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How to time the perfect Christmas dinner

For many of us, the food at Christmas is our favourite part, but for those involved in the preparations and cooking, the very idea of it all can fill us with dread.

When it comes to perfecting the Christmas dinner, timing is key… and with our handy guide, you can crack the ultimate stress-free Christmas dinner!

Pre-festivities

To help yourself out on the day, pre-make things where you can and pop them in the freezer. Accompaniments such as stuffing or homemade cranberry sauce can be made before Christmas, but don’t forget to take them out to defrost!

Clear out your fridge and freezer well in advance of Christmas, to ensure that you have space for all of the tasty Christmas goodies.

3 days to go (22nd December)

If you’ve frozen your turkey, today is the day to take it out of the freezer, as they can take a while to defrost. Season accordingly, and leave in the fridge to marinate.

2 days to go (23rd December)

Finalise your shopping list — and your menu! Write out a time plan for the main event, because as crazy as it sounds, the schedule will be your key to sanity on the day.

Buy all of your fresh food today, and any last minute bits that you might have forgotten.

Christmas Eve! (24th December)

Today, the real preparations begin… good luck!

Prepare all of your veg today, to save yourself some time. If you want to be really time-savvy, you can part roast your root vegetables like parsnips and potatoes.
Take any items that have been pre-prepared out of the freezer to allow them to defrost in good time.
Get a head start on the morning, by wrapping up your chipolatas in bacon the night before.
Chill your drinks ahead of the main event. By this point, your fridge is fit to bursting, so try popping them in the shed to keep them cool. Alternatively, put them in the car boot overnight, as the outside temperatures will keep them chilled.

Christmas Day! (25th December)

It’s here! The main event!

Take your turkey out of the fridge early and leave it covered: it will cook much quicker if it goes in the oven at room temperature. Put this in the oven three hours before you want dinner to be served.
An hour before, start to think about what order you want to cook your pre-prepared vegetables. Part-roasted root veg will only need 10-15 minutes in a hot oven. You’ll also need to cook your stuffing and pigs in blankets and begin to warm your gravy.

Once everything is cooked, turn your oven off, but keep food inside with the door shut to ensure everything stays warm as you carve the turkey.

Dish up your dinner, sit yourself down, and enjoy your hard work!

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