A Tried and Tested Christmas Day Countdown Time Plan

Stress Free Christmas Cooking. Getty Images

The countdown to Christmas comes to fruition, of course, on Christmas Day. On that day, however, the biggest hurdle still to overcome, is the prepping and cooking of the Christmas dinner itself. Many consider this as the toughest day of the year for any cook; especially if you have large numbers round for lunch. 

Organization and careful planning are the keys to the success of your Christmas day cooking, success will always come by having yourself sorted and prepared; which is why this tried and tested Christmas Day time plan will help you on your way; consider it your friend and guiding hand in the kitchen.

The planner aims to get your dinner prepared and ready on the table for 2 pm, which in the UK is a very popular time to eat as the much-loved Queens's speech is on at 3 pm and many like to have finished eating before then.  This, of course, does not mean you have to stick to this time unless you do want to watch the Queen, so simply just work back from your preferred time to eat and all will be well. 

The meal outlined here is a classic British Christmas lunch with all the old favorites but there is room to switch it around a little, it is meant simply as a guide. You may be having a goose and not a turkey, or perhaps a duck. In those cases, work out the cooking times and adjust the plan accordingly. 

Above all, remember to have fun After all, this is your Christmas too.

Christmas Day Cooking Time Planner

Christmas Day 
7.00amTake the turkey from the fridge to bring to room temperature.
7.30amPreheat the oven to 425F/220C/Gas 7
8.00amStart cooking the turkey as per recipe based on 6.3kg
8.30amLower temperature to 325F/160/C/Gas 3 and cook for 3 1/2 hours
NoonPut Christmas pudding to steam. Open any red wines to allow the wine to breathe.
Turn back the foil on the turkey and turn heat back to 425F/220C/Gas 7 for 30 mins to crisp the skin.
Put sausages and bacon rolls into the oven and cook until crisp - 45mins, then keep warm.
12.30pmCheck the turkey is cooked and remove from the oven wrap in foil as the recipe
Make gravy as per recipeand keep warm
Place roast potatoes, precooked on Christmas eve, into the hot oven.
1.10pmPut parsnips, precooked on Christmas eve, into the oven with the potatoes. Heat serving dishes and plates
1.20pmCook Brussels sprouts as per recipe , warm already prepared red cabbage, and bread sauce
1.30pmTake time for a quick cuppa, glass of wine or a sit down. Plate the salmon and dill sauce and set on the table.Open white wines or Champagne.
1.45pmCarve the turkey
1.50pmPlace everything into warmed serving dishes
2.00pmTime to eat.
Make sure there is enough water in the steamer.Enjoy!!!