Best Christmas Turkey Recipe Ever
Want to know the secret to a juicy roast turkey at Christmas? Read on for a simple, step-by-step guide to a delicious Christmas meal.
This is an easy low effort bird that is guaranteed to please. Not much attention to the bird is necessary once it starts cooking. Leaving you with time to dress your table and yourself. Perfect for busy mums who need a fuss-free recipe.
Read on for my secret best christmas turkey recipe ever!
Turkey roasting is a half-day affair so start early. I get the bird in the oven in the morning before I shower so that I have plenty of time to ensure its done before dinner.
This year, my bird is extra big – 11kg and has been a little more challenging than usual.
A turkey about 5-6kg is ideal and easy to maneuver in the oven and to keep the juices sealed. It will also easily feed 10-12 people.
1. Start by defrosting your turkey at least 1-2 days before you need to cook it. I put it in the fridge for 24 hours then another 24 hours at room temperature in my kitchen in an empty clean pail on a piece of cloth so the moisture doesn’t make a mess. Always cook a turkey from room temperature, never from the fridge.
2.Prepare the stuffing with minced pork (500g), dried sage (1tbsp), breadcrumbs (4tbsp), an onion chopped finely, a beaten egg, salt and pepper.
3. Heat your empty oven to 220C.
4. Take half a block of butter out of the fridge to soften while you unpack and wash your turkey in the sink. Reach into the cavity and remove the packet of giblets and the neck. I don’t use these but you can use them for stock if you wish. I thoroughly rinse the turkey and dry it with a clean dish cloth. It must be dry and not wet when you rub it with butter. After the towel, I use kitchen roll to ensure it is dry.
5. Using extra wide aluminium foil, lay the foil lengthways and cut. Then cross another foil in the other direction to form a cross and cut. Put your roasting pan onto the cross of the foil. Put your turkey breast side down into the pan.
6. Cut your butter into manageable pieces. I cut it into slices and add some rosemary and lemon essential oils from Young Living (don’t use any other brand) or you can add dried rosemary and squeeze lemon juice onto the butter.
7. Stuff about half the stuffing into the neck end of the turkey and seal it with thread or toothpicks. Add a wedge of lemon for extra juice if you wish.
8. Grind salt and pepper generously then rub it into the turkey with the seasoned butter. Then turn the turkey breast side up. Repeat on the other side.
9. Stuff the large centre cavity of the turkey with wedges of lemon, grapefruit, pears and/or apples. I don’t put meat or bread stuffing into the large cavity as I find that it takes too long to cook. Fruits on the other hand add a lot of moisture & flavour to the turkey.
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10. Loosen the skin above the breast and put your butter mix into the bird. Add the remaining stuffing into the sides of the bird just above the legs where it meets the breast.
11. Use a rubber band to tie the legs of the bird together and tuck the legs into the flap of skin remaining.
12. Place fatty rashes of bacon over the legs and breast to keep the moisture in and to give your turkey extra flavour. This year I didn’t find streaky bacon at the store but if you do, its better than the back bacon I used.
13. Fold the foil over and make crimple on top. Leave space for the air to circulate so it should be a loose pocket inside. Do the same with the other piece of foil. Make sure the steam cannot escape but can circulate inside the pocket.
16. I do not baste the turkey as I don’t think its necessary if you follow this method. Its less work and your bird will cook at a constant temperature without the constant in and out of the oven that basting requires.
17. Do not poke your turkey! No forks or knives please. The juices will run out! Use a meat thermometer if you like but I don’t have one so I follow the timing for the weight very strictly and I use the leg check method. If the leg is easy to move when you wiggle it and the skin breaks, the bird is done.
18. After the roasting time, I remove the turkey from the oven and cut away all the foil above the roasting pan. Remove the bacon strips. Then return it to the oven at 220C to brown. Keep your eyes on the bird at all times during this important final step. Don’t let the bird burn now. It might need basting for this step if your bird is very big.
19. An important final step in sealing the juices is to time it so your bird has at least 20 minutes to rest before carving. Longer is fine, less is not. If you carve your turkey immediately out of the oven, all the juices will run out and your turkey will not be as juicy a if you waited just 20 mins. I like to time it so that I have an hour to rest my turkey before serving.
20. I use a clean pair of oven mits to move the turkey from the pan into the serving platter. I find large birds impossible with tongs or other utensils. You can also serve it in the roasting pan if your guests don’t mind. I prefer to carve in the kitchen and serve it in slices on a platter on the table.
Follow these steps and your turkey will be juicy and succulent. Enjoy!
PS. Send us a picture of your juicy turkey if you followed our fabulous secret recipe.
Merry Christmas from theAsianparent!