If you’re anything like me, tackling the traditional roast Christmas turkey and
getting it right is almost as likely as taking off on a holiday to the moon!
Who could forget that incongruous scene from the National Lampoons Christmas
Vacation, where the Griswold family is left with the spoils of one very sorry
looking imploding turkey carcass?
Let me take you through a step-to-step guide on how to get it right first time
round and Griswold-disaster free.
Step 1 – Defrosting: If you decide to take the easy way and use a frozen turkey,
make sure it fully completely defrosted before using. Throw it in the fridge
rather than leaving it on the bench for 60 hours and risking spreading salmonella
throughout the family – they won’t thank you for that!
Step 2 – Cleaning: Give ol’ Foghorn a good rinse and get rid of the bits you don’t
need, like the neck and giblets.
Step 3 – Stuffing: If it’s got egg in it, you’re best off preparing the stuffing and
inserting immediately. Never stuff the cavity of the bird, but rather just beneath
Step 4 – Prepare for roasting: Yes you are about to massage a dead bird, but
trust me it’ll be worth it. Rub softened butter liberally over the turkey to preent
Step 5 – Pan and Foil: Place two large sheets of foil in a roasting pan so that
they cross each other at right angles and place your turkey in the centre of the
dish. Bring the edges of the foil together around the bird so they form a loose
tent over it. Make sure there is a pocket of air between the turkey and foil.
Step 6 – Roasting times: Allow about 40 minutes roasting time per kilo of
weight. A 5kg turkey will generally take about three hours to cook properly.
Place the turkey in a preheated 220-degree oven for 40 minutes and then reduce
heat to 170 degrees. Forty minutes before total cooking time open the foil and
leave exposed to allow skin to crisp and brown. Through this period, baste the
bird every 10 minutes.
Step 7 – Resting: Remove the turkey from the oven and stick it with a skewer to
check it is cooked properly. If juices run clear, the turkey is cooked. Allow the
turkey to rest before carving – cover loosely with foil and let it sit for at least 30
minutes in a warm place.
And there you go! A Christmas turkey cooked to perfection and disaster free.
There won’t be any need for Devon sandwiches with these tips that’s for sure!