Belinda's favourite foods for the festive season

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Christmas is a time of fun, family, festivities… and food!

I have a few favourite dishes that I cook every year at Christmas.  

From the essentials for the perfect Christmas supper, to popular dishes for Boxing Day and beyond, these are some of my favourite foods for the festive period.  

Homemade chicken stock

An essential to keep in the fridge over the Christmas period. Chicken stock is useful for making soups and noodle dishes and, of course, delicious gravy! You can read our tried-and-tested recipe for chicken stock here.

Mince pies - lots of them!

There’s nothing better than a mince pie and a glass of mulled wine to really get into the cosy spirit of Christmas. Either make your own or stock up from the local farm shop (I won’t tell if you don’t!) and your guests will love you.

Pigs in blankets, made with chicken sausages

For a twist on another family favourite, I make my pigs in blankets with our Sutton Hoo Chicken sausages - they’re a must have for a roast dinner. You can find more great chicken sausage recipes here.

A good selection of cheese - Stilton is a must have!

It wouldn’t be Christmas day without a post-dinner cheese board when you’re just a bit too full but can’t say no! You either love it or hate it, but my favourite is stilton, which also tastes delicious in a warming chicken and stilton soup.

Sprouts on the stalk

Another Christmas dinner essential. I make my sprouts with bacon and chestnuts and I buy them on the stalk for extra flavour and freshness.

Cloves & bay leaves for Christmassy cooking

I always have these in my store-cupboard for cooking delicious wintery dinners. They are an essential for soups, stews, ragus and roasts - all my favourite winter warmers. For a lovely dish with a touch of Christmas spice, try our chicken in spiced red wine with sour cherries.

Chestnut or clementine stuffing, depending on my mood

Both of these go very well with roast chicken - take your pick! For a classic nutty stuffing, I go for chestnut - but a fruitier clementine stuffing also tastes great.

A Sutton Hoo roast chicken

For the main event on Christmas day, I tend to go for a large, tasty roast chicken over turkey – as I find it is more flavoursome. When I am cooking for a big gathering I sometimes roast two smaller Sutton Hoo chickens that fit into the roasting tin side by side just to make sure so no one goes hungry!

There really are so many lovely recipes you can make from these ingredients. I am always busy over the festive period, so to save myself time I make sure that I have stocked up on all these different things, ready for when they are needed.

Wishing you all a very happy Christmas! From Belinda x

Ellie Collins