Jamie's festive five: Christmas favourites from Jamie Oliver's book

Jamie Oliver’s festive five: Christmas favourites like panettone and chestnuts plus two turkey alternatives using just five ingredients from TV chef’s book


Celebrating some classic French ingredients, this exciting dish is about big flavour and texture but minimum work. Plus, it’s on the table in only 20 minutes, making it a perfect dinner for two.



  • 2 x 150g duck breast fillets, skin on
  • 2 sprigs of sage
  • 200g purple sprouting broccoli
  • 1 large juicy orange
  • 1 x 400g tin of white beans

Score the duck skin, rub all over with sea salt and black pepper, then place the fillets skin side down in a cold non-stick frying pan and turn the heat on to medium. Cook for 8 minutes without moving the duck, until the fat is well rendered and the skin is golden and crisp. Turn the duck over and cook for a further 4 minutes, basting with the fat.

Meanwhile, pick the sage leaves. Trim the broccoli stalks, halving the stems lengthways. Top and tail the orange, trim off the skin and either slice into rounds or segments, and toss with 1tsp red wine vinegar and a small pinch of salt and pepper.

When the time’s up, remove the duck to a plate to rest, leaving the pan on the heat. Add the sage leaves for 1 minute, or until crispy, jiggling the pan occasionally and transferring them to the duck plate as you go.

Fairtrade Bonarda Malbec 2022 (13%) £6, Co-op

Cook the broccoli in the pan for 4 minutes, or until lightly charred.

Pour in the beans (juices and all), then cover and cook for 3 minutes.

Season to perfection, divide between plates and drizzle over any resting juices. Slice the duck and arrange on top, and scatter over the crispy sage leaves and orange.

Olly Smith’s wine pairing

Delicious with duck 

Fairtrade Bonarda Malbec 2022 (13%) £6, Co-op

A brilliant bargain, this juicy red has the perfect mulberry-tinged elegance to sip with Jamie’s Quick Crispy Duck. Bonarda is a joyfully upbeat grape and lightens the malbec into a deliciously drinkable blend.


Herby salsas are much loved in Catalan cooking so, inspired by a recent trip to Barcelona, I’ve embellished this chicken and these rich, stock-cooked potatoes with a vibrant nutty number.



  • 1 x 1.5kg free-range whole chicken
  • 1kg potatoes
  • 1 bunch of flat-leaf parsley (30g)
  • 1 bulb of garlic
  • 40g blanched hazelnuts

Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan 180°C/gas 6. Rub the chicken all over with olive oil, sea salt and black pepper, then brown in a large casserole pan on a high heat, removing it to a plate once golden all over (roughly 5 minutes).

Meanwhile, peel the potatoes and chop into 5cm chunks. Pour 700ml of water into the pan, then add the parsley stalks, garlic bulb (reserving 1 garlic clove for later) and the potatoes. Bring to the boil on the hob for 15 minutes, season lightly, then pop the chicken on top and place in the oven for 1 hour 15 minutes, or until the chicken is golden and cooked through.

Mylonas Savatiano 2022 (12%) £16, maltbyandgreek.com

Meanwhile, peel and finely chop the reserved garlic clove, very finely chop the parsley leaves, and roughly chop the hazelnuts. Decant into a small serving bowl, stir in 3tbsp extra-virgin olive oil and 4tbsp water, and season to perfection. Transfer the chicken and potatoes to a serving platter, spoon over the herby salsa and serve the garlic bulb on the side, for squeezing over.

Olly’s wine pairing 

Perfect with pot roast 

Mylonas Savatiano 2022 (12%) £16, maltbyandgreek.com

A gorgeous white, this has a trail of subtle smoke wreathed around lemony herbs and citrus power. Stunning to pour with Pot-Roast Chicken, it’s a real find that shows Greek wine’s stellar potential.


Here, I’m living and loving the flavours of the Amalfi coast through one of the best cheat cakes ever. It’s an absolute delight to build and eat, and makes a really special centrepiece, with minimal effort.



