16th November 2018

Top tips for terrific Christmas turkey

16th November 2018

If you’re planning to don an apron this Christmas and get stuck into stuffing, we’ve gathered our favourite turkey tips from our team of chefs. From brilliant basting to turning your turkey upside down, make your festive feast fabulous.

Buttery goodness:

There are a myriad of ways to rub and baste your turkey, however, the traditional method of using butter mixed with herbs is a firm favourite with families around the world. Mix your room temperature butter with fresh herbs, thyme and rosemary work well, and starting from the neck of the bird, slowly work your hand between the meat and the skin, being careful not to go too fast at the skin may tear. Once separated, apply your butter and herb mixture lightly patting the skin down in place.

Cook on the bone:

If you’re not planning to roasting a full turkey, try and select a joint of meat that is still on the bone. Thigh joints and drumstick cuts can be purchased with the bone still in, which not only adds flavour, it also keeps the meat moist as the fat around the bone melts during cooking. If you are planning to use a crown joint (legs and wings removed) adjust your cooking times accordingly and make sure to use a fat based baste as this will compensate for any moisture lost.

Timing is everything:

If you’re planning to make your turkey the centrepiece of your Christmas feast, it’s time to get the calculator out! By measuring the weight of your turkey (with stuffing) and adjusting your cooking time accordingly, you can avoid Christmas Day dry mouth and relax knowing your bird will be moist and delicious. A 4kg (8lb) turkey, cooked in a preheated oven at 180 degrees, should take 2 hours and 50 minutes, with an additional 20 minutes added per kg.  Once done, pierce the turkey around the thigh area, this is the thickest part of the bird and will take the longest to cook. The juices should run clear and your turkey is ready to rest before serving.

Keep it closed:

No peaking! Keep your oven well sealed and don’t open the door as this will lose heat from inside and increase the cooking time. To avoid opening your oven and reducing the temperature within, place a good amount of stock in the base of your roasting pan, this will help keep the meat succulent and avoid it drying up during cooking.

 

The final flip:

Once you’re happy your turkey is cooked all the way through, whilst the turkey is resting, turn it upside down, this will help the meat to relax and all the juices to be absorbed throughout the whole bird.

If this all sounds like hard work, why not treat the chef in your family and join us for your Christmas Day dinner. Find your favourite local or search our pubs open Christmas Day  or see what other festive fun we’re offering throughout December.