Chef's Christmas tips

Some words of advice and tops tips from our super chefs…

Turkey cooked to perfection

“The breast and the legs cook at different times, so when cooking the whole bird, you tend to overcook the breast. To get the legs right or vice versa, ask your butcher to take the legs off the crown and bone them out. You can then season the leg meat with chopped chestnuts, sage, salt and pepper. Roll them, tie them and then you can roast the crown and the legs separately. Meaning both can be cooked to perfection.”

Brilliant bread sauce

“Making your bread sauce is simple. You can decide which spices to infuse the milk with – cloves, cinnamon, mace and bay are the most popular – but one thing that will improve the result is good quality bread, preferably sourdough. It has a tanginess that adds depth of flavour.”

Perfect roasties

“Roast potatoes, I love to pre-boil them for a few minutes and then drain. Season with a touch of cinnamon and roast with duck fat/garlic and thyme and finished with beef dripping butter.”

Christmas leftovers

“Cranberries are one of my favourite festive ingredients, so I always prepare lots of them, so I have enough to go with cold, roast turkey the next day. They are also delicious with leftover turkey as a Boxing Day sandwich filler or as an addition to a turkey pie.”

Chopping

“Place a wet cloth or kitchen towel underneath your chopping board to stop it slipping just as you are about to cut into your onion and taking your finger off instead.”

Fishy smell

“If you’re preparing fish for your guests, rub lemon juice on your hands to eradicate the smell.”

Christmas tart

“Bind your leftover Christmas Pudding with additional fruit and nuts along with almond paste and bake it in a pastry case for a great Christmas pudding tart.”

Prep like a pro

“Cranberry sauce can be made up to a week before and frozen until you need it.”