Jamie Oliver’s clever gravy hack to make the perfect Christmas dinner

Jamie Oliver details recipe for 'quick and easy' Christmas turkey

Jamie Oliver has shared his perfect gravy recipe ahead of Christmas which is just days away. With the festive period being a busy and stressful time, the chef’s easy healthy recipe can be frozen ahead of the big day to make preparing the Christmas dinner a breeze. 

Jamie said: “Good gravy has the power to transform, or even save, a meal.

“This year, open your mind to a slightly radical idea: make your gravy a few days, or even weeks in advance, simply reheating it in your turkey tray on the big day. Stress, saved.”

With three days to go until the big day, there is still plenty of time to make some of Jamie’s famous gravy.

For this recipe, it makes one litre of gravy and takes around two hours to cook plus cooling and defrosting. 

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– Two onions

– Two carrots

– Two sticks of celery

– Two rashers of high-welfare smoked streaky bacon

– Two fresh bay leaves

– Two sprigs of fresh sage

– Two sprigs of fresh rosemary

– Two star anise

– 10 free-range chicken wings

– Olive oil

– 60ml sherry or port, optional

– Four tablespoons plain flour

– Two tablespoons cranberry sauce

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First step is to preheat the oven – 180ºC/350ºF/gas 4.

Next, peel the onions, wash the carrots and roughly chop the celery and bacon. Put the vegetables, bay leaves, sage, rosemary and star anise into a sturdy high-sided roasting tray, then scatter the chopped bacon on the top.

Break the chicken wings open, and bash with a rolling pin to help release extra flavour as they cook, then add them to the tray. 

Drizzle with oil and season with sea salt and black pepper. Then toss them together and cook for around one hour, or until tender.

Remove them from the oven once cooked and transfer to a low heat on the rob.

Going everything together with a potato masher, Jamie recommends scraping up all the goodness from the base of the tray.

If you want to add sherry or port, add it now and leave it to cook away for another few minutes. 

Gradually stir in the flour and then pour in two litres of boiling kettle water. 

Simmer for around 30 minutes or until it has thickened and reduced, stirring it occasionally. 

When the gravy is at the right consistency, pour it through a sieve into a large bowl, pushing the gravy through with the back of a spoon. 

Taste and season more if needed, and then cool to room temperature. 

Then pop into the fridge or freezer and it is ready to finish off on Christmas Day.

On Christmas Day:

If the gravy is frozen, it needs to be taken out the freezer when the turkey goes into the oven.

When the turkey is cooked through, remove it to a platter to rest for up to two hours, covered with a double layer of tin foil and a clean tea towel.

Pour the gravy into the tray with the rest of the turkey juices and bring to the boil over the hob.

You can add in Cranberry sauce now if you want to balance the flavours. 

Once the gravy is piping hot, strain again through a sieve into a pan, and then leave it on the lowest heat until it’s ready to serve.

Add any resting juices from the turkey before serving.

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