A few years ago, long before I became a mum I did a cookery series called 'Mill's Meals' exclusively for iD magazine. With Christmas just around the corner, I thought I'd share my simple Christmas Lunch How-to video I made all those many moons ago! In the video (at bottom of this post) I show you how to prep and cook your turkey, make amazingly crispy roast potatoes and really tasty homemade gravy.
There have been a few life changes since making this video; becoming a mum, the amount of kip I now get, my kitchen no longer looks like an 80's hangover, and I now have much better taste in tablecloths. These minor changes aside, I would argue the biggest single change has been my opinion about which potato results in the best roasties! Although in this video I recommend Desiree potatoes, I would now say go with red King Edwards every time and if you can't get those a normal King Edward will do nicely (see bottom of post for more notes on key steps for crispy perfection etc).
On an aside, I think it's obvious in the video my butter isn't quite at room temperature but I'd already had to roast a whole other Turkey at 5am that morning for the 'after' sequence and clearly forgot to take it out the fridge in time. You won't make the same mistake! It's always a bit cringe watching videos of yourself, especially old ones that feel a million years from where you are now but I hope you still find the content helpful. Christmas lunch can be stressful to juggle but with a little prep, writing down all your timings and a good wing person you can nail it!
Roast Potato notes:
Top tip, if you want really crispy potatoes, give them space and don't pile them on top of each other in a roasting tin!
1. I always cut my potatoes in half supposed to quarters when roasting them so they don't fall apart when par boiling them
2. Put the halved potatoes in boiling water for roughly 6-7 mins until they're just starting to soften on the outside but the middle is still hard - obviously the smaller you cut them the less time they will need
3. Drain them in a metal colander and then shake them gently to fluff the edges - this is key if you want a crispy roast potato
4. Put a roasting tin with a good amount of fat (1-2 TBSP depending on how many potatoes you're cooking up) in it in your oven for 5 minutes at 200C. Olive oil and duck fat both work well
5. Remove the baking tray from the oven and carefully spoon each of your fluffed potatoes into the fat, it will bubble and spit as you do so be really careful. You can immediately turn the potatoes over so each side is coated, it doesn't matter that the fat is cooling and no longer bubbling. Sprinkle generously with sea salt
6. Put the potatoes on the top shelf of your oven for an hour at 200C. I usually turn them over half way through. If they're not quite brown enough after an hour you can always whack the heat up as the Turkey rests and give them ten more minutes more to crisp up whilst you make the gravy
Turkey, once roasted, will happily stay piping hot for a surprising amount of time under foil which, if like me, you have a small oven is a godsend. You can free up a whole oven shelf whilst your turkey happily rests on your worktop wrapped in foil for 30 minutes plus. Once I discovered this it was a game changer!
Write all your timings down, this really is key! Work out what time you want to serve lunch and work backwards from that, writing down when things need to go in/out of the oven or on/off the hob in order. Make sure you tick off items as you do the assigned task, it really helps with the sanity levels.
If you have any questions about Christmas Lunch or you just want to discuss the merits of different potato types, just pop a comment in the box below!