TOP TURKEY TIPS
turkey tips by British Turkey
Christmas just over two weeks away, turkeys are flying
off the shelves as the nation prepares for its Christmas
But whether you collect your bird from your local butcher
on Christmas eve or buy one early from the supermarket
and freeze it, when the big day arrives, knowing how
to defrost it, prepare it and cook it can give you a
headache before youve even started on the mulled
Different weight birds require different cooking times,
and with lots of conflicting advice out there from chefs
and cookery writers alike on how to make the perfect
Christmas lunch, it can be confusing. To help you on
your way on the big day, The British Turkey Hotline
have provided the following top turkey tips. Theres
also a number of leftover turkey recipes, to help you
avoid a month of Turkey sandwiches.
1. What are the new recommended cooking times?
times have got shorter resulting in a juicy,
beautifully cooked bird with more time for you to
relax! Calculate 20 minutes per kg plus 90 minutes
at 190°C/375ºF/Gas Mark 5. (If the bird
weighs less than 4kg allow 20 minutes per kg + 70
the bird to room temperature, then smother the breast
with butter and bacon and cover loosely with foil.
foil for last 40 minutes of cooking time to brown.
it is cooked using a skewer in the thickest part of
leg the juices should be clear.
to rest for 15 - 20 minutes before carving.
When should I start defrosting?
turkey should be thawed either in a fridge, a cool
room or at room temperature no more than 20ºC
in a fridge (4ºC) - allow 8 - 12 hours per kg
in a cool room (17.5ºC) allow 3 - 4 hours
at room temperature (20ºC) allow 2 hours
thawing remove all the packaging, take out giblets
and store separately. Lightly cover on a deep plate
or dish (to prevent any of the juices dripping onto
other foods in the fridge) towards the base of the
fridge. (Ensure the fridge is at a temperature of
no more than 4ºC).
thawed and in the fridge, the turkey will keep for
2 days. Bring back to room temperature before cooking.
Do I need to be careful about stuffing?
Turkeys should be stuffed just before cooking.
can prepare the stuffing beforehand - either a few
weeks and freeze then allow to thaw completely before
using or simply make the breadcrumbs and freeze those.
Or the day beforehand, allow to cool then store covered
in the fridge before using.
stuff the neck cavity - never the body cavity. If
liked, you can place sliced onion or lemon and fresh
herbs in the body cavity to infuse the meat with additional
flavours. Make sure you weigh the bird once it is
stuffed to calculate the correct cooking time.
Can I cook overnight?
We would never recommend slow cooking overnight even
if you have done it before.
bacteria that may be left present would not be destroyed
during cooking. The bacteria is killed at a high temperature
which means that the internal temperature of the turkey
needs to reach 76ºC and be maintained for at
least 15 minutes. This is achieved by cooking at 190ºC/375ºF/Gas
Mark 5 for 20 minutes per kg + 90 minutes (or 20 minutes
per kg + 70 minutes if it is under 4kg.
How long can I use leftovers for?
Its safe to store cooked, cold turkey in the fridge
for up to 3 days. Cool quickly after cooking by transferring
to a cold plate and putting it in an unheated room
or in the garage. When cold, wrap any leftover meat
in foil or plastic film and put it into the fridge.
freezing cooked turkey, remove from the carcass first
and freeze separately. The meat will remain moist
and succulent if frozen either in stock or gravy.
How can I be sure that I am buying the best quality
Look out for the familiar farm assured Red Tractor
logo alongside the Quality British Turkey mark, your
guarantee you are buying turkey farmed in the UK to
high standards of food safety, traceability and animal
all else fails contact British Turkey Hotline.
freephone helpline is 0800 783 9994 and is open Monday
to Friday 9.00am - 5.00pm including up until 5.00pm
on Christmas Eve to answer your queries.
there are plenty of advice and recipes on the website
including a handy online calculator with
cooking and thawing guidelines.
