Turkey Hints & Advice
Make sure the bird you buy is big enough to feed all your guests AND fit in your oven. Measure the space inside your oven from bottom shelf to top, and width, and bring them to ensure your selected turkey will fit. As a rough guide, allow approximately 500g of raw meat per serving per person.
If you’re buying a frozen turkey, allow plenty of time for your bird to defrost. This is a classic mistake, and one that’s responsible for many a delayed Christmas lunch. Your turkey has to be fully defrosted before you start cooking it. (In some cases this can take a couple of days –refer to the Turkey label for defrosting times.) The best way to defrost your turkey is to remove all packaging, cover loosely with foil and place it on tray in the bottom of the fridge. When the turkey is defrosted, remove any giblets, cover and place in the fridge to make gravy. Pat dry, inside and out with kitchen paper.
Try this easy classic stuffing option:
Remove the skins from some Cumberland Gourmet Sausages. Fry a couple of onions with some peeled, cored, diced Bramley apples (Granny Smith are fine if you are unable to get Bramley) in about 25g butter until soft. When cool, blend with sausage mix, a handful of breadcrumbs and some chopped sage.
Filling the turkey with the stuffing. When it comes to stuffing the cavity at the leg end, place an onion (or two depending on the size of the bird), a few crushed cloves of garlic, a lemon cut in half, and loads of herbs (such as rosemary, thyme, sage) wrapped in a bundle.
Preheat your oven to 180ºC. When your bird is stuffed and ready to be roasted, weigh it, and calculate the cooking time.
You should allow 15 minutes per 500g +15 minutes. You’re trying to achieve maximum flavour whilst keeping the bird moist. Make a herb butter (with finely chopped rosemary, thyme, and flat leaf parsley) and carefully sear it under the skin using your fingers being careful not to tear it. Alternatively you may choose to place Cumberland streaky bacon under the skin (infuses an amazing flavour whilst keeping the bird incredibly moist). Next place your turkey in a large roasting tray, rub with olive oil and season. Place carrots, celery, leeks and onion in roasting tray (will add flavour to your gravy). Cover with foil and place in oven for calculated time. Remove foil for the last 45 minutes so to get a nice golden colour.