There are so many things to consider when cooking Christmas dinner. There’s turkeys to worry over, sides to dish up, kids to control and not to mention in-laws to impress. Here’s out step-by-step guide to cooking your ultimate Christmas dinner that will leave you stress-free and impress your guests no matter who they are:
Entertaining can be stressful at the best of times, especially at Christmas when you have a million and one things to think about on top of cooking. Keep calm and set reminders to help you achieve and host the perfect Christmas dinner.
Prepare stock the night before
Make stock for the gravy by placing turkey neck and giblets in a pot alongside coarsely chopped carrot, onion and a celery stick. Add two bay leaves, a sprig of thyme and three cups of cold water. Bring to the boil and then simmer for 30 minutes with the lid on. Strain, cool and place in the fridge overnight.
Make your stuffing interesting
Try different stuffing combinations like sage and onion, chestnut and prune, or apricot and ginger. Vary your nuts, dried fruits and herbs to mix and match a winning filling for your turkey.
Prep, peel and prime
Peel your onions, potatoes and carrots, and cut any roasting veggies well in advance to save you more time on Christmas day. Marinate or season any meat and seafood and prepare any sauces like cranberry sauce, dips or aioli for seafood the night before.
Clear up some fridge space
It’s likely that you won’t have very much room in your fridge after all the food is prepared, so make sure you clear your fridge beforehand, throwing out any old food and making way for all those leftovers.
Make smart trips to the supermarket
Make a trip to the supermarket a few days before Christmas or early in the morning on the day itself to buy all the things you need (for example, ice for your drinks!). Also check whether you have enough groceries before you go, to save any unnecessary trips on the day.
Set out your snacks
The mouth-watering smell of Christmas dinner cooking may be delightful, but waiting patiently for the meal for hungry guests may be excruciating. Have a platter of snacks ready for when people arrive, which will also help prevent people getting tipsy too early in the day.
Pay attention to the details
The key to a successful Christmas dinner is not just how the food tastes, but also how everything is presented. Make sure that cutlery and glasses are polished, plates are evenly spaced, crackers and napkins are set out on the table. Thinking of everything to make your guests comfortable in advance will guarantee a memorable Christmas dinner experience for everyone.
Create a beautiful centerpiece
Decorative features on the table are also sure to impress your guests, as well as help fill up that white tablecloth space before the food comes out. Use nature as your inspiration to create beautiful centrepieces from pine cones, holly, fruits and berries to fill vases and baskets.
(Text by bauersyndication.com.au / Additional reporting by Natalya Molok)