How cook the perfect turkey this Christmas
12th November 2015
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Many people have different ways of cooking the Christmas turkey, some outlandish, some simple, some lavish.

Turkey is now established as being the fowl of choice for the Christmas dinner table in many households. Some people will be buying their turkey now, taking it home and submerging them in a deep freezer.  Whilst on the topic of freezing, It is important to make sure that such frozen food MUST be properly defrosted, following the instructions, until fully thawed before cooking.

When buying your turkey, you can ask for advice on the process. Accelerating de-frost times by using heat, or ignoring the instructions may spoil the family Christmas.

Frasers Butchers will help you find the perfect turkey which will be fresh for Christmas and again care must be taken to refrigerate it when you get it home. Always follow the instructions when handling and cooking the Christmas fare.

It is current wisdom, seemingly, that chickens and turkeys come without the ‘innards’, which is sad for the cat population but it is a health precaution. However, it is wise to inspect the cavity of your bird to establish that there isn’t a plastic bag of entrails left in there before cooking. In addition, it is no longer recommended that the cavities be stuffed with sausage meats or chestnuts. In truth this makes the bird denser and requiring more thorough cooking to ensure that it is cooked through.

Here’s a recipe to help you cook your turkey!

Set your oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5, keep an eye on the cooking time as some fan ovens can be quite aggressive. For accurate timing, always weigh your turkey after it has been stuffed. If it is very large, you may need to use bathroom scales.

The latest advice from the British Turkey Information Service is that if the turkey is over 4kg, calculate 20 mins per kg + 90 mins. If the bird is under 4kg, calculate 20 mins per kg + 70 mins.

To test if it's done, make sure the juices run clear when you pierce the thigh where it meets the body. Large birds such as a turkey and goose can carry a lot of breast meat that is quite dense, it will not ruin the look of the end product if it is prodded with a cooking fork to ensure that the meat is cooked through.  If in any doubt, put it back in the oven for another 20 mins, then test again and keep on testing until you are sure.

You could also purchase a thermometer that can be inserted into the flesh of the bird whilst cooking, something every chef will do to ensure that the deeper core meat is being cooked through, especially if there is stuffing in the cavity/s.

Some Tips:

  • Prepare the Turkey with a generous smear of butter or olive oil, salt and pepper. However, much of the fat in fowl is on the underside of the skin, if on a diet or fat or salt controlled diet it may be as well to remove the skin after cooking and enjoy the meat beneath.
  • Season to taste but the key is not to overdo it! Do this the night before and leave it overnight in the fridge.
  • Let the Turkey come to room temperature before you place it in the oven.
  • Fold a large piece of grease proof paper over the breast of the Turkey when cooking to protect the skin. Metal foil works just as well, but with a heavy bird be careful about wrapping the whole bird in paper or foil as it makes the whole thing difficult to handle – especially when hot.
  • Rest the turkey after cooking for a few minutes at room temperature.

If you would like any more advice on cooking the perfect turkey, speak to Frasers Butchers as their team can offer sound advice. Give them a call on 01204 523278

About the Author

Faz P

Member since: 10th July 2012

Hi I am Faz and am passionate about all things Bolton. I hope you enjoy reading my blogs and find them to be interesting and thought provoking. I would love you to add your personal comments to them. Dont...

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