As Christmas approaches, thebestof Watford is looking at another big part of the day, that some people still manage to get very wrong.
The all-important turkey.
We all know that you need to make sure it’s thoroughly defrosted before cooking. Every sitcom Christmas special seems to include a panicking host desperately dumping the frozen bird in a hot bath to try and speed things up, whilst attacking it with a hair dryer.
Then there are the annual anecdotes of eating turkey sandwiches until Valentines Day! So how can you overcome these pitfalls?
When it comes to buying your turkey, first off, you need to decide how what size you should buy. This depends on how many people you want it to feed and how much you actually like those leftovers. Turkeys range from as little as three kilograms right up to 11kgs.
A small bird of around four kg, will feed a couple of people without many leftovers, going to seven or eightkgs will feed around 10 people (or five people twice) or for really big families, an 11kg turkey will feel up to 20! Just make sure your oven is up to it.
But the bigger they are, the harder they thaw! The best and most hygienic place to do this is in the fridge. But remember, it can take up to 12 hours per kilo here. Taking it out of the fridge will still take three or four hours per kilo, and whilst it’s quicker, you have to make sure no pets or children can get to it. So keep it covered - no one wants to get ill from Christmas dinner.
Still worried? Why not get an emergency back-up? You can buy frozen turkey breast joints from most supermarkets. These can be cooked from frozen and – even if you won’t have the full bird on the table, surrounded by trimmings, it’ll do in a tight spot if you forget to take the original out of the freezer in time! You can always keep it for Sunday lunches later in the year!
There is another option. Buy fresh!
Many local farms and butchers will be taking turkey orders. Getting the bird delivered fresh to your door a couple of days before Christmas takes all the defrosting anguish out of the process, helps support local business and means you know you’re getting something fresh for the big day!