Top tips for the Ultimate Turkey, Roast Potatoes and Roast Christmas Root Vegetables

Sunday 20 November 2016

Mmmmm Christmas Dinner! Everyone loves it but it can end up being seriously stressful with the pressure of cooking for large numbers, juggling different times and temperatures and the requirement to have everything on the table at the exact moment that Her Majesty finishes her speech. This year I got the opportunity to cook up a slightly more relaxed version at the start of November in order to share some of my top tips with you for the big day. My kids eyes popped out of their heads when I sad we were going to be having Christmas Dinner for Sunday lunch and my sister conveniently managed to arrange a visit to coincide. For my Crisp 'n Dry Run of Christmas we enjoyed a feast of Turkey, Gravy, White Sauce, Pigs In Blankets, Cranberry Sauce, Roasted Veg and Roast Potatoes. What no sprouts I hear you cry? They are just SO delicious that I wanted to save them for the big day itself ;-)

In a recent survey the humble roast potato beat turkey, stuffing and Christmas pudding as the most popular food on December 25th. Carrots came second followed by Turkey in third. Then gravy, stuffing, pigs in blankets, parsnips, Brussels sprouts, Christmas pudding and Yorkshire puddings to complete the top ten. I most definitely agree on the Roasties being up there in the number one spot but personally I've never had a Yorkshire pudding with my Christmas dinner so that one came as a surprise! Now for my top turkey tips and recipes for the ultimate fluffy on the inside and crispy on the outside roast potatoes and a cheesy twist on the traditional festive roast veg.

Top Turkey Tips
  • Invest in your turkey if you’ve got the extra to splash out. Spending more on an organic or free-range turkey is well worth it in both flavour and ethical terms
  • If you are using a frozen turkey ensure that it is fully defrosted
  • Make sure that your turkey fits in your oven!
  • Let your turkey come up to room temperature before cooking
  • Stuff the cavity of your turkey with fresh herbs, citrus fruits, celery, garlic and onion to add flavour
  • Rub the skin of your turkey with a couple of Tablespoonfuls of Crisp 'n Dry both to keep it moist and ensure crispy
  • Cover your turkey loosely with foil, but remove it 45 minutes before the timing is up to get it nicely browned
  • Roast your turkey for the calculated time or until the juices run clear from the thigh when pierced. Internal temperature must reach 70ºC
  • Leave the turkey to rest for at least 30 minutes (even up to an hour) before carving. This allows the meat to relax and will making the job of carving much easier. 
  • Rest the turkey upside down so the juices keep the breast meat moist
  • Don’t dispose of the caramelised juices left behind by the turkey as they make the perfect base for the gravy

Top Roast Potato Tips 
  • Choose a floury potato variety such as Maris Piper Desiree or King Edwards 
  • Share out the workload and get the family to peel the spuds 
  • Cut your potatoes relatively small for maximum crunchy outside to soft middle ratio
  • Use a solid roasting tin that won't buckle
  • Make sure that your Crisp 'n Dry is searingly hot before adding the potatoes 
  • Don't overcrowd the roasting tin and cook in a single layer
  • Whack up the temperature on the oven as high as it will go 

Ultimate Roast Potatoes
Serves 6

1kg potatoes (I used Maris Piper)
75ml Crisp 'n Dry Cooking Oil

On Christmas Eve peel and partially cook your potatoes in boiling salted water. Cut any large ones into halves or quarters.
Drain after 10 minutes, give them a good shake in the pan to rough their edges up a wee bit.
Allow to cool and keep in the fridge overnight.
On Christmas day once the Turkey is cooked turn the temperature on the oven up to 220c.
Put 75ml of Crisp ‘n Dry cooking oil in a large roasting tin and place in the oven to heat for 5 minutes.
Lift the potatoes carefully into the hot oil. They will sizzle as they go in. Turn them to ensure they are well coated in the oil.
Cook for 35-45 minutes, regularly turning them until they are very crispy.
Transfer to a plate lined with kitchen roll to drain off any excess oil before serving.

