If you want to really enjoy your Christmas turkey this year, then investing in a locally reared, slow maturing, free range bronze turkey will make all the difference. They have loads of flavour and are juicy and succulent (as long as you don’t overcook them!) It’s also worth taking you time: make sure that you take the turkey out of the fridge several hours before you start cooking, and when you have finished cooking, let it rest for at least half an hour. The results are worth it.
Preparation – For Whole Turkeys
As soon as possible after collecting your Turkey, remove all packaging and store in a cool place, preferably at the bottom of your fridge.
- Remove the giblets and keep separately in a cool place.
- Remove the turkey from the fridge two hours before cooking, to allow to reach room temperature.
- If your turkey is trussed, it is best to remove the string before cooking.
- Cook your stuffing separately, because stuffing the main cavity will stop the turkey cooking properly.
- We recommend cooking without covering in foil, you will get lovely crispy skin.
- Place the giblets around the bird. Place the bird breast side down in the roast tin and season with salt and pepper. For crowns keep the breast up. The oven should be preheated to 180ºc (160º fan) Gas 4/5.
- Gravy always tastes better if the turkey giblets are used to make it.
- After an hour of cooking turn the bird carefully on to its back to further cook and brown the breast.
- It is very important not to overcook a turkey – many people do and are then disappointed when it is dry. This can be avoided by either using a ‘pop up’ timer (included with your turkey) or meat thermometer that detects when the turkey is cooked – you are looking to achieve a temperature of around 68 degrees pre-resting. Failing that test with a fork on the inside of the thigh – when the juices run clear the bird is ready.
- After removing the turkey from the oven and before carving it, allow it to rest for 30-60 minutes. Do not cover.
Portion Size – 500g per person
Guideline Cooking Times – as ovens do vary!
Whole Birds & Crowns
4kg – 2 hrs
5kg – 2 – 2 ½ hrs
6kg – 2 ¼ – 2 ½ hrs
7kg – 2 ½ – 2 ¾ hrs
8kg – 2 ¾ – 3 hrs
9kg – 3 – 3 ¼ hrs
Check every 15 minutes after 3 hrs.