Every year, families across the world come together celebrate the holiday season with stuffing, potatoes and one very important main course.
Whether they fry it or roast it, brine it or rub it, cook the stuffing inside or out, no Thanksgiving meal is complete without the turkey.
The celebrity chef revealed to FEMAIL his tips for cooking the perfect bird, plus other festive favourites, to make your holiday meal absolutely perfect.
Celebrity chef Dave Little (pictured), once the private chef to George Lucas, has shared his secrets to making the perfect holiday turkey with FEMAIL
Unlike many frazzled cooks, Dave begins cooking his turkey the night before a big feast, leaving it in the oven overnight at 70 C
Dave begins by making the stuffing, which traditionally includes celery, bread cubes, onion, dried thyme and sage, parsley, and chicken broth.
Unlike many frazzled cooks, the head chef at Mr G’s Double Bay likes to get an early start on the turkey and always begins cooking it the night before a big feast.
After stuffing the turkey, he’ll place the bird in a tray with hot water, make sure to flavour it with salt, pepper, and butter, and then place some paper on top.
Dave has found that this eliminates the most common mistake people make with turkey – giving it too little time to cook
He then cooks the turkey at 70 C, leaving it in the oven the entire night.
‘When you wake up in the morning it’s all ready to go,’ he told Daily Mail Australia.
Before serving the turkey, Dave will put it briefly in the oven uncovered at high temperature to ‘give it that beautiful burnish’.
Dave has found that this eliminates the most common mistake people make with turkey – giving it too little time to cook.
Before serving the turkey, Dave will put it briefly in the oven uncovered at high temperature to ‘give it that beautiful burnish’
‘They don’t allow enough time, they wake up Thanksgiving morning and are panicking,’ he said.
‘If you do it this way, you can’t mess it up – you can’t overcook it or undercook it – and there’s more time for the flavours to infuse.’
‘The breast meat is very, very tender, it’s very juicy, and the legs are perfectly cooked,’ he added.
‘Oftentimes you get the legs perfectly cooked and the breast gets really dry or undercooked, and you don’t get that with this method.’
Dave also cooks the stuffing inside the turkey, finding it gives both more flavour
While the debate rages on as to whether you should cook the stuffing inside or outside of the bird, Dave has found that cooking it all together gives it more flavour.
‘The latest one I did had cranberries, panko bread crumbs, thyme, garlic, a little bit of lemon, and that’s about it,’ he revealed.
When it comes to Australia, Dave said no holiday meal is complete without prawns, oysters, and honey glazed ham.
Dave whipped up a special Thanksgiving meal for Mr G’s Double Bay restaurant and created this ‘highly spiced’ pumpkin pie with nutmeg and cinnamon
Dave recommends finding out everything you can before purchasing the perfect ham, from the providence it comes from to what the pigs were fed.
The celebrity chef loves to make a scampi on Christmas, taking big prawns and cutting them in half before throwing them on the barbeque with garlic and herb oil.
Last year he also cooked an ocean trout on charcoal that was wrapped in banana leaves, another dish he recommends for the holidays.
For those vegetarians and vegans in your life, Dave recommends making a roasted eggplant dish for a filling side that will leave everyone satisfied.
On Christmas Dave (pictured) loves to make a scampi, taking big prawns and cutting them in half before throwing them on the barbecue
‘It’s a whole eggplant, and you just roast it,’ he said. ‘The skin will peel off like paper, and you can make a really nice dressing with some sesame and herbs.’
Dave also suggests whipping up a salad with Burrata cheese, tomatoes, and pistachios, drizzled with balsamic vinegar.
The chef’s special Thanksgiving dinner at Mr G’s Bar and Grill in Sydney will include a roast turkey with traditional stuffing and bourbon gravy.
There will also be a shaved brussel sprout salad – with hazelnuts, cranberries, rye croutons, and buttermilk dressing – and corn bread, glazed carrots, maple yams, and green beans on the side.
For dessert is what Dave calls a ‘highly spiced’ pumpkin pie, flavoured with nutmeg and cinnamon and topped with salted caramel, vanilla ice cream, and pecans.