Christmas Dinner tips from Gordon Ramsay, Heston Blumenthal and other celeb chefs
Winner, winner, Christmas dinner!
29 Nov 2021
From tough turkey to carrots that are harder than Tyson Fury, it's worryingly easy to mess up Christmas dinner. And with it being the most anticipated meal of the year, you might find yourself hot under the chef’s hat and prematurely reaching for the wine.
And if that’s you, you’re not alone. Cooking Christmas dinner is one of the top 10 things most stressful about Christmas according to a recent poll.
But help is at hand. We asked our favourite celeb chefs for their top tips. Heston Blumenthal lets us in on the perfect roastie, Gordon Ramsay reveals his turkey tips and Marco Pierre White digs up some sprout advice. Plus, Celebrity Kitchen’s Rachel Allen helps us get organised.
HESTON BLUMENTHAL - PERFECT SPUDS
"The most important thing about Christmas dinner, or any roast in fact, is the roast potatoes. You can cook the meat and rest it for an hour, you can cook the veg and reheat when needed, but when roasties are ready, they're ready. Work out the time you want to eat and how long they'll take, and work everything else out around that.
"The secret to the perfect roastie is boiling them until they're about to fall apart before roasting. This breaks up the surfaces of the potato and allows a crispy, glass-like crust to form around a very fluffy interior. Be careful not to let them completely fall apart, though!"
Our tech tip:
If you find yourself juggling too many oven pans, why not try a multicooker like the NINJA Foodi SmartLid? Because they can take on all kinds of functions – including steaming, air frying and roasting - you could end up with roast potatoes that might even give Heston a run for his money!
GORDON RAMSAY - TENDER TURKEY
"Before cooking a turkey, mix lemon, parsley and garlic into a block of softened butter. With your hands, loosen the skin on the breast from both ends of the bird so that you'll be able to stuff the flavoured butter underneath it, making sure you keep the skin intact. Repeat with the legs.
"From the lower side of the breast, feel your way under the skin and out towards the leg, loosening the gap. Stuff half the butter mix into the opened spaces under the skin. From the outside of the skin, massage the butter around the breasts so that the meat is evenly covered.
"Place the bird in a large roasting tray, breast side up. Spread the rest of the butter all over the skin. Season well with salt and
pepper, drizzle with a little olive oil, then roast."
Our tech tip:
We wouldn’t dare contradict Gordon’s advice, but for the perfect mixing machine (whether that’s butter rub or stuffing) a stand mixer (like a Kenwood kMix kitchen machine) can save you lots of arm ache and churn out perfect results.
RACHEL ALLEN - PRIORITISE PLANNING
"Planning really is crucial, just for an easy life. I always make a list two weeks before Christmas, and that makes me sound like a schoolteacher, but it helps so much. It doesn't matter if you've had a few sherries then.
"Think about the days after too - maybe make extra roast potatoes, so you can make tartiflette (roast potatoes with ham and melted cheeses) on Boxing Day. If you're making a ham, get one big enough so you can make a turkey and ham pie as well, or use other leftovers for a bubble and squeak. Do it all at once."
Our tech tip:
Busy chefs may be used to spinning plates, but we agree with Rachel Allen and like to get things prepared in advance. Put your Christmas ham in a Sage multicooker hours before and it’ll be tender and ready to serve without taking up precious space in the oven.
MARCO PIERRE WHITE - STEAMED SPROUTS
"I like sprouts cooked in a little water, butter and a stock cube. Steam the sprouts first for around eight minutes, until they're slightly soft.
"Then in a frying pan, heat a few tablespoons of water with a few good knobs of butter and a stock cube - chicken's best, vegetable if you're vegetarian - and when it's hot and emulsified, throw in the sprouts and toss in the liquid for a few minutes. Absolutely delicious."
So now you know how to prepare the perfect Christmas meal!
Want more tech tips? We’ve got even more ideas on how to make Christmas lunch easier.