The Hairy Bikers Christmas dinner in an hour

Imagine your Christmas, all tucked away in a practical tray?

Complete with chicken thighs, pigs in blankets, stuffing and veggies, the Hairy Bikers join us in presenting their simple party platter bake. Even Ebenezer Scrooge would give it a try!

Christmas Traybake Dinner

For 4 people


4 chicken thighs, with bone and skin

Olive oil

1 large onion, cut into wedges

Sea salt and black pepper

Stuffing balls

15g butter

1 onion, finely chopped

35 g dried cranberries

50 ml of just boiled water

50 g crumbled chestnuts

75g breadcrumbs

1 tsp of dried thyme

1 egg

Pigs in blankets

4 slices of striped bacon

8 chipolatas


3 floury potatoes, cut into pieces

2 parsnips, cut into pieces

3 carrots, cut into sticks

25g of lard, dripping or duck fat

To serve

Chicken sauce (recipe below)

Cranberry Relish (recipe below)


1. Preheat the oven 200C / Ventilation 180C / Gas 6.

2. First prepare the stuffing balls. Melt the butter in a pan and add the finely chopped onion. Sauté until very soft and translucent, then remove from heat. Place the cranberries in a small bowl, cover with just boiled water, then allow to soften and swell. They should absorb all the water, but if not, drain them. Place the onions and cranberries in a bowl with the rest of the ingredients, then season and mix well. Shape the mixture into 8 balls.

3. Next, make the pigs in blankets. Cut each piece of bacon in half and stretch each half with the flat side of a knife. Wrap each stretched half around a chipolata.

4. Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper and rub the skins with olive oil. Place the onion quarters in the bottom of an oven dish and drizzle with oil. Arrange the chicken thighs, the pigs in blankets and the stuffing balls on the onion.

5. Now prepare the vegetables. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the potatoes, then the parsnips, then the carrots and simmer for 5 minutes. Drain well. Shake the pan a little to puff up the edges of the potatoes and parsnips.

6. Put the lard, dripping or duck fat in another roasting pan and place in the oven. When the fat is hot, take the mold out of the oven and add all the vegetables. Shake the pan to distribute the vegetables evenly and season with salt and black pepper.

7. Place the two mussels in the oven, with the chicken above and the vegetables below. Roast for 40 to 45 minutes, checking regularly and turning the mussels to make sure they are cooking evenly. When everything is hot and golden brown, take the mussels out of the oven. Serve with plenty of sauce and a little cranberry relish.

Chicken with gravy sauce

For 4 people


25g butter

1 shallot, finely chopped

1 bay leaf, sprig of thyme or tarragon

25g plain flour

100 ml white wine

600 ml of well-flavored poultry broth

100 ml fresh cream (optional)

Sea salt and black pepper


1. Melt the butter in a saucepan and add the shallot, bay leaf and either thyme or tarragon. Sauté until the shallot is very soft and translucent, then stir in the flour. Stir until you have a lightly toasted dough or roux – cook it long enough for the flour to lose its raw flavor.

2. Increase the heat and pour in the wine. It should be bubbling immediately. Stir vigorously – the roux should thicken and come loose from the bottom of the pan. Make sure it’s smooth, then start adding the chicken broth, gradually to start. Let each addition bubble, then stir until smooth. Continue until you have added all of the broth. The sauce should have the consistency of fine pastry cream.

3. Season with salt and black pepper and simmer gently for 5 minutes. For a richer sauce, add the cream and simmer gently for a few more minutes. Remove the herbs just before serving and strain the sauce if you don’t want the texture of the shallots.

Fresh cranberry and apple jam

For 4 people


250g cranberries (fresh or frozen)

100g caster sugar

Juice of 1 orange

1 tsp of orange zest

Port of 50 ml (optional)

Pinch of salt


1. Put all the ingredients in a saucepan and stir over low heat until all the sugar has dissolved. Increase the heat until the mixture boils and continue cooking until at least half of the cranberries have burst. Remove the pan from the heat and allow the relish to cool – the consistency will thicken and become candied.

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