10 hacks for saving time cooking Christmas dinner from chef to the stars Leon Rothera
1. Cook a turkey crown instead of a whole bird if there aren’t 12 of you for dinner! This is a lot less scary if you are unsure of cooking times as it will cook just like a big chicken breast.
2. Cook something other than a turkey. Something like a boned and rolled saddle of lamb is much easier to cook and carve up come dinner time. You can keep it Chritmassy with a chestnut stuffing.
3. Peel and chop your veggies the day before, this makes no difference to your cooking on the day and means you can season and pop in the oven on Christmas day.
4. Braise your red cabbage the day before, this allows for some stress-free slow cooking and easy reheating on the day.
5. Roast your potatoes in the same tray as your meat to save on washing up and give your spuds an amazing sticky coating.
6. Space out your roasting in the oven. This might not sound like a time saving operation but overcrowding the oven will create loads of steam and prevent good caramelization.
7. Par boil your spuds first thing in the morning, drain them and rough up the edges. They can be left on a tray ready to cover in butter and herbs when you’re ready to roast.
8. Ask friends and family to bring a starter or a dessert to take the pressure off the kitchen. Maybe your sibling lives next to that great fish mongers and can collect some prawns and smoked salmon for starters.
9. Prep a cold dessert in individual glasses so sweet service is a piece of cake.
10. If you haven’t gone all out making your own Christmas pudding mincemeat a few months in advance, fear not, pick up a jar of mincemeat, as it is already steeped in all the Christmassy flavours – nobody will ever know the difference!