It’s rapidly heading to that time of year when, for a lot of us, a sense of rising panic starts - thinking about cooking the Christmas and New Year Dinners.

I’m biased but I think Christmas should be at home and New Year’s Eve and day should be eaten out.

We’re closed for Christmas eve and day but will open for Boxing Day evening if you want to get out of the house for a few hours, likewise we will be preparing a sixcourse meal for the New Year’s Eve feast and we’re open for lunch this year on New Year’s Day for a lighter celebration lunch, we still have spaces available.

So let’s talk turkey then, you’re stuck in the house with huge expectations on you for Christmas dinner and you do really want to delight the family with something special.

Two tricks for the perfect bird, brining and slow cooking. Brining the bird will infuse it with flavour; place the bird in enough salted cold water to cover it - use a large bag or wash up tub.

To get the right amount of salt a potato will just float in the water when enough salt is added, then add a couple of handfuls of sugar too.

Don’t worry about the amount of salt as only a small amount of it will be absorbed by the turkey but you’ll need most of a 500g bag of table salt. Place the bird in brine on the morning of Christmas Eve.

To cook the bird we want to slow cook to preserve moisture and flavour by slow cooking at a lower temperature. Carefully place the bird on a cake rack in a large oven tray, spike the breast and legs with a sharp knife about 20 times and place pieces of streaky bacon in each cut.

Now cover with foil and place in a low oven at 130C for about 45minutes per kilo of bird, so for a six-kilo bird it will take about 4 1/2 hours.

During this time, prepare your vegetables and par boil your roast potatoes. After a few hours check the temperature of the bird at its thickest points in the breast and legs and repeat every 30 minutes until the temperature is 65C.

Now add your vegetables to the oven, I’m also including this month a seasonal dessert which is great for Christmas and you can make it the day before, it is a Clafouti and is one of my favourite comfort foods, in the restaurant we serve it with whatever seasonal fruit are in season, at home I use fresh frozen fruit from the supermarket.