Cooking around the festive season can be stressful and fraught with difficulties, so who better than Great British Chefs Josh Eggleton and Dominic Chapman to show us how it’s done.
Dominic Chapman serves up the quintessential festive feast with all of its glorious trimmings
For Royal Oak chef Dominic Chapman, the key to making any dish succeed is the quality of the ingredients at play and the tenderness with which they are treated.
Turkey may have acquired a reputation for being dry and bland over the last few years but Chapman believes that when cooked and sourced correctly, the bird's flavour is testament alone to its historical position at the centrepiece of the Christmas table.
Here, he suggests using a free-range Bronze turkey, which is characteristically fuller of flavour and meatier than the more common varieties of bird. To get the around the age old problem of the meat drying out, Chapman recommends basting the bird with butter and filling the turkey’s cavity with some fruity apricot stuffing. He finishes the preparation by wrapping the turkey in bacon and placing it in a large roasting dish full of flavoursome vegetables which will infuse the bird with flavour during the cooking process.
To complement the turkey, Chapman opts for an assortment of traditional accompaniments, including his unique takes on cranberry sauce, bread sauce, chipolatas (which are made using the surplus bacon from the turkey), Brussels sprouts and gravy. Chapman’s gravy recipe, which uses both veal and chicken stock, fat from the turkey and red wine, underlines the care and skill with which he treats even the most routine of components.
To finish a day of festive feasting, the Michelin starred chef presents his traditional Christmas pudding with brandy butter recipe, which should taste as sublime as it looks.
Click here for the full festive dinner, or click on the images below to see the recipes for each of the components of this menu.
The Royal Oak
While the appeal of the Royal Oak in Maidenhead may initially have been driven by the familiarity to the British public of its landlord, Sir Michael Parkinson (a genial presence at the bar if ever there was one) - the place has since become, in the words of one reviewer ‘a very good restaurant that just happens to be in a pub’.
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