Christmas is all about getting your loved ones together and eating your body weight in food. However, if you’re the one cooking this years Christmas dinner then you might be filled with dread. Will the turkey go dry? How can you get the roast potatoes to cook to perfection? Which vegetables should you make?
Here at House of Coco we want to help to take the hassle out of Christmas cooking so we have teamed up with some of the top chefs from London to get their tips and advice on how you can make the perfect Christmas dinner.
Perfect turkey by James Durrant
“For me the breast and the legs cook at different times so when you cook a whole bird, you tend to overcook the breast to get the legs right or vice versa. Instead, 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 and tie them and then you can roast the crown and the legs separately meaning both can be cooked to perfection and the leg is super easy to carve with no wastage.”
James Durrant’s new restaurant, The Game Bird, will open early 2017 at the renowned 5 star hotel, The Stafford in St James’s. www.thestaffordlondon.com
Goose by Jeff Galvin
“If you are cooking goose. Start roasting the bird in at a fairly low temperature, say 165 degrees. Lots of fat will render from the bird. Keep this is small quantities in the freezer for roasting potatoes in the coming months.”
Jeff Galvin is co-founder of the award winning Galvin Restaurants in London. Galvin HOP’s new Pilsner Urquell Winter Garden is now open for public and private hire, serving bar snacks, Galvin HOP’s signature dogs, sharing platters and a three course menu, available for larger parties.
Bread Sauce by Jason Atherton
“Making your own bread sauce is simple and it will always taste better than ready made. You can decide which spices to infuse the milk with – cloves, cinnamon, mace and bay are the most popular – but one thing that will really improve the end result is good quality bread, preferably sourdough. It has a tanginess that adds depth of flavour.”
Temple and Sons is the latest restaurant and bar from Jason Atherton and restaurant associates, launched November 2016.www.templeandsons.co.uk
Christmas leftovers by Tom Aikens
“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.”
Tom’s Kitchen will open its first UK site outside of London in Birmingham later this year. www.tomskitchen.co.uk
Sprouts by Ben Tish
“I don’t boil mine. I cut them into three slices and saute in butter and olive oil with mustard seeds and some diced cured ham. The sprouts are still slightly crunchy but caramelised.”
Ben Tish and Simon Mullins (Salt Yard Group) have just opened Veneta, a restaurant inspired by the food and glamour of Venice, located in the new St James’s Market development. www.saltyardgroup.co.uk/veneta/
Roast potatoes by Frederick Forster
“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.”
Frederick Forster is head chef at Le Pont de la Tour. The restaurant’s magical Winter Garden has launched in collaboration with Tanqueray 10, serving winter warmer cocktails and truffle cheese fondue. www.lepontdelatour.co.uk
Roast vegetables by Theo Randall
“For root vegetables like carrots turnips fennel and celeriac prepare them carefully then toss them in a bowl with a couple of tbsp of olive oil. Place on an oven tray and Cover with tin foil and bake in an oven. Take off the tin foil once the vegetables are cooked through and lightly brown for 10 mins in the oven.”
This Christmas, Theo Randall at the InterContinental will be serving up an assortment of Italian-inspired winter cocktails. www.theorandall.com