Top Roasted Root Veg Tips
  • Mix up your root veg - parsnips, carrots, beetroot, celeriac, swede, sweet potato all work well 
  • Brighten things up with rainbow coloured heritage carrots 
  • Cut the vegetables into as uniform sized pieces as possible so they all cook evenly 
  • After washing, pat the veg dry to help they go crisp
  • Don't skimp on the oil, you need enough Crisp 'n Dry to give an allover glossy coating
  • Be generous with herbs and seasonings 
  • Give them plenty of room on the baking tray, crowding will make them steam instead of roast

Roasted Carrots and Parsnips with Honey and Parmesan Glaze
Serves 6

500g Carrots
500g Parsnips
2 Tbsp Crisp & Dry
2 Tbsp Runny Honey
Salt & Pepper
1 Tsp Mixed Herbs (or substitute for fresh - thyme and rosemary work well)
50g plus a further 25g of Parmesan Cheese, Grated

On Christmas eve wash and peel the carrots and parsnips and slice into batons.
Place the veg in a large plastic bag along with the Crisp & Dry, Honey, Seasoning, Herbs and the 50g of Grated Parmesan.
Fasten the bag and massage the glaze ingredients into the vegetables. Store overnight in the fridge.
On Christmas day once the Turkey is cooked turn the temperature on the oven up to 220c.
Spread the vegetable out on a baking sheet and place in the oven.
Bake in the oven until tender and charred at the edges. Approx 30-40 minutes.
Before serving stir through the remaining 25g of grated Parmesan.

Disclosure : This is a commissioned post for Crisp 'n Dry. As always, all views expressed are my own.
Thank you for supporting the brands who make it possible for me to continue to share my Edible Scottish Adventures with you.


  1. I just made a similar meal for my blog - haven't tried Crisp 'n Dry but sounds like I need to!

    1. It was what my Granny always used for making chips when I was wee. Spry Crisp 'n Dry. Lovely nostalgic memories.

  2. I love the pun 'Crisp n Dry-run'! Made me chuckle. Your Christmas dinner looks absolutely amazing. I do love a nice crispy spud, so thanks for the great tips.

    1. I must admit to having a groan at the pun! Crispy spuds are the best and hot oil is a must.

  3. Very useful tips! Thank you for sharing Claire :) Call me boring but the roasted potatoes, veggies and brussels are the part I look forward to the most on Christmas day :D On Christmas day you just HAVE TO be generous with the oil ;)

    1. I'm with you. I reckon I could actually go without the turkey as long as I had all the trimmings. 25th Dec is definitely not a day to skimp on the oil!

  4. I love reading about what everyone eats for Christmas dinner, since I don't celebrate Christmas. I think turkey isn't as common over here in the US since everyone does a big turkey the month before on Thanksgiving. Everything looks delicious!

    1. Thanks for busting a myth. I always thought folks in the US generally had Turkey at both Thanksgiving and Christmas.

  5. Such a cool name Crisp n Dry.. just the way you want your oiled bakes to be.. Perfect!

    1. Does exactly what it says on the tin - or bottle in this case!

  6. What great tips! We don't have Crisp n Dry oil in the U.S., but good quality oil definitely makes a difference!

  7. I agree, potatoes are the BEST!! Especially crispy and brown ones! You're so lucky you can use Crisp n Dry rapeseed oil as ours (we call it canola) is mostly all GMO in the US and Canada. It was my very favorite frying oil before I heard what they were doing with it. UK/Europe are much further ahead in food safety and keeping it less processed than the US.

    1. Pity you can't sneak some Crisp 'n Dry back in your suitcase on your next visit to the UK! I must admit some of the garish colours of foods in the US surprised me on a recent visit, I expect the colourings used are prohibited here.

  8. Great tips for a super delicious Christmas dinner! Those potatoes certainly look crisp n dry ;) Also, bacon wrapped sausages... genius!

    1. I'm guessing you aren't in the UK if bacon wrapped sausages aren't familiar to you? Pigs in Blankets or Kilted Sausages are an essential part of a British Christmas Dinner.

  9. huzzah for Christmas dinner! Its funny i just added my version of this as i also worked with Crisp'n dry and i have to admit they did make amazing roast potatoes!
    Your roasted veg look so delicious and cooked to perfection! I don't do roasted veg on Christmas day as my lot are a bit fussy and preferred boiled veg! x

  10. I love Christmas dinner! This one looks delicious. I have not thought of using Crisp n Dry great idea! Thank you for sharing with #CookBlogShare x


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