TURKEY WITH WILD RICE & CRANBERRY STUFFING
tbsp olive oil
2 onions, chopped
2 large sprigs rosemary, leaves only,
100g cooked wild and long grain rice
50g dried cranberries
100g dried apricots, roughly chopped
175g fresh white breadcrumbs
6 good quality
pork and herb sausages, skinned
1 lemon, finely grated rind | 1 egg, beaten
5.6kg British turkey, thawed if frozen, giblets removed
1 lemon, halved
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp saffron threads
Heat the oil and butter in a saucepan and fry the
onion and rosemary for 5 - 6 minutes. Remove from
the heat and stir in the remaining stuffing ingredients
until well combined. Season.
the oven to 190°C/Gas mark 5.
the butter in a small saucepan, stir in the saffron
threads and leave to cool slightly.
Push some of the stuffing into the neck end of the
bird packing it right up to the breast meat. Secure
the neck skin with cocktail sticks. Roll the remaining
stuffing into balls (these can be cooked separately
for 30 minutes).
Weigh the turkey and calculate the cooking time at
20 minutes per kg + 90 minutes at the end.
Push the lemon halves and bayleaf into the cavity
and place in a roasting tin.
the whole bird with the saffron butter and season
with foil and roast.
the foil and baste with any remaining saffron butter
and roast uncovered for the last hour of cooking time.
check to see if the turkey is cooked push a metal
skewer into the thickest part of the leg - if the
juices run clear the turkey is cooked if the juices
are slightly pink pop back into the oven for a further
15 minutes before checking again.
with foil and allow to rest for 20 - 30 minutes before
TURKEY AND STILTON PIES
1 tbsp olive oil
3 sweet potatoes, cut into chunks
225g chestnut mushrooms
400g leftover cooked British turkey breast, cut into
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves only
1 tbsp brandy | 100ml chicken stock
150ml double cream
75g Stilton, crumbled
375g pack ready rolled puff pastry
1 small egg, beaten
the butter and oil in a large frying pan and fry the
sweet potatoes and cook over a low heat for 8 - 10
minutes until just beginning to soften. Stir in the
mushrooms, cooked turkey, garlic and half the thyme
and cook for a further 4 - 5 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 200°C/Gas mark 6.
the brandy over the turkey mixture and allow to bubble
for 1 minute, then add the stock and cream and warm
from the heat and stir in the Stilton.
Unroll the pastry. Cut 4 pastry lids slightly larger
than the 400ml dishes you are using.
Divide the filling between the 4 dishes.
the rim of the dishes with water.
the pastry circles over the top and press to the rim
with beaten egg and scatter with rock salt and remaining
for 20 minutes until golden.
TURKEY BUBBLE & SQUEAK CAKES WITH POACHED EGGS
bubble and squeak cakes make a delicious mid-week supper
and are a great way of using up leftover cold meat after
small onion, peeled and finely chopped
potatoes, cooked and mashed
cooked British turkey thigh, chopped
cooked cabbage or spinach, chopped
and freshly milled black pepper
tbsp olive oil
egg lightly beaten
oil for cooking
lightly poached eggs
of hollandaise sauce
bag of watercress
French beans, cooked
Heat the butter in a frying pan and cook the onions
for 2 - 3 minutes, until slightly soft and translucent.
Place the mashed potatoes, cooked onions, turkey,
cabbage and salt and pepper into a bowl and mix well.
Add the olive oil and a few dry breadcrumbs to form
a firm but not stiff mixture.
the mixture into 4 balls, flatten on both sides to
make thick cakes, and dust with flour.
the cakes all over with egg and coat with more breadcrumbs.
Heat a couple of tablespoons of vegetable oil in a
frying pan and cook the cakes on both sides for 3
minutes until golden brown.
Place a little watercress on a warm plate, top with
a cake, and a poached egg on top.
with French beans and hollandaise sauce.
13 November 2010