Heston Blumenthal reveals the secret to the perfect roast turkey for Christmas

Wondering how to make sure your roast turkey is succulent and not dry on Christmas Day, and how to get your roast potatoes perfectly crisp on the outside and light and fluffy on the inside? We've got Heston Blumenthal on hand to tell us his festive menu, and his top tips for cooking it…


Heston's roast turkey
For his roast turkey Heston uses a brine solution to produce wonderfully succulent, flavoursome results. According to the Michelin-starred chef, brining the turkey before cooking it really improves the flavour and juiciness of the meat.

How to brine your turkey? You'll need a container large enough to cover the bird in about 10 litres of water and a cool place to store it overnight. Use a 10 per cent brine (100g of salt per litre). Then place the turkey in it for 12-24 hours.

Heston's vodka, orange and cranberry sauce
Another tip from the owner of famed Michelin-starred restaurant Dinner is to prepare as many dishes or elements of your Christmas meal ahead of the day. This includes sauces such as his vodka, orange and cranberry sauce.

"Make this a couple of days in advance and keep it in an airtight container in the fridge," he says. Also, try to cook vegetables and sides earlier in the day and heat them up when the turkey is ready – apart from the roast potatoes, which are best eaten fresh out of the oven.

Heston's roast potatoes
For his roast potatoes, which he serves with garlic and rosemary, he reveals: "The secret to perfect roast potatoes is sharp corners – rounded potatoes will not get as crispy as those with right angles – then pre-cooking the potatoes until they are almost falling apart. The generous amount of oil in the roasting pan will make for an extra-crispy crust".

Heston recommends potatoes with a high dry matter, such as Maris Pipers, Golden Wonder or Aaron Victory.

Sides, starters and tipples
Other sides that Heston is a fan of are glazed carrots with thyme, and brussel sprouts with chopped bacon.

As for extras, he recommends a smoked salmon cocktail that he has developed with Waitrose.com, and a champagne punch, which, he says, is sure to be "a hit with everyone, mother included".

Heston's spiced popping candy chocolate tart
Finally, "Add some bling to your Christmas" with Heston's chocolate tart with an added pop – specifically a spiced popping candy chocolate tart. Heston says: "This tart is indulgent in every way from the hazelnut shortbread base and the orange chocolate ganache to the spiced popping candy topping and the decadent gold leaf."

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