How to Cook a Christmas Turkey – Video Recipe

No. 79

Hi, I’m Matt from the Underground Cookery School.

So, Christmas is coming. I’m going to show you how to cook turkey. I’m going to give you a few tips, and I’m also going to talk to you about how to stuff the turkey, and as importantly, how to cook the stuffing, as well.

Hi everyone. So, Christmas. I’m going to just give you a few top tips on how to cook a Christmas turkey, and then we’re going to get this bad boy in the oven. It’s only a small one, so this one, in my oven here, which is very quick, will probably cook in about two hours. But do check the internet for cooking times. My biggest tip, is that if you use a frozen turkey, defrost it two days before the big day.

Trying to do it on the morning no one’s going to eat. And also, if you do get one of the turkeys that has everything in the back, make sure you take those out. Give it a good old wash. And what I like to do is cook the turkey stuffing completely separately. So what I’m going to do here is, I’m just going to stuff. We got the neck in there, we can use that for the sauce. But I’m just going to grab some salt and a bit of pepper, and I’m just going to stuff this cavity for the things that I like.

The reason why I don’t put turkey stuffing, the sausage meat and sage stuffing, in the turkey, is because I think it dries the bird out. So in all of that goes. So I just tend to put herbs and garlic in. You can put onion and lemon, and that sort of thing. But that’s pretty much what I wanted. And then, just drizzle it with plenty of olive oil and season. And what you need to do is actually cook the bird upside down, for the first, certainly half hour, maybe even 40 minutes of cooking. Just to get a bit of color on the base, so that it has a nice, even finish to it. There it goes. And then obviously, you want to turn it over, after about 45 minutes.

Generally speaking, it’s quite a good idea, just to have a bit of tin foil over the top. But these are quite small turkeys, so I’m not going to bother with that. But I’m going to roast it like that, probably about 45 minutes, turn it over. The other way is you can cover it with bacon, if you like. My top tip, if you are covering the turkey with bacon, is the last half hour of cooking, take the bacon off, so you get a bit of colour on the turkey, and then just chop the bacon up into little lard ons and pan-fry them. And you can use those as an extra garnish. What I’m going to do is get that straight into the oven. There we go.

Well, let’s do the stuffing now. And I’ve got all my ingredients ready. These are just normal pork sausages, so they’re going to go straight into the bowl. I’ve got some pre-cooked onion, so that’s going to go in. I’ve also got some sage here, which I’m just going to rip up. You can finely chop it up, but I quite like the chunkiness of it. And again, a bit of thyme, just get that in. And a little bit of rosemary, that can go in too. And I’ve got loads of bread crumbs, here. And just to reiterate, I think if you put everything in the turkey, it just dries it out. So this is definitely the best way. I’ve got one whole egg here, which is going to bind everything together. And I’m just going to add a bit more. And then I’m just going to cook the stuffing off.

See, the thing is, people like stuffing with their Christmas lunch. So you’ve got to give them something. And I actually also think it makes quite a nice base for the dish. Put a couple more of those in. But this is, I think, funnily enough, the best way of doing it. So I’ve got my stuffing, just give it a good old mix.

I’ve lined this tin with grease-proof baking parchment. And all that’s going to happen now, is I’m going to roast this off for probably about half an hour, on about 150 degrees. And then, what you can do, just to make it look pretty, is get one of those pastry cutters, and cut out a little round disc of stuffing, and then that forms the base of the dish. And then you can pile the food on top, and give the dish a professional edge. So that’s going to go in the oven, 150 degrees, like I said, for about half an hour.

So we’re going to get this out of the oven now. There we go, lovely. Another great turkey tip, don’t carve straight away. What you want to do is, a bird this size, just let it rest for about 20 minutes, before you do anything. The next thing is, we’re going to take the legs and the thighs off, and then the wings. And I like to go in with my hands, just go right underneath and snap the joint out, like so. Just get the other one. The turkey turned out beautifully cooked, I’ve got to tell you. Then we’re going to take the wings off. So get those off separately. Again, I do like to go in with my hands. What you want to do is take the breast off. So just run the knife all the way along the wishbone, and then along the breastbone. Get that off. Here we go. Lovely. And then, what we’re going to do is we’re just going to slice the turkey off of that breast, like so, and you get a much better purchase on the slice.

The stuffing was cooked completely separately, and I’m just going to make it look pretty, and actually centre the dish by just using a pastry ring to portion it out.

Ah, the moment you’ve been waiting for. Who’s won the pasta machine, this time? Look at all these names I’ve got here. Just time for me to tell you that in a couple days time, I’m doing a sequence over Christmas. So the next video’s going to be how to do the veg for the Christmas meal, and also how to plate it up.

And in the meantime, Christmas has come early for Rosy Keith. Thank you Rosy, who left me a very nice review, it was actually on Google, as a result, her name got entered into here, and you have won a free pasta machine.


<< Blog menu