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Jimmy Doherty: 'Christmas starts with a glass of champagne'


Don't stuff your turkey Cook your stuffing separately, that way your turkey will cook much quicker – you can do it in less than two hours for eight people. Roast it breast down and all the fat deposits will make their way down, letting the turkey cook in its own juices. Then, half an hour before it's done, flip it over so you have crackling skin. Then add a pint-and-a-half of stock and that will become your gravy.

Don't carve your turkey in the traditional way If you run a knife down the centre of the breast, feel the keel bone and take the whole breast muscle off, then slice it shortways rather than longways. Then take the legs off and slice that meat. It allows for minimum wastage and you'll get 25 per cent more.

My Christmas morning starts with a glass of champagne Then the prep begins. I'll begin by working on the veg, with the seasoned turkey sitting in the shed away from my dogs; they love a bit of turkey on the side. Then I'll enjoy a few more drinks and try to have dinner around 3pm.

The continent still think we all eat boiled beef and suffer from BSE But our food culture has gone through a revolution with farmers' markets and delicious local produce – we've come a long way, but only those who've visited understand that.

I grew up in the same village as Jamie Oliver We were even in the same toddlers' group. I remember once, as teens, being in our local pub and getting into a little bit of argy-bargy with these new lads who'd turned up and were pushing us around. We were trying to stand up to them, but as we were dressed in costume, as Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles, they kept laughing at us.

Jamie's dad's pub was one of the first gastropubs I've loads of amazing food memories from there. It was the first place I had smoked salmon. Afterwards I ran home and said, "Wow, Mum, they've got smoked-salmon sandwiches!" And it was where I first saw and tried tandoori chicken – it was like this alien creation to me.

Our pigs are national treasures They don't have half as good pigs in Spain – those Black Iberian pigs are nothing special; they're often cross-bred. But while our traditional breeds are fantastic quality, pedigree pigs, our farmers don't have the same level of influence as they do down on the Continent and so they don't get marketed.

Haribo sweets are just one of my guilty pleasures The fizzy ones in particular; they're great for when I'm driving long distances. Back at home, I love a glass of Aspall Perronelle's Blush Suffolk Cyder – it tastes like paradise! I have it as often as possible – though mostly on a Sunday after lunch.

Jimmy Doherty, 37, is a TV presenter and farmer. All four episodes of 'Jamie & Jimmy's Food Fight Club' are available to watch online at 4oD until 5 January (channel4.com, jimmysfarm.com)