The Perfect Christmas Dinner

Are you hosting Christmas this year? Are you starting to get a bit flustered by all of the preparation and effort involved to make the best Christmas dinner ever? I am a perfectionist and like to make sure everything runs smoothly so I a couple of years ago I made myself a plan- a tight schedule to ensure a stress free Christmas is had by all (I cannot account for crazy relatives or children squabbling I am afraid!).

christmas dinner

I like to do a starter for Christmas dinner as it keeps the guests happy while you prepare the main course (plus of course it is a good filler in case you run over time-wise!). So here is my menu, I will be following this plan this year and hopefully it will go off without a hitch!

The Menu

Starter

Bruschetta with cranberry jelly and brie. I had these when I went to The Snug this year and they were so delicious I thought I would make them myself!

Main

Roast turkey with all the trimmings! This is my favourite meal and I could eat it every day of the year!

Dessert

A choice of yule log and Christmas pudding & custard. I have chosen 2 desserts as not everyone likes Christmas pud (I don’t!).

Drinks

I am not a big drinker but I do love a bit of fizz, Shloer Celebration* is an alcohol-free bubbly and it even comes with a popping cork!

Shloer Celebration both - bottles

Timings on the day

I serve lunch at 2pm so all timings work towards that goal. Adjust as necessary. 

A turkey of 8-12lbs will take 2-3 days to thaw so remember to take it out of the freezer in good time if you aren’t getting a fresh turkey.

** I pre-make my own yorkshire puddings- see below for the recipe** 

7.45am Pre heat the oven to gas mark 7, 220°C (425°F). Meanwhile stuff the turkey with a stuffing of your choice, I like sage and onion.

8.15am Place the turkey in the oven, it will stay at this initial temperature for 40 mins. Meanwhile peel the potatoes. I do one large potato per person (then same again for the mash). Nothing worse than too few a roast! For the vegetables I do one carrot per person and one for luck, same for parsnips. I buy frozen brussels and peas – no need to create extra work!

8.55am Lower the oven temperature to gas mark 3, 170°C (325°F). Now go and enjoy some family fun, watch a movie or help the kids play with their new toys! Remember to set an alarm!! 

12.30pm Increase the temperature to gas mark 6, 200°C (400°F) Take the turkey out of the oven and remove the foil. Baste it all over and then return for another 30-40 mins to finish browning.

12.45pm Par boil the potatoes (ones for roasting) and parsnips for 10 mins, drain them and give them a shake to make them fluffy. Drizzle them in oil and toss onto a baking tray. I actually use Fry Light when making roasties, I spray the tray and then spray the potatoes. They crisp up beautifully and are much healthier!

1pm Take the turkey out of the oven and cover with foil. It will hold its heat for up to an hour and it will give it time for the meat to rest. If you want to check it is cooked, stab into where one of the legs joins the main bird, the juices should run clear. Put the roast potatoes  and parsnips into the oven (same temp as above).

1.20pm Put the carrots and the potatoes (for mash) on to boil. Turn the roast potatoes to ensure equal roasting.

1.40pm Put the brussels and peas on to boil.

1.45pm Put your pre-made yorkshires in the oven for 5-10 mins until they are defrosted and hot.

2pm Dinner is served!!

**Yorkshire Pudding Recipe**

Pre- heat the oven to 230°C (fan 210°C / 445°F/ gas 8). Drizzle a little sunflower oil evenly into 2 x 4-hole Yorkshire pudding tins or a 12-hole non-stick muffin tin and place in the oven to heat through. You want the oil to be boiling before the batter goes in.

To make the batter, tip 140g plain flour into a bowl and beat in four eggs until smooth. Gradually add 200ml milk and carry on beating until the mix is completely lump-free. Season with salt and pepper. Pour the batter into a jug, then remove the hot tins from the oven. Carefully and evenly pour the batter into the holes. Place the tins back in the oven and leave undisturbed for 20-25 mins until the puddings have puffed up and browned. Serve immediately (You can also cool them and freeze for up to 1 month).


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Comments 12

  1. Amazing – totally saving this post to my favourites and emailing it for back up! Hosting for the first time ever this year for 6 adults and 2 kids! It doesn’t have to be perfect – just edible! Thanks for sharing 🙂 x

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      Author

      Aw thanks Lisa, it will be perfect I am sure 🙂 Have a lovely Christmas and let me know how it turns out! Tweet me a pic if you have time, I would love to see 🙂 xx

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      Author

      I know, my mum still uses aunt Bessie ones and they are like cardboard compared to my own. Ive never pre made them though so this year will be a trial run!!

  2. Wow that is super organised! We are not having a starter this year since we always get far too full with just 2 courses! I have decided not to go to huge amounts of trouble this year either. I want to spend the time with the kids and not in the kitchen…I used to hate it as a kid when mum was in the kitchen all morning so I won’t be! We prep as much as possible the night before and I am not going to get stressed!!! Have a great one xx

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      Author

      Mr F told me last night he is going to peel all the veg so hopefully I will be able to enjoy the first few hours until the plating up!! x

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  3. Tasty Christmas dinner, love it! This year we are eating at one of my parents’ restaurants for the first time, it’s fully booked too so will be dining with 200 others! Thanks for linking up to #tastytuesdays x

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      Author

      Ooh that will be different I am sure! At least you know you will be served first! The atmosphere will be fab- have a great day! x

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