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The Best Xmas Turkey?

edited 30 November -1 at 12:00AM in Old Style MoneySaving
66 replies 7K views
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  • zarzar Forumite
    284 posts
    His main fear is the meat will be dry.

    Should I stuff it? (if so where? :o ) Do I put stuff under/on the skin? Does it need to be cooked upside down? How long for? (gas mark?) :confused: Presumably it's quicker than a full turkey?

    I've got a recipe for a spicy glaze, but this is for a boned and rolled joint and I'm not sure how it differs?

    As you can see, I've not done this before! :o

    Perhaps keeping it simple would be best. I haven't cooked turkey before so feel free to ignore my comments if someone more experienced comes along! It would be a good idea to find times specifically for boned and rolled if noone posts the answer here as I guess it will be different...

    If you like the sound of the spicy glaze, then give it a go.
    Otherwise, I would have thought (based on roasting chickens) that the main danger of it drying out can be minismised by putting bacon rashers and liberal amounts of butter on the top, basting regularly and resting it for at least 20 minutes. The other alternative would be to braise it rather than roast it (e.g. in the slowcooker) but its not roast turkey then!
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  • Thanks zar - I need to keep it simple or I wont be able to cope!!!

    I'm off to look for cooking times. I think I've decided to cook the stuffing separately just in case, and only 2 of us like it anyway.

    Lots of butter and bacon sound easy enough - I guess this would be streaky bacon?

    (confession - I've never cooked a roast chicken either! :o)
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  • zarzar Forumite
    284 posts
    jw1096 wrote:
    Whilst im thinking of it, does anyone have any great recipies for the other bits of the dinner, e.g. stuffing, special veg, hm cranberry sauce etc??

    I expect there are versions of this in the recipe thread, but I think one of my side dishes will be braised red cabbage - I've done versions before with apple that you cook for ages which were lovely, but the advantage of this one is that its a much simpler recipe but still lovely! It reheats pretty well and is a nice Christmassy colour. :xmastree:

    We're also planning on having root vegetable gratin, chipolatas with bacon around them and some exciting sprouts - I do like them with toasted almonds. Haven't decided on stuffing yet but I prefer cooking it separately as I prefer cruncy stuffing to when its stodgy/soft. My DH has already made and frozen the bread sauce and also celeraic soup which we are having as a starter. If I get organised I might also buy and precook a nice ham for a bit more excitement - we'll need 2 plates each at the rate I'm going. :snow_laug

    Braised red cabbage with pine nuts

    1. Shred 900g/2lb red cabbage finely. Peel and grate 1
    inch fresh ginger.
    2. Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a large saucepan and sauté
    the cabbage with the ginger over a high heat for 3-4
    minutes or until reduced in bulk, stirring frequently.
    3. Add 150ml/0.25 pint vegetable stock and seasoning.
    Bring to the boil then cover and simmer for about 20
    minutes.
    4. Meanwhile toast 50g/2oz pinenuts.
    5. When the cabbage is just tender, uncover and bubble
    down any excess liquid. Off the heat, stir in 40g/1.5
    oz butter, 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar and the pine nuts.

    p.s. See suggestions here for how to eat Christmas dinner and not argue afterwards. As the main thrust seems to be not having roast potatoes or alcohol I wouldn't recommend it! - Fresh mint tea with Christmas dinner :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek:

    p.p.s Alfietinker - streaky bacon is good but I use whatever I happen to have. Can't believe you've never roasted a chicken its so yummy!
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  • zar wrote:
    p.p.s Alfietinker - streaky bacon is good but I use whatever I happen to have. Can't believe you've never roasted a chicken its so yummy!
    :ROTFL:

    That red cabbage sounds yummy and we love pine nuts!

    I've always loved roast dinners but hubby has a thing about 'traditional' food. He says it's bland and tasteless and after having MIL's xmas meal I can see why he thinks that! Everything tinned, not 'real' meat joints and instant gravy.

