Turkey has become the most popular Christmas meat with over 10 million turkeys being consumed in the UK each year over the festive period. But just how do you cook the perfect Christmas turkey? Follow the instructions below and you won’t go wrong.
– A 14 pound (lb)/6.5 kilogram (kg) turkey (this will feed about 12 people).
– 175 grams (g) of butter (this will need to be adjusted if you have a different sized turkey).
– 3.5 litres (ltr) of stuffing (this will need to be adjusted if you have a different sized turkey).
– 4 cups of water or turkey stock.
– Ground pepper.
– 5 chopped carrots.
– 500g of frozen, mixed vegetables.
– 500g of chopped mushrooms.
– 3 large, chopped onions.
– 3 large, chopped bell peppers.
– An oven pre-heated to gas mark 7, 425°F (220°C).
– A roasting tin.
– An oven proof bowl.
– A turkey baster.
– A meat thermometer.
1) Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 7, 425°F (220°C).
2) Remove the giblets from the middle of the turkey.
3) Add your favourite stuffing. You should put two thirds in the neck end between the neck and skin and then tuck the neck flap against the back of the bird, securing it with a skewer. After this you will need to flip the turkey over and tuck in the wings. Then you can put the remaining third of stuffing in the body cavity. When stuffing the turkey make sure you do not pack it in too tightly to ensure that it heats properly. Once the turkey is fully stuffed you will need to tie the legs together using some heavy duty kitchen twine.
4) Place the turkey in a roasting tin.
5) Place any remaining stuffing in an oven proof bowl and cover this with foil.
6) Spread 175g of softened butter over the turkey’s skin.
7) Add the carrot, mushroom, onion and pepper to the roasting tin.
8) Sprinkle salt and pepper over the buttered turkey and vegetables.
9) Pour two cups of water or turkey stock into the roasting tin.
10) Place the turkey in the pre-heated oven for 40 minutes.
11) Remove the turkey and baste it with the juices at the bottom of the roasting tin.
12) Reduce the oven temperature to gas mark 3, 325°F (170°C) and place the turkey back in the oven to cook for a further 3½ hours.
13) Every 30 minutes remove the turkey from the oven and baste it with the juices at the bottom of the roasting tin.
14) Increase the temperature of the oven to gas mark 6, 400°F (200°C) and cook the turkey and stuffing for a further 30 minutes.
15) Remove the turkey and pierce the thigh to see if the juices run clear. If they do not then put the turkey back in the oven and keep testing for readiness every 10 minutes. Once the juices do run clear insert your meat thermometer into the turkey along the breast bone and check that the temperature is between 160°F (71°C) and 165°F (74°C). Then insert your meat thermometer into the turkey leg and check that the temperature is 180°F (82°C). Once the turkey is ready cover it and the vegetables in foil and leave them to stand for 45 minutes.
16) Place the bowl of remaining stuffing into the oven and cook for 20 minutes at gas mark 4, 350°F (180°C) and then 20 minutes at gas mark 6, 400°F (200°C). Then remove the stuffing and check that the top is golden brown. If not put the bowl of stuffing back in the oven and keep testing for readiness every 5 minutes. Once ready take the stuffing out of the oven, remove the foil and add the stuffing from inside the turkey to the bowl.
17) Carve the turkey and serve with a portion of vegetables from the roasting tin, some gravy and some stuffing.
If you learn better by watching someone else then the video below gives you a slight variation on the above recipe.
COOKING TIMES FOR DIFFERENT SIZED TURKEYS:
The above recipe looks at a 14lb turkey and the video looks at a 13lb turkey. However, if you use different sized turkeys you should follow the cooking times below:
|TURKEY SIZE||COOKING PERIOD 1||COOKING PERIOD 2||COOKING PERIOD 3|
|8lb-10lb (3.5kg to 4.5kg)||30 minutes on gas mark 7, 425°F (220°C)||3 hours on gas mark 3, 325°F (170°C)||30 minutes on gas mark 6, 400°F (200°C)|
|12lb-14lb (5.5kg to 6.5kg)||40 minutes on gas mark 7, 425°F (220°C)||3.5 hours on gas mark 3, 325°F (170°C)||30 minutes on gas mark 6, 400°F (200°C)|
|15lb-20lb (6.75kg to 9kg)||45 minutes on gas mark 7, 425°F (220°C)||4-5 hours on gas mark 3, 325°F (170°C)||30 minutes on gas mark 6, 400°F (200°C)|
The above recipe is both tasty and nutritious and will provide you and your guests with high levels of protein, vitamins and minerals. So if you want to impress everyone this year with the perfect Christmas turkey just follow the instructions in this article.