  • 1 x 750g panettone
  • 2 x 225g fresh strawberries
  • 500g ricotta cheese (cold)
  • 1tbsp runny honey
  • 3 heaped tbsp lemon curd

Unleash the panettone from its packaging and slice off 3 chunky rounds, roughly 2.5cm thick (save the rest of the panettone for lovely breakfasty things).

Very finely grate 3 strawberries into a bowl and stir in 1tsp of extra-virgin olive oil, then spread this over one side of each of the 3 rounds and leave to soak in.

Whizz the ricotta in a food processor with the honey until silky-smooth, then divide between the rounds and ripple each with lemon curd (give the lemon curd a stir in the jar first, to loosen).

Hull and finely slice most of the remaining strawberries (leaving a few pretty ones aside for decorating later), then arrange over two of the layers. Stack up the layers, using a mixture of whole and sliced strawberries to decorate the top. Chill in the fridge until you’re ready to serve.

PS If you feel like you want to do something exciting, pour a quarter of a jar of honey into a pan and place over a medium heat. Leave to bubble away until you have a dark caramel (never touch it!). 

Bella Cucina Asti Spumante 2022 (7%) £4.75, Tesco

Allow to cool for 5 minutes, then carefully dip in whole strawberries, holding each above the pan so the caramel drips down, to create wisps of spun sugar. Place upside down on greaseproof (so they don’t stick) to set, then use to decorate your cake. To clean the pan effortlessly, pour in 2.5cm of water, pop the lid on and simmer for 5 minutes.

Olly’s wine pairing 

Cracking with cake 

Bella Cucina Asti Spumante 2022 (7%) £4.75, Tesco

A fab, lemony-sweet fizz for under five quid, this feels invigorating popped from the fridge with the Simple Celebration Cake. Pour into white wine glasses and revel in this star’s festive fragrance.


Oh my days, why has it taken me so long to infiltrate one of my favourite pasta dishes with beautiful chestnuts that can be nutty, crumbly and savoury, but sweet and smooth all at the same time?



  • 150g random leftover dried pasta
  • 3 rashers of smoked pancetta or streaky bacon
  • 180g vacuum-packed chestnuts
  • 4 large free-range eggs
  • 20g pecorino or Parmesan, plus extra to serve

Cook the pasta in a pan of boiling salted water according to the packet instructions, then drain, reserving a mugful of starchy cooking water. With 4 minutes to go, finely slice the pancetta and place in a large non-stick frying pan on a medium heat with 1tbsp olive oil. Once sizzling, crumble in the chestnuts and add a generous pinch of black pepper, then stir regularly until golden and crisp. 

Meanwhile, separate the eggs, putting the yolks into a bowl (save the whites for making meringues another day), then finely grate in the cheese and mix together.

Extra Special Mas Miralda Cava 2017 (12%) £7.50, Asda

Tip the drained pasta into the chestnut pan, then remove from the heat and wait 2 minutes for the pan to cool slightly (if the pan’s too hot, it’ll scramble; get it right and it’ll be smooth, silky and deliciously elegant). Loosen the egg mixture with a splash of the reserved cooking water, then pour over the pasta, tossing and stirring vigorously – the egg will gently cook in the residual heat.

Season to perfection. Adjust the consistency with extra cooking water, if needed, and finish with a fine grating of cheese, if you like.

Olly’s wine pairing 

Carbonara champion

Extra Special Mas Miralda Cava 2017 (12%) £7.50, Asda

This is outrageously good value for a rich yet zesty sparkler that will go down a storm during the Christmas party season. Deliciously frothy, it’s also an exquisite treat with the Chestnut Carbonara.


L-R: Chef Jamie Oliver; Jamie Oliver’s new recipe book is called Jamie’s 5 Ingredients – Mediterranean

  • Jamie’s 5 Ingredients – Mediterranean by Jamie Oliver (£28) is out now, published by Penguin Michael Joseph. © Jamie Oliver Enterprises Limited (2023 5 Ingredients Mediterranean). To order a copy for £23.80 go to www.mailshop.co.uk/books or call 020 3176 2937. Free UK delivery on orders over £25. Promotional price valid until 31/12/23. Recipe photography: © David Loftus, 2023. Jamie’s Christmas Shortcuts airs on Channel 4 next month. 

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