Christmas: All The Trimmings!

Habitat HQ is teeming with foodies. One of the best loved is Nikki Stuart, our Junior Furniture Buyer. She frequently cooks up a storm at weekends for colleagues who rave about her culinary creations in the staff kitchen on a Monday morning. As we approach Christmas cooking, Nikki firmly believe that side dishes maketh the meal and so, whatever you’re serving up, the trimmings can really make a lunch or dinner something to shout about. Her most recent gastronomical gathering centred around a simple roast chicken, but sides of Dauphinoise Potatoes, Red Cabbage with Bacon and Maple Syrup and Cumin Roasted Vegetables really stole the show.

Roast Chicken with Chicken Gravy

1 medium organic chicken

2 lemons, cut in half

2 cloves of smoked garlic


Salt and pepper


Stuff 4 lemon halves, the rosemary, 1 clove of garlic and salt and pepper into the cavity. Rub butter into the skin of the chicken and sprinkle with salt and pepper and mixed Italian dry herbs. Cover with foil and roast for around 1 and a quarter hours depending on the size of the chicken. 20 minutes before the end, take off the tin foil to crisp the chicken skin.

Once the chicken is cooked, cover with foil and let it rest for 15 mins or so whilst you make the gravy.

For the gravy:

Remove the excess fat from the roasting tray and then put over a high heat. Add a large glass of white wine and reduce down. Add some dried porcini mushrooms and rosemary, add chicken stock, cooking until the gravy is at the right consistency. Remove the mushrooms and rosemary and serve.

Christmas Trimmings Recipe

Dauphinoise Potatoes

4 baking potatoes, thinly sliced

3 cloves of garlic, crushed

200ml single cream

Grated gruyere cheese

1 finely cut white onion

Salt and pepper

Layer the potatoes to cover the bottom of your baking dish, sprinkle with garlic, salt and pepper, onions and a small bit of the cheese but save most of it for the end, repeat each layer until the baking dish is full. Slowly pour the cream over the layered potatoes ensuring that it trickles through all of the gaps. Then finish with the leftover cheese and bake at 180 degrees (fan oven) for around 1hr 20 minutes until all potatoes are cooked through.

Red Cabbage with Bacon and Maple Syrup

1 red cabbage, sliced

1 small glass of red wine

6 rashers of smoked streaky bacon

2 tablespoons of maple syrup

Salt and pepper, to taste

1 tablespoon of  balsamic vinegar

Half a red onion, finely chopped

Lump of butter

Melt the butter add the red onion and bacon and shimmer, then add the balsamic vinegar and cook for a minute or so before adding the red cabbage. Pour in the red wine and reduce down. Add the maple syrup and salt and pepper. Cook with a lid on for around 40 minutes or so until the red cabbage is sticky with a sweet and sour taste.

Christmas Trimmings Recipe

Cumin roasted Veg

A selection of vegetables (Nikki used carrots, butternut squash, cauliflower, onions and leeks)

Olive oil

2 teaspoons cumin seeds

1 teaspoon fennel seeds

Salt and pepper

Cut all the vegetables, cover with the olive oil and all of the seasoning. Roast in the oven for 45 minutes.

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