• Plan the guest list,
• Order the correct sized turkey (see below), beef joint or other centrepiece.
• For UK readers, if you’re going for a traditionally-made Christmas pudding, order this too.
• Buy a digital meat thermometer, they’re under £5 and will make your life easier.
• Take delivery of the turkey and keep it somewhere cold.
• Buy ingredients for custard or cream, and some brandy for ‘lighting’ the pudding.
• Shop for the sides dishes such as potatoes, sprouts, greens, peas, carrots, ‘pigs in blankets’, chestnuts, cranberry or bread sauce.
• Do as much preparation as possible.
• Prepare the sprouts and any other vegetables, mix with a little oil, then store covered in the fridge
• Peel and par-boil the potatoes until the surface is fluffy, drain, leave to cool, and put back in the fridge covered.
• Get your roasting trays, saucepans, turkey baster, meat thermometer, tin foil and any other equipment ready.
• Calculate the cooking and resting time for the size of meat or bird you have and make a note of it.
• If you can, set the table the night before.
• The big day! Get everything out of the fridge and up to room temperature.
• Get the oven warmed up and ready. Place the bird on the roasting tin and cook for the correct time.
•Turn the bird over half way through cooking.
• Get the fat hot and coat the roast potatoes it in (use a pastry brush to paint the fat on them).
• Increase the oven temperature to crisp up the skin of the turkey for the final 30mins.
• Check turkey with meat thermometer in thickest part of the bird.
• The internal temperature should be 75C-80C / 158ºF-176ºF
• Remove and rest the meat somewhere warm
• Leave the oven at a high temperature to cook the roast potatoes
• Cook any other side dishes such as stuffing or pigs in blankets in the oven.
• Make the gravy from the pan juices
• Boil the kettle and cook the vegetables in lightly salted water.
• Steam the Christmas pudding (or microwave it, it’s much quicker)
• Warm plates and serving dishes in the oven
• Carve the turkey, and place sides dishes in serving dishes
• Call everyone to the table, pour a glass of wine and sit down to lunch.