Preparing and Cooking Your Golden Turkey
The Traditional Farmfresh Turkey Association has the following tips for choosing and cooking your Christmas turkey.
One factor which can make all the difference to the flavour and texture of a turkey is whether or not it has been dry plucked and matured. This method of production is known as traditional farmfresh.
Also, ask your butcher how old the turkey is. The majority of birds are slaughtered as ‘teenagers’ (about 8-12 weeks), having been grown very quickly and cheaply. As a result, the flesh is effectively ’stretched’ and has no fat cover, resulting in meat that is often dry and coarse.
The Traditional Farmfresh Turkey Association are reared for 2-3 times longer, to full adult maturity in a natural environment, and are never given additives for growth promotion.
As soon as possible after collecting your golden turkey, remove all packaging and store in a cool place, preferably the bottom of your refrigerator.
- Where applicable remove the giblets and keep separately in a cool place.
- The bird is best cooked within two to three days of purchase.
- Remove the turkey from the fridge 2 hours before cooking.
- If your turkey is trussed, it is best to remove the string before cooking.
- Do not stuff the cavity, as this will stop the turkey cooking properly. Instead, place a large Bramley apple or peeled onion inside.
- Season the bird with salt and pepper, then place it breast side down, in a roasting tin. If desired, you can place the giblets around the bird. The oven should be preheated to 230°C/450°F/ Gas mark 8 and the bird cooked at this temperature for 30 to 60 minutes, depending on size, before reducing the heat to 190°C/375°F/Gas mark 5. Aga hot oven. (See table for suggested cooking times)
- About 30 minutes before the end of cooking, turn the bird carefully on to its back to brown the breast.
- It is very important not to overcook a turkey - many people do and are then disappointed when it is dry. This can be avoided by either using a 'pop up' timer or meat thermometer that detects when the turkey is cooked or testing with a fork on the inside of the thigh - when the juices run clear the bird is ready.
- After removing the turkey from the oven and before carving, allow it to rest for 30-45 minutes. Do not cover. Drain off the juices from the bird, and keep warm.
Suggested Cooking Times (remember ovens vary greatly)
OVEN READY WEIGHT
TOTAL COOKING TIME
|KILOS||LBS||With Foil / Hrs Mins|
|5||11||2hrs - 2hrs 30mins|
|6||13.2||2hrs 15 - 2hrs 45mins|
|7||15.4||2hrs 45mins - 3hrs|
The above times are a guidline only (Please Note: Oven temperatures vary greatly)