As all chefs know, cooking Christmas dinner isn’t for the fainthearted. Expectations are high, drink is flowing and it’s normally a momentous challenge left to just one amateur cook.
Don’t disappoint a hungry family this December, Marco Pierre White shares with us his Christmas Dinner Guide on how to make sure your turkey dinner is a prizewinner this Christmas.
Morning: Remove the turkey from the fridge as it will need several hours to reach room temperature – a cold bird takes longer to cook.
11.30am: Set the oven to 190C/gas mark 5, allowing it half an hour to reach that temperature. Baste your turkey.
12 noon: Place the turkey in the oven, uncovered.
12.45pm: When the turkey is golden brown, remove it from the oven and cover it in tinfoil (to prevent it from browning further). Return it to the oven and continue to cook at 170C/gas mark 3. In total, the turkey should take between 90 minutes and two hours to cook.
1pm: Chop three onions in half, remove the outer layer of skin and place the halved onions into the roasting tin with the turkey. The onions will caramelise, adding sweetness and colour into the roasting juices.
1.30pm: Check the turkey. Remove it from the oven and insert a skewer into the thickest part of the bird – the breast behind the thigh. The temperature of the skewer represents the temperature inside the turkey; if it’s only slightly warm, it obviously needs longer. Do not be concerned if the juices are a little pink because the bird will continue cooking when it’s wrapped in foil. Return it to the oven.
2pm: By now your turkey should be ready. Lift it from the oven and quickly wrap it in tinfoil. During this rest period, the temperature remains high and will continue to cook. Don’t worry about it going cold, once wrapped in tinfoil, it will easily stay warm for up to two hours. Finish off your trimmings, then carve, and enjoy!