Food

How To Make The Perfect Christmas Dinner, According To Nigella Lawson

The TV chef has some top kitchen tips that will make whipping up a festive feast easy.

BBC

It's evident by now the festive season will be looking a whole lot different this year. And with lockdowns and social restrictions in place, many face the daunting prospect of having to cook Christmas dinner alone for the very first time. Thankfully, throughout her many years wowing audiences with her culinary talents, Nigella Lawson has conjured up an abundance of seasonal kitchen secrets, many of which could help ensure your 2020 Christmas feast lives up to expectations. So, if you're in search of some much-needed guidance, here are some of Nigella Lawson's best Christmas dinner tips that will help take your yuletide festivities to the next level.

Although most of us are already more than familiar with the classic Christmas lunch and all its glorious trimmings, there's a lot more that goes into the festive dish than perhaps first meets the eye. No one can attest to this more than everyone's favourite TV domestic goddess, and these Nigella-approved tips cover everything from kitchen preparations, to stock-checks, leftovers, and more — and they've arrived just in time to help ease the stress of cooking Christmas dinner in quarantine.

I'd wish you good luck, but with Nigella's expert advice at your disposal, you probably aren't going to need it.

Make A list

If you want to stay on top of your Christmas dinner game, the first thing you ought to do is make a list and check it twice. Yes, keeping a handy notepad and pen close-by is an integral part of Nigella's festive preparations, and will help ensure you keep up to date with what ingredients you need, what you've already bought, and what needs cooking and when.

And, if the good old fashioned pen and paper is a little too archaic for your tastes, setting reminders on your phone is a perfectly acceptable alternative. Just as long as you keep yourself organised.

Prepare Early

They say the early bird catches the worm, and when it comes to creating the perfect Christmas feast, this classic saying most certainly rings true. Speaking previously to the Guardian, Lawson suggested that preparing the cranberry sauce, gravy, and bread sauce ahead of time will ensure the big day goes off without a hitch — and if your schedule allows it, prepping the sprouts and potatoes the day before wouldn't go amiss, either.

Stock Up

On a day as hectic as Christmas, facing the horrors of an empty spice rack is the last thing you'll wish to encounter. So, stocking up your kitchen with fresh ginger, onion, garlic and chillies is a great way of making sure you'll have everything you need come December 25. And, if you're feeling a tad adventurous, Nigella suggests adding in some more exotic spices to your festive favourites. You know, just to mix things up a bit.

Keep Things Simple

A serving of Christmas canapés is a great way of passing the time whilst tummies rumble in anticipation of the main dinner event. However, during an interview with Good Housekeeping, Nigella warned that over-complicating your starters can significantly cut into your already packed kitchen schedule. So, to keep things simple, the culinary queen suggests opting for a humble cocktail sausage with black treacle or, as a vegetarian option, parsnips cooked in harissa.

Decorate

Although food is indeed a priority, putting in a little extra time to decorate your Christmas spread can make all the difference — and your seasonal decor doesn't have to break the bank. What is Nigella's hot tip in this area, you ask? the humble pomegranate. Yes, the TV chef revealed she likes to keep seeds of the fruit scattered across her dinner table during yuletide celebrations, adding some "instant Christmassy glamour."

Stick To Your Favourites

When it comes delightful Christmas dinner extras such as wine, cheeseboards, and the rest, make sure to stick to what you like. Because, as Nigella warns, this isn't the time to become overly experimental.

Make Use Of Your Leftovers

One of the best things about Christmas dinner is the Boxing Day leftovers, and Lawson is a great proponent of putting your extra food to good use. If you're struggling for any leftover inspiration, she suggests making her very own Panettone Stuffing Squares. The recipe for which can be found on Nigella's official website.