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  • FIRST POST
    • JoBatch80
    • By JoBatch80 8th Dec 05, 6:50 PM
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    JoBatch80
    The Best Xmas Turkey?
    • #1
    • 8th Dec 05, 6:50 PM
    The Best Xmas Turkey? 8th Dec 05 at 6:50 PM
    Ive bought my turkey and its now happily residing in my freezer till defrost time (well, massive turkey breast thingy as there is only me and boyf!) and im now wondering what I'll do with it.

    Im pretty good at making roast chicken dinners but I know that turkey is a whole other bird and can get pretty dry if not done properly.

    As ive never cooked a xmas dinner before, I need to know what is the best way to cook the turkey, what I should/should not do, and what will make it the best turkey ever.

    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
    Once you've swam in the sea, a lake will no longer do.
Page 2
    • Alfietinker
    • By Alfietinker 14th Dec 05, 9:26 AM
    • 565 Posts
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    Alfietinker
    Mmmmmmm..........mouth watering.........

    As all of us prefer breast meat I've ordered a turkey crown - there's only 4 of us so the butcher said he'd get a small one - not sure of the size yet.

    Any tips for this? Really want it to be perfect. Hubby doesn't 'like' roast dinners (despite loving all the components separately :confused: ) so I'm trying to slowly 'wean' him His main fear is the meat will be dry.

    Should I stuff it? (if so where? ) 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!
    New year, no debt! Debt free date - 02/01/07
  • zar
    His main fear is the meat will be dry.

    Should I stuff it? (if so where? ) 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!
    by Alfietinker
    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!
    • Alfietinker
    • By Alfietinker 14th Dec 05, 10:35 AM
    • 565 Posts
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    Alfietinker
    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! )
    New year, no debt! Debt free date - 02/01/07
  • zar
    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??
    by jw1096
    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.

    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.

    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 saut!
    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

    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!
    • Alfietinker
    • By Alfietinker 14th Dec 05, 12:01 PM
    • 565 Posts
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    Alfietinker
    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!
    by zar
    :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!
    New year, no debt! Debt free date - 02/01/07
    • Rebob
    • By Rebob 14th Dec 05, 12:43 PM
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    Rebob
    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.
    The best bargains are priceless!!!!!!!!!!
    • Alfietinker
    • By Alfietinker 14th Dec 05, 12:57 PM
    • 565 Posts
    • 545 Thanks
    Alfietinker
    Sussed it!
    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!
    New year, no debt! Debt free date - 02/01/07
  • zar
    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)
    by Alfietinker
    That sounds pretty good to me. That cumberland glaze does look scrummy, I'm tempted to have a go at it myself! 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!
    by Alfietinker
    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.
    • savingpennies
    • By savingpennies 14th Dec 05, 10:13 PM
    • 670 Posts
    • 4,351 Thanks
    savingpennies
    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.
    • al_yrpal
    • By al_yrpal 16th Dec 05, 10:54 PM
    • 331 Posts
    • 158 Thanks
    al_yrpal
    You'll never want ordinary Turkey again!
    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!
    Survivor of debt, redundancy, endowment scams, share crashes, sky-high inflation, lousy financial advice, and multiple house price booms. Comfortably retired after learning to back my own judgement.
    This is not advice - hopefully it's common sense.
    .
    • beachbeth
    • By beachbeth 17th Dec 05, 10:37 AM
    • 3,690 Posts
    • 7,792 Thanks
    beachbeth
    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
    by jw1096
    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
  • Binxy
    Evening everyone. I hope I'm not posting in the wrong place - I went through the one stop xmas thread for the cooking of the turkey and found this one.

    My question is this:

    It's my first time cooking a turkey and I am totally confused about which way up to cook it. I could conclude that I can cook it inside out of I want as opinion varies so widely, but I really want it to be moist and not dry out.

    Can someone (perhaps the board guide) more familiar with this board start a poll asking people if they cook their turkey on side/breast/back/change it through cooking? I'd love to know what the general agreement was for best results.

