This anxious obsession that so many Christmas cooks have with cooking the perfect turkey led me to find a timer that we now distribute free to our customers both online and in store. It pops when the turkey is ready and has taken the stress out of cooking turkey, allowing everyone to serve meat that is cooked to perfection.
- 1 turkey, size of choice
- (allow 225 g/8 oz per portion raw weight)
- 150 g/5 oz butter
- 1⁄2 cup olive oil
(makes 10 portions)
- 1⁄2 cup olive oil
- 1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped
- 500 g/1 lb chestnuts or equivalent if using vac pac
- chicken stock to cook chestnuts (optional)
- 1.5 kg/3 lb sausage meat
- turkey liver, finely chopped(optional)
- 150 g/5 oz fresh breadcrumbs
Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas mark 6. Weigh the turkey when it is stuffed and ready to cook. Allow approximately 15 minutes per 500 g/1 lb. Make the stuffing by heating the oil in a pan and frying the onion until aromatic but not brown. If using fresh chestnuts, make slits on both sides using a small knife and boil the chestnuts in water for 10 minutes. Drain and remove the outer shell and skins while the chestnuts are still warm. Cook the chestnuts in a little water or stock for about 5 minutes and then drain. Chop into small dice and combine in a bowl with the cooked onion and the rest of the ingredients. Stuff the turkey and place any leftover stuffing into a loaf tin. Lift the skin of the turkey by pushing your fingers between the meat and the skin from the neck over the breast, and insert the butter to lubricate the turkey throughout the long cooking process. Place the turkey on a baking tray on its side, and coat with the oil. Cover the tin with aluminium foil and roast for 30 minutes, then turn the turkey on to its other side, basting well with the pan juices. Baste the turkey every 30 minutes throughout the cooking process. Thirty minutes before cooking is completed, turn the turkey breast side up, baste well and return to the oven without the foil to allow the skin to become crisp. Cover the turkey with foil and rest it for at least 15 minutes before carving. To make the cranberry sauce, simmer all the ingredients in a covered pan until the cranberries are soft. The cranberry sauce can be made in advance and kept in a sterile jar. It also makes a lovely Christmas gift.
We hope you enjoyed reading this post by Pat Whelan of James Whelan Butchers. Pat is a 5th generation butcher, cook book author and the director of James Whelan Butchers with shops in Clonmel, the Avoca Food Market Monkstown and Avoca Rathcoole. Sign up to our newsletter for more updates from James Whelan Butchers