Christmas turkey – Our top tips for the perfect Christmas day celebration

Posted on 4th December 2013
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We’re all learning how to bake the good old fashioned way again thanks to recent on-screen bake-offs and there’s nothing more traditional than roasting a festive free range turkey that’s been allowed to mature naturally on a free-range farm. You can still order one now to be ready for your guests on Christmas day.

How much will you need?

In general it’s best to allow 300-400g of turkey per person. Remember that larger birds have more meat in relation to bones and so make for a better value option if you’re feeding lots of people this Christmas.

How can you add some extra flavour before cooking?

We’d recommend rediscovering stuffing this year.  You’ll find tasty variations on our recipe page like Pork Apple and Almond Stuffing - a fusion of fruity and nutty flavours. Remember to fill only the neck cavity with your mixture. If you choose a tasty bronze variety turkey you can seal in its intense flavour with a sizzling layer of bacon.

Essential Turkey roasting tips

  • Preheat your oven (fan oven) 190°C/375°F, (electric oven) 160°C/320°F, gas mark 5 and for an aga, a hot oven.
  • Remember to season the bird with salt and pepper and cook your turkey breast side down.
  • Always read the instructions given about your bird’s cooking times (you will receive some lovely instructions if you order from us). Avoid over-cooking your turkey.
  • To brown the breast, turn the bird onto its back about 30 minutes before the end of cooking, remembering to also open any foil used at this stage.
  • Before eating or carving the bird, test it with a fork to ensure that clear juice comes out of the thigh when pierced and then allowing it to rest for at least 30 minutes.

Careful carving

  • Legs first – cut close to the body whilst holding the leg by the end knuckle and twist off
  • Remove the wings the same way and cut them in half
  • Slice the breast meat from one side of the bird at a time.

All the trimmings?

If you’ve invested in a good quality free range turkey it makes sense to accompany it with an affordable, modest, satisfying serving of locally grown vegetables, all topped with gravy made with the turkey’s own juices.  

Making the most of leftovers

By choosing a bird of the right weight for your number of guests, there won’t be any need to eat turkey sandwiches through until New Year! Make our Turkey and Creamy Stilton pie for a luxurious alternative to cold cuts on Boxing Day if you do have any leftovers though - very tasty!   

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