    I'm bewilderd, and admittedly starting to panic as I've left it a little late to work out what on earth I'm doing with a 5 kilo bird
    • Sarahsaver
    • By Sarahsaver 22nd Dec 05, 6:56 PM
    • 8,219 Posts
    • 13,174 Thanks
    Sarahsaver
    take it out of the freezer tomorrow if it is frozen
    you can either cook it on one side then the other, or upside down(breast downwards) or the 'right way up' I always use the latter method as its too much faffing about, i put a lemon in its butt to stop drying out, and possibly an onion for flavour, I don't stuff it whats the point if you just have to take the stuffing out anyway?
    My top tips would be
    *cook it long and slow
    *put some kind of juicy fruit inside - lemon, orange or apple for example
    *baste it
    *cover the top in bacon for the last half hour to prevent drying out (this also serves as a bit of meat dd will actually eat!)
    HTH
    Member no.1 of the 'I'm not in a clique' group
    I have done reading too!
    To avoid all evil, to do good,
    to purify the mind- that is the
    teaching of the Buddhas.
    • thriftlady
    • By thriftlady 22nd Dec 05, 7:36 PM
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    thriftlady
    I would agree with Sarahsaver's tips except to say that I follow Delia's advice to give it 40 mins at 220c before cooking it long and slow,I also wrap it in a tent of foil which I take off about 45mins before the end of cooking time,then it gets lots of basting.

    I do stuff the bird -it saves using another dish and I wouldn't want OH to have too much washing up :rolleyes: I use a sausagemeat stuffing to help keep the beast moist-see my post on the stuffing thread.The recipe's from Delia Smith's Christmas, truth be told, which has a handy Christmas Day timetable.
    • Alfietinker
    • By Alfietinker 27th Dec 05, 6:42 PM
    • 565 Posts
    • 545 Thanks
    Alfietinker
    Hi, a bit late now but perhaps for next year? This is only the 2nd time I've cooked a turkey and it was much better than my first attempt! We had a 7lb crown.

    This is what I did after asking loads of questions and getting the seal of approval from people on here.

    I rubbed loads of lemon butter under the skin and cooked it upside down for 1.5 hours, gas 5. I covered it very loosely with foil. For last half hour I took the foil off, spread cumberland sauce on the breast and turned it the right way up. When cooked I wrapped it in foil and left it to rest upside down for about 20 minutes. The meat was actually really moist!

    Think this is how I'll do mine from now on.

    Hope yours went OK.
    New year, no debt! Debt free date - 02/01/07
  • lou06
    Cooking the Turkey in Advance???
    Hi

    Some people may think that I'm not being festive and traditional with cooking the turkey on Christmas Day and looking at doing it in advance.

    As we always go to my mum's for xmas day I was thinking it would be a nice gesture to bring the Turkey with us already cooked and sliced up (to be honest it can sometimes be a bit dry and we never really do the big carving up at the table, my poor mum does it in her postage stamp kitchen

    Does anyone have any inspirational ideas on how to prepare this as I would probably just slice it and make a gravy and reheat it that way.

    My thinking that when I do this with chicken it seems to be more juicy this way.

    Lou x
    • Fruball
    • By Fruball 15th Dec 10, 5:57 PM
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    Fruball
    That is what I would do, heat it up in the gravy
  • fishing-girl
    i always cook my turkey on christmas eve,get it all sliced ,make stock from carcas etc makes christmas day so much easier,just warm the sliced meat through in gravy.yum
    • psso
    • By psso 15th Dec 10, 6:05 PM
    • 1,209 Posts
    • 6,039 Thanks
    psso
    I`ve cooked the bird on Christmas Eve and heated it through in the gravy on Christmas Day.

    Nice and moist and far less hassle and you don`t have to get up at silly o`clock to stick the bird in the oven if it`s a big one.
    Fully paid up member of S.A.B.L.E.
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  • lou06
    Morning Frugal, fishing-girl & psso

    Many thanks for your replies, defo think it's a winner of an idea for me to ask my mum if I could do it this way as you all mention it will taste moist and minimal of washing up, nobody ever strips the carcass and washes the roasting tin there and then and ends up in the oven again just to get it out of the way, then the long soak before washing.

    Thank to you all again!
    Lou x
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