Tom Kerridge gives Chris Evans his tips for cooking the perfect turkey, sprouts and roast potatoes

Virgin Radio

23 Dec 2022, 11:54

Tom Kerridge

Credit: Getty

Michelin-starred chef Tom Kerridge joined The Chris Evans Breakfast Show with Sky to share his tips for cooking a cracking Christmas lunch.

Yes, if you want to impress your loved ones with your culinary skills over the festive period, then pay attention, because Tom has got some advice for you, starting with the most divisive veg of them all, the sprout! “I like to pan-fry them in a wok,” the celebrity chef said.

“It’s been a massive thing in the last couple of years, but you know those lovely crispy chillies that come in that lovely chilli oil which you sprinkle over the top? Those with sprouts, absolutely delicious." 

And Tom didn’t just offer one way of cooking them, but a few. “There’s the classic one, bacon and chestnuts, just cooked in a load of butter, and then there’s a lovely way of doing it, curry!” he said. “Curry powder and sprouts. Absolutely amazing. Honestly, I tell you the flavour is fantastic, and grate over the top some parmesan cheese.”

He explained: “Cut them in half. Don’t do the little cross thing in the bottom, you don’t need to do that anymore. Cut them in half, butter in a pan. 

“Get the sprouts in, throw them about, and just put a little sprinkling of curry powder over the top, loads of salt and pepper and keep tossing them. A little bit of smoked paprika, and as they’re just beginning to soften, grate over a load of parmesan cheese.”

And the TV cook had another sprout recipe to share, involving cream. “So, you reduce cream down by about two-thirds, so it goes really thick and bubbly. Slice all your sprouts very, very, very thin,” he advised. 

“Throw them into the cream, raw. Stir them around and they’ll soften and cook, so you get cream sprouts.”

Tom told Chris, “You can’t have a roast Christmas dinner without roast potatoes,” so he was happy to share his top tips for getting the perfect roasties. “The best way of doing them is cooking them all the way through in boiling salted water,” he said. “But on a gentle simmer, not on a big boil. Don’t do that thing where you drain it, put the lid on and then shake the pan. Gently lift them from the salted water and put them onto a cake rack, okay, so they can steam dry. And that steam-drying process means that they crack all around the outside. Then, put into the preheated oven a tray with a thick layer of oil, and I use standard cooking oil, not goose fat or duck fat, because I just want the potato to be crispy. Veg oil. 

“Then, once the potatoes have dried, you can put them into the tray. Don’t pack them in too tightly, because that will create steam, and then you’re pretty much roasting and frying them together, and there’s guaranteed super crispy potatoes.”

He added: “Another way of doing it, if you want to, is dust them with a little bit of polenta over the top as well, that helps to give them a coat of extra, extra crispy.”

And if you are planning on having Turkey this yuletide, then Tom has some words of wisdom for you. “I like to do the legs and the crown separately, because to get the legs cooked properly, it’ll mean that the crown, the white meat that everybody talks about, is always going to be overcooked,” he offered.

“Take the legs, cook them the day before, braise them like a coq au vin. Soak them in red wine and just cook them nice and slowly, really gentle. They’re absolutely beautiful. And then roast the crown on the day.

“It’ll probably take the best part of an hour-and-a-half.” 

He continued: "Leave it to rest for as long as you roast it, and that’s really important. I know it sounds ridiculous, but you just put tin foil on the top, and that residual heat will be fine. And then, if you need to give it a reheat, just quickly flash it through the oven.

"That resting is really important, to make sure that turkey is beautiful, nice and succulent and it isn’t all flakey."

So, there you have it. Happy cooking!

For more great interviews listen to  The Chris Evans Breakfast Show with Sky, weekdays from 6:30am on Virgin Radio, or  catch up on-demand here.