Preparation is key: Christmas cooking with Kevin Thornton

By Fiona Hyland 15-12-2017

Fail to prepare, and prepare to fail, right? That's Michelin star, Kevin Thornton's ethos when it comes to prepping for the most anticipated meal of the year.

Photo by Roger Kenny

Christmas should be a time to eat, drink and be merry, however it can often be clouded by the stress that accompanies keeping a turkey from drying out, and ensuring you've got the perfect roast potatoes. Well stress no more! We've got one of the best chefs in the biz, Kevin Thornton, on hand so you can remain cool, calm and collected from start to finish, with his super easy preparation tips.

Ready, set, go!

"Organise yourself a few days before Christmas Day by getting your cranberry sauce, stocks and sauces ready. Try and get as much done as possible before the 25th so that the day flows easily. Stuff your turkey or goose on Christmas Eve and get all your vegetables peeled and prepared. "

Simplicity is key

"Ensure you have an easy starter, for example, smoked Irish salmon with homemade brown soda bread and lemon confit, for Christmas Day so there is not too much work involved in preparing it."

All hands on deck

"Cooking should be a collaborative effort - spread the joy and work together towards creating the perfect meal.  If entertaining a large group ensure everyone brings, a dish and also collectively [and most importantly!] clean up afterwards - so that you can relax and enjoy the rest of the day."

Waste not, want not

"Keep the meal simple and delicious. It's the one day of the year that everyone overdoes it, and a huge amount of food goes to waste.  In our house we will enjoy a traditional Christmas dinner (this year its turkey rather than our usual, goose) with roasted rooster potatoes and some sautéed sweet potatoes, red cabbage infused with red currants, cranberry and orange compote, roasted root vegetables and wild mushroom sauce. Its all in the preparation and the detail."

Take your time

"Taking time to slowly reduce your sauce will intensify the flavour and make a huge difference to the main course."

And now for the table itself ... The Main Event: Everything you need for Christmas table settings to impress


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