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  • James Martin’s Christmas Hints and Tips


    James Martin Words and Image James Martin and Barclaycard

    Christmas can be one of the most enjoyable but tiring times of the year, especially if you’re cooking the Christmas dinner. I’m hoping to lend a hand with someone’s preparations for the big day but there a series of hints and tips on the Barclaycard page I’ve written to help take away some of the stress in preparing the all important Christmas meal. There is also some imaginative fixes of what to do with the Christmas leftovers which stretches further than the common turkey sandwiches.


    1. First things first, before you start peeling the potatoes or getting the turkey ready, establish what time you intend to eat on Christmas day and work backwards
    2. Calculate the cooking time of the turkey the night before Christmas Eve. Add at least 45 minutes for the turkey to rest before carving

    3. Prepare as much as you can the night before to ensure you’re relatively relaxed on Christmas Day. Deal with the stuffing, potatoes, mulled wine. Peel and trim the carrots, parsnips and sprouts and the rest of your vegetables. This way you’ll also spot anything before it is too late

    3. Get the oven to the correct temperature before putting the turkey in

    4. Make sure you have all the right equipment and ingredients. In particular, ensure you have a pan big enough to hold the turkey and you can get the turkey into the oven

    5. Concentrate on making sure the turkey doesn’t end up dry and overcooked. Ensure that you baste it regularly, using the cooking juices in the pan

    6. Use a meat thermometer. The temperature inside the turkey should be 75-80C; 90C is too high – it gives a dry result and overcooks the meat

    7. Cover the turkey with foil to stop it burning / drying out during cooking; remove for the final 40 minutes

    8. Cook the bird unstuffed! It will cook better and the stuffing will taste better. However, if you insist on stuffing the bird, make sure you give the turkey an additional 20-30 minutes on top to ensure it’s cooked through

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