Christmas is all that – festive, fun, and family gatherings. The Christmas dinner is one of the main focus points of the day, but it can be stressful to organize and cook. Hopefully, with the following helpful and applicable tips, Christmas dinner will be a feast of fun and coziness, not of turkey timings, a messy kitchen with pots and pans, or bad seasoning.
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In this article:
- Try a Turkey Crown
- Slow Cook Your Bird
- Make Your Stuffing
- Invest in Your Gravy
- Treat Your Vegetables Well
- Prepare as Much as Possible
6 Amazing Tips for a Better Christmas Dinner:
Try a Turkey Crown
Definition: a turkey crown refers to the bird’s breast area that is still attached to the bone with the legs and wings removed.
A turkey crown is just a perfect white-meat dish to feed a small-sized feast with fewer people and guests.
People think the less, the easier. Turns out, cooking a turkey crown requires a little more attention than cooking a whole bird. Also, a whole bird may not fit well into your small oven, and, hell, it takes forever to cook.
Cooking a turkey crown requires extra care and attention but is rewarding in the end.
Slow Cook Your Bird
Want your turkey remains moist? Slow cooking is an ideal option.
After defrosting the turkey, stuffing, and marinating it, then cover it with bacon rashers and put in the oven (maximum temp. at 75-80°C) a few hours before Christmas Eve.
When it’s getting near to serving time, resort to a thermometer to check if the temperature at the thickest part of the breast has reached, say, 75°C. If so, transition your turkey to the bottom shelf and heat up to roast your vegetables as well. Don’t forget to baste regularly as the heat rises.
Make Your Stuffing
To make your stuffing:
- Start by sweating onions and celery for about 15 minutes.
- Add breadcrumbs which you’ve had soaked up in full-fat milk an hour before.
- Stick in an egg or two and butcher’s sausage meat—season with salt to taste.
- Add sage leaves if you want as well.
Sage is an herb with a strong herbal aroma and earthy flavor, adding warmth and complexity to dishes. Sage is a go-to ingredient for stuffing, works well in combination with other herbs, and complements various foods, especially poultry.
In the case of Christmas stuffing, the advice is to go for fresh sage, rather than the dried version of it, which some people find distasteful.
Again, your stuffing can be made in advance. Do so, then refrigerate it.
Invest in Your Gravy
Don’t ever skimp on your gravy as it’s one of the best parts of your dishes.
Prepare a simple gravy a few days before:
- Bolster up with mushrooms, thyme, and sherry,
- Blend smooth.
- Add the roasting juices before serving time.
Be creative with your gravy as well. Supermarket or readymade foods are all welcomed.
Treat the Vegetables Well
Don’t boil your vegetables! Roasting saves so much more time! Almost every vegetable can be roasted from raw, which can also make them more flavorful indeed.
Next time, try pan-frying sprouts—Pan on with a little oil. Throw in your raw sprouts and flick some soy sauce droplets to finish—Orange in if you like.
After roasting your vegetables, you can put them underneath the turkey and start cooking them together. The delicious, tasty juices coming from your roasted turkey make it a perfect place for your roasted vegetables. You may want to add thyme, bay leaves, a few cloves of garlic, and rosemary too.
Prepare as Much as Possible
The key to a memorable Christmas Dinner is to be prepared as much as possible, so on the day, you won’t panic and just need to focus on making and serving your best dishes.
Stuffing, making the gravy sauce, bread sauce, etc. are some of the things that can be done in advance. So on Christmas morning, you can comfortably cook your roasties, vegetables, and meat, etc. without worrying much about anything else.
One more thing to bear in mind is to not mind the timings. Why? Because even roasties and vegetables can be cooked before and reheated a few minutes before serving.
It’s no shortcuts. But by preparing as much as you can, you can cut the panic short!
Hopefully, with these 6 helpful tips above, Christmas dinner, a.k.a. the most special feast of the year, won’t be a big challenge anymore. Ready for the most festive time of the year? Take those tips and have a memorable Christmas dinner!