Perfectly Roasted Turkey

Most people are fed up with turkey at Christmas because its dry and tasteless, nothing to do with the Family figure cooking it for 10 hrs in an oven so here is a fool proof method to give you the best results on Christmas day.  I love turkey and Over the last few years I have been trying different breeds, sizes and techniques when roasting my Bird for Christmas lunch.

What I have discovered is that there is no better Turkey than the Norfolk black. Available direct from a selection of farms and of course a few select supermarkets across the UK.

The Norfolk Black is a slower growing breed of turkey, so the flavour has longer to develop resulting in a great tasting meat. These turkeys are free range allowing them to roam and forage in woodlands.

So here we go!

To cook your turkey from chilled I recommend you first bring it to room temperature by removing it from the fridge for at least an hour before cooking.

I Norfolk black Turkey (mine was 3.5kg), enough to feed 6
150g butter
100g smoked pancetta sliced and cooked until crispy
1 clove of garlic crushed
1 clove of garlic cut in half
1 orange cut in half
1 carrot
1 bay leaf
6 peppercorns
6 sprigs of thyme
1 stick of celery
1 onion
1/2 leek
2 pints of water
2tblsp chopped parsley

Method

Mix the butter, crushed garlic, parsley and cooked pancetta in a bowl and set aside.

Using a soup spoon and taking your time, gently ease away the skin around the breast and down toward the legs, be careful not to pierce the skin.

Now take your butter mix and slide down between the flesh and skin, when finished push a tooth pick into the skin and flesh. This will prevent the skin from pulling away from the flesh once you commence cooking. Now pop your cut orange and thyme inside the cavity of your bird.

Now take your carrot, onion, cut garlic clove, celery, water and lob it into your roasting tray, pop your bird on top of the veg and cover it loosely with foil.

Then, place it in a preheated oven at 170°Fan/190°C, 375°F, Gas Mark 5 for 45 minutes per kilo plus an extra 20 minutes.

For the final 30 minutes’ cooking time, remove the foil.
After cooking is finished, cover the turkey in foil and a tea towel and leave it to stand for up to an hour. This will allow all of the juices to soak back into the bird.

To ensure the turkey is cooked, insert a skewer into the thickest part of the meat. If the juices run clear – not pink – it is fully cooked. Be sure to serve piping hot.IMG_9814.JPG

Best served up with all the side dishes of king Edward mash, goose fat roasties, caramelised carrots, parsnips and no Christmas lunch is complete without sprouts, chestnuts and a little crispy proscuttio.

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@bigalchef

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