The key to getting as much pleasure from cooking Christmas dinner as your guests do from eating it is to prepare as much as you possibly can in advance. That way, you'll not only serve up a gourmet delight to be proud of, you'll look like a veritable domestic goddess (or god) in the process — so here's our guide to doing just that …….
Two or three days before Christmas
If you wish to serve home-made cranberry sauce and stuffing make it now (recipes below). The cranberry sauce is extremely simple to make. It can be done several days in advance if preferred and will keep in the fridge for one week. Alternatively, for a longer shelf life store in a sterilised jars. (Any excess jars make great xmas presents!)
If you have a large, frozen turkey you may need to start defrosting it now. Check below for weights and defrosting times.
Thawing times for frozen turkeys
4—5kg: 20 hours at room temperature; 65 hours in fridge
5—6kg: 24 hours at room temperature; 70 hours in fridge
6—7kg: 30 hours