I’m a 5-star chef and here’s how to make the perfect Christmas dinner – you’ve definitely been doing your potatoes wrong | The Sun

I’m a 5-star chef and here’s how to make the perfect Christmas dinner – you’ve definitely been doing your potatoes wrong | The Sun

A HIGHLIGHT of Christmas day is sitting round the table with loved ones, indulging on a traditional Christmas dinner. 

However, for those faced with the challenge of preparing the meal, it can be a daunting task.

To reduce some of the stress from the day, Marc Williams, Cookery School Director at the five-star hotel The Grand, York has shared his expert tips.


Marc says: “When it comes to cooking the turkey, it’s all about the internal temperature. It doesn’t matter if you brine it, baste it or massage it with butter, if you overcook it then it will be dry. 

“Take it to 74°C, let it rest for at least a quarter of the cooking time and it will be fantastic every time.”

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“To get the perfect potatoes, peel them, add to cold water and bring to boil. Boil for around six minutes until the edges soften. 

“Then, strain them and wait until the steam stops. You’ll never get a crisp result if they are full of water.

“Preheat your chosen fat in a hot oven – duck fat is my choice! Don’t forget to season the potatoes and then carefully add and baste them in the duck fat. 

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“Roast for around twenty minutes in a hot oven before turning them over; this allows a crust to form underneath, so you won’t leave half the potato stuck to the tray.”


“Christmas to me is about excess! Make them the day before and place them in the freezer, take them out from frozen and into the oven ten minutes before you are ready to serve. 

“At this point, the oven should be empty, the bird rested, and you should just be plating up. I would also recommend making the batter the day before, so it has plenty time to rest. You’ll see a big improvement in the rise this way.”


“They are fantastic for roast potatoes and cut down cooking times drastically. The air fryers with two sections are great for cooking at different temperatures. 

“Try honey glazed parsnips on one side at 180°C and roast potatoes in the other at 200°C. This will make the day easy and free up some oven space if needed, just don’t try to cram a turkey in there!”


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“Remember to relax, it’s just a big Sunday lunch. Take it easy and stop trying to get everything ready on Christmas morning. Make a prep list of roughly how you’d like to plan the day and do everything you can in advance. 

“Most of the things I make the day before and just heat back through. Roast potatoes are done in the morning and heated back through. The turkey should be resting for 30 minutes at least so you have plenty of time to get things back through the oven.”

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