Follow our tips on roasting the perfect turkey and you will have the best roast on your Christmas table to the delight of all your guests.
1. Source your turkey right
Starting with the best quality ingredients is the way to make sure your end result will taste amazing on Christmas Day. These days most of us find the convenience of a turkey breast joint really appealing, as it’s easy to cook, easy to carve, tasty and succulent. Also, as it’s 100% quality meat with no bones, there’s no waste! A local supplier like Falleninch Farm Butchers offer a wide range of festive packs and products with everything you need for a delicious Christmas and New Year family meal including fresh turkey joints, chipolatas, stuffing etc.
2. Choose the right size for your party
Depending on the size of your Christmas dinner party, we suggest you pick a turkey joint of 2-2.5kg for 4-6 people, while a larger party of up to 8-12 people you would need approx. 4-4.5kg
3. Preparing and Cooking the turkey
Advice from Mark Ramsay, Head Butcher at Falleninch Farm: Turkey breast joints are easy to cook, and easy to carve, but the important thing to remember is that these are much smaller than a whole turkey, and will cook in no time, so don’t make the mistake of overcooking. Take the joint out of the fridge, remove all packaging and allow the turkey to come up to room temperature, for at least an hour or so. Leave the joint in the netting for roasting; it helps keep the joint in a good shape.
Preheat the oven to 190°C/375F/Gas Mk 5 (for fan ovens check manufacturers handbook, but usually you need to reduce heat by 10-20°C). Cooking times are approx. 40 minutes for every 1kg + 20 minutes, so depending on the joint size you have, for a 2 kg Turkey Breast Joint: 1 hour 40 minutes or for a 4 kg Turkey Breast Joint: 3 hours 10 minutes. Spread and smear some butter over the skin, and season with salt and pepper. Put the turkey skin side up in a roasting tin, and pour about 400ml of water into the bottom of the roasting tray. Cover the turkey and the tin loosely with foil.Uncover the joint 20-25 minutes from the end of the calculated time to allow the skin to crisp up. Check that the centre of the joint is fully cooked and is piping hot and that the juices run clear when you insert a metal skewer or sharp thin knife. If using an instant read thermometer the internal temperature should be 75°C (165°F) after resting.After taking it out of the oven, cover the joint in foil and allow it to rest for at least 20-30 minutes. It is really important not to skip this step, as if you carve straight from the oven, the juices will just pour out. Resting continues the cooking process but it allows the meat to equalise temperature throughout, and the juices are distributed evenly, which makes the joint much easier to carve, and all the juices are deliciously retained. Removing the netting with a knife or pair of scissors and carve the turkey into slices, as thick or as thin as you like.
Serve with all the trimmings and enjoy your Christmas dinner!