The perfect Christmas turkey recipe and cooking times

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With Christmas just weeks away, Tormey Master Butchers in Mullingar have put together the perfect guide for cooking the perfect Christmas turkey.

Ingredients
• 1x 5kg Tormeys master Butchers Selection turkey
• 750ml chicken stock
• 500ml white wine
• 1 bunch of thyme
• 3 large onions, quartered
• 100g of unsalted butter
• 1tbsp of Bovril or Knorr stock cube
• 25g plain flour
• 25g of additional butter

Method along with times and weights for all birds

Preheat the oven to 170C/180 C fan/gas 6. The heat of the oven should be adjusted to seize of the bird.

As a general rule, larger birds need slightly lower temperature as the bird has been turned and coloured, but never below 165 /170 c.

Large turkeys or geese may need to be covered with tin foil to prevent excess colouring due to prolonged cooking times.

Times per weight for cooking

Turkey (3-5 kg) 2.5 to 3 hours

Goose (5.5/8 kg) 3.5 to 4 hours

Duck (8.5 to 10 kg) 4/4.5 hours

Allow approx 20 minutes per 500g.

• In a large heavy roasting tin, scatter the onions and thyme, pour in the stock and wine, then sit the turkey on top.
• Brush the turkey in melted butter, thyme and season.
• Cover the whole tin in baking paper and then very tightly in foil and place in pre heated oven.
• Place in the oven for 2 hrs, remove foil and cook for a further 30 mins. Pierce the thigh with a skewer – if the juices run clear, it’s cooked, if they’re pink, return to the oven for another 15 mins and keep checking until done.
• If using you are using a probe, take the temperature from the thickest part of the leg or centre of the bird if stuffed.
• Place the turkey onto a warm plate and rest for 30 mins before carving.

Gravy

• To make the gravy, drain all juices from the turkey roasting tray into a clean saucepan.
• Add 1tbsp of Bovril or stock cube.
• Bring to the boil and reduce thicken with flour and butter mix till achieved thickness, strain through sieve and keep warm till serving.

Ingredients for stuffing

CR Tormeys sage and sausage meat stuffing. You can also add cranberries and chestnuts for that extra special Christmas touch.

(Serves 6)

• 1 tbsp butter, plus extra for greasing 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped 30g breadcrumbs
• 1⁄2 tsp garlic powder or granules
• 1⁄2 tsp smoked paprika
• Pinch ground white pepper
• 1 tsp mixed dried herbs
• Few sprigs fresh sage, leaves finely chopped 1⁄2 tsp baking powder
• 1 tsp self-raising flour
• 500g sausage meat

Cooking instructions

• Preheat the oven to 220°C/Fan 200°C/Gas 7.
• Grease an ovenproof dish or small roasting tray with butter.
• Melt the butter in a small frying pan over a medium heat and add the chopped onion.
• Cook for 6-8 minutes or until softened.
• Transfer the onion to a large bowl and allow to cool.
• Add the breadcrumbs, dried spices, dried herbs, sage, baking powder and flour to the bowl and mix well to combine.
• Pour in 200ml boiling water from the kettle, mix well and leave to stand for 5 minutes.
• Add the sausagemeat and mix thoroughly – this may be easier by hand.
• Using damp hands, divide the stuffing mixture into twelve portions and roll each into a ball (each about the size of a walnut or golf ball) then place in the greased dish.
• Leave to stand for 5 minutes.
• Bake for 25-30 minutes or until cooked through.

Tips
• To make this stuffing recipe even easier, you could replace the onion with 1 tsp onion powder or granules and the fresh sage with 1 tbsp dried sage.

• For a Christmas twist, try adding a handful of chopped cooked chestnuts and dried cranberries along with the sausage meat.

• The stuffing mixture can also be baked as one single dish if preferred; follow the recipe as above but press the mixture into the greased dish instead of rolling into balls in step 4. Bake as above then slice into portions to serve.

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