictured), head chef tutor at the five-star The Grand, York’s cooking school, shared his tips
Get a beef if you don’t like turkey
“If you don’t like the turkey, my personal favorite alternative meat is a rib of beef, which is rarely cooked, or a nice Christmas goose.
“For vegetarian or vegan alternatives, a root vegetable Wellington with a port wine sauce is always a good festive alternative.”
NEVER LEAVE IT IN THE LAST MINUTE
“Don’t leave anything until the last minute, start your preparations two or three days before the big day.
For the perfect filling, use good quality sausages and mix with dried cranberries, boiled chestnuts, confitz onions, garlic and freshly chopped parsley and sage.
Cook by rolling into balls or placing in a lined lunch box and bake until golden yellow and crispy.
ADD WINE TO TURKEY FAT FOR THE PERFECT GRAVY
“Use the tray your turkey cooked and rested in, drain the fat, and glaze it with a good glass or two of red wine, shallots, garlic, and sage. I would then cut this down by three quarters and add chicken or turkey broth and reduce it to a coating consistency. After reducing, pass through a sieve, discard the flavors and enjoy the perfect sauce! ‘
PREPARING THE TIME IS WORTHY
‘Preparation is invaluable. On Christmas Day I only cook turkey, pigs in blankets, sauce and potatoes, everything else is prepared in advance. Whether it’s filling, cranberry sauce, or other sides, I’ll prepare these in advance.
“Another good tip is to cook your vegetables (without potatoes) the day before.
“You can do this by boiling until almost done and then soaking in ice water to cool quickly.
“Alternatively, you can opt for a simple roast vegetable and put them all in the oven on Christmas Day to cook them with minimal effort.”
Get a meat thermometer
“I would always recommend having a meat thermometer as that way you can make sure that the star of the show, the turkey, is perfectly cooked to 75 ° C.”