    Thing is, he loves my roast potatoes, yorkshire pud, roasted veggies and roasted meat. But put them on a plate and call it a sunday roast and he'll turn his nose up - so I never cook them :( He only likes chicken breast so that's all we buy :rolleyes:

    Working on him though! :D
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  • Don't forget also that the type of oven has some effect too. In some areas, such as ours, there are loads of people using their oven at the same time so the electric ovens take much longer to heat. I parcel the turkey in a roaster bag or foil and put in the oven (electric) as I switch it on and cook slowly.
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  • I've found 2 really yummy recipes for my crown, would I be right in saying I can combine the 2?

    http://www.britishturkey.co.uk/recipes/recipes/recipe.132.shtml

    http://www.waitrose.com/food_drink/recipes/recipesearch/Recipe/04xmas10-r04.asp

    If I push the butter under the skin and cook upside down as in the British Turkey recipe, when I take the foil off for the last 30 minutes, could I then put the cumberland glaze on like the Waitrose recipe? (I've got cumberland sauce already)

    Surely that would be really moist meat?

    Then a cranberry/sausagemeat stuffing cooked separately.

    Sorry, I know this sounds thick, I'm just getting a little bamboozled with methods!
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  • zarzar Forumite
    284 posts
    If I push the butter under the skin and cook upside down as in the British Turkey recipe, when I take the foil off for the last 30 minutes, could I then put the cumberland glaze on like the Waitrose recipe? (I've got cumberland sauce already)

    That sounds pretty good to me. That cumberland glaze does look scrummy, I'm tempted to have a go at it myself! :xmassmile Good luck and if, heaven forbid, everything doesn't go exactly to plan don't let your hubby spoil the Christmas spirit by moaning. ;)
    Thing is, he loves my roast potatoes, yorkshire pud, roasted veggies and roasted meat. But put them on a plate and call it a sunday roast and he'll turn his nose up - so I never cook them He only likes chicken breast so that's all we buy

    Working on him though!

    :snow_laug I'm sure he'll come round in the end. We usually work really hard on the gravy so if you can learn to make real gravy (I'm still learning and have made scores of roast dinners now!) then he shouldn't be able to resist that. I'm also a fussy eater but luckily my OH is happy to have the dark meat. You can get quite a lot of white meat on a chicken - if you saw one that was a similar price to buying just breasts you could buy it and roast it and use any meat you didn't like (even if other people might like it) to make stock with the bones. Sometimes we buy a chicken to roast even when we don't want roast chicken as its the easiest method to cook it - then after its cooked we take the cooked meat off to make stir frys, curries etc.

    Rebob - I hadn't heard about the oven thing before, but it says it on the British turkey website as well, how fascinating! Luckily our main oven is powered by oil.
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  • savingpenniessavingpennies Forumite
    688 posts
    Part of the Furniture
    ✭✭
    I haven't read all the thread so not sure what others have said but for a really moist turkey I put lots of butter under the skin of the breast between the skin and the flesh. you have to push the butter under to separate the skin from the meat. I then smother the skin on the outside with butter and cover with streaky bacon. I then cook it breast side up but for the last 1/2 hour cook it breast side down so the juices go back into the meat. Stuffing I make from breadcrumbs, onions and sage with the juices from the cooked turkey and bake in the oven. Much better than paxo type.
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  • Heres a good way to make a 10 quid Turkey breast special.

    Split it nearly though with a knife and open it up. Sprinkle salt pepper and nutmeg over the whole of the inside. Coat one side of the open breast with French mustard and lay a few slices of smoked ham on the mustard side. Then sprinkle some chopped rosemary on it and dot the ham with butter. On the ham make a thin layer of leaves, spinach, rocket, watercress from one of those packets. Then lay the flap back and roll up the whole breast and tie string loops around it - one for each portion. Coat the outside with a little salt and butter. Roast it for 1 1/2 hours at 180 degrees in a little white wine, under foil. take the foil off for the last 20 minutes. Baste well.

    You'll never bother with ordinary roast turkey again! :xmassign:
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    This is not advice - hopefully it's common sense..
  • beachbethbeachbeth Forumite
    3.9K posts
    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker
    ✭✭✭✭
    jw1096 wrote:
    Whilst im thinking of it, does anyone have any great recipies for the other bits of the dinner, e.g. stuffing, special veg, hm cranberry sauce etc?? Jo xx

    Here is my recipe for stuffing. Its absolute gorgeous and we have it every year at Christmas and also with chicken at different times. Its the recipe next to "Beachbeth".

    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.html?p=36755#post36755
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