If you regularly cook turkey for Christmas, you’ll know one of the hardest things to do it have a moist bird. In 2007, I discovered this recipe by Phil Vickery and it was absolutely perfect. Although we have stopped having turkey at Christmas now, the memory of Christmas 2007 is stolen by the best turkey ever. If you are having turkey this Christmas, try this, I assure you it, won’t disappoint.
Serves: 8-10 adults
Preparation time: 25 minutes
Cooking time: 2½ hours, approx
1 x 5 kg or just under 12lb, Bronze turkey, with giblets and the wish bone removed
2 large carrots, peeled
2 large onion, peeled
6 sticks of celery
2 bay leaves
2 chicken stock cubes
½ bottle dry white wine
2 pints cold water
salt and freshly ground black pepper
55g melted butter
2 tbsp roughly cornflour
4-6 tbsp cold water
- Preheat the oven to 200°C, gas 6
- The first job is to remove the giblets from the bird and if you are using a frozen bird then make sure that it is fully defrosted
- Season the bird well inside and out with salt and pepper and pack the stuffing into the body cavity
- Tie the legs and the parsons nose together with a piece of string and secure well, so the stuffing is held inside the bird
- Chop all the vegetables into large chunks and place in the bottom of a large baking tray. Place the turkey on top. The tray should be large enough so the bird has at least 2 inches gap around it.
- Pour in the white wine, cold water and chicken stock cube, and place the whole tray on to the stove
- Bring to the boil and cover tightly with two layers of foil and pop into a preheated oven
THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT POINT Simmer for 5 minutes, covered to get the steam and heat going!
- Cook the bird for about approximately 2 hours
- To check if the bird is cooked, carefully remove from the oven as there will be a lot of stock, wine and turkey juices
- Remove the foil and insert a knife where the thigh attaches itself to the body of the bird. The juices should run clear and if not, cover again with foil and cook for a further 20 minutes.
- When the bird is cooked, remove from the oven and turn it up to 230°C, gas 8. Brush with the melted butter and cook until browned for about 15 minutes.
- When nicely browned, remove from the oven and carefully tip off all the stock and keep warm
- Wrap the turkey in foil to keep warm, it will keep perfectly wrapped for 1 hour
- Reboil the stock and juices, you may need to add a little more water in a saucepan and skim well
- Mix the cornflour and water together and thicken the bubbling stock
- Carve the bird; the flesh will be soft and juicy. Serve the gravy and stuffing separately.
You can find the recipe here.