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Choosing and cooking your turkey for Christmas

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cooking turkey - The Artisan Food Trail
For most people Christmas is probably the only time they will buy a whole turkey to take centre stage on the festive table.

Christmas comes but once a year, so why not invest a little more in making sure you have the best bird for the occasion.

To get the best you really need to think about buying a turkey that has been reared in the most natural way as possible and also consider the breed – Bronze or Norfolk Black are unrivalled when it comes to taste and succulence.

How to cook your turkey

To get the best out of your turkey you need to cook it with care as this will help to make sure the meat is succulent.
Follow these instructions to achieve the best results.

If you wish to stuff your turkey, prepare your favourite stuffing recipe and fill the neck cavity only. You may like to put a large Bramley apple or peeled onion into the body cavity.

Sprinkle the turkey with salt and pepper then place it breast side down, cover with foil in a roasting tin. The oven should be pre-heated to 230°C/450°F/Gas mark 8 and the turkey cooked at this temperature for 30 to 60 minutes depending on size, before reducing the heat to 190°C/375°F/Gas mark 5.

Turkey cooking times

cooking turkey – turkey cooking times - The Artisan Food Trail
About 30 minutes before the end of cooking (see table for suggested total times), open the foil if used and turn the bird onto its back to brown the breast.
Do try to avoid over-cooking. Test with a fork on the inside of the thigh – the bird is ready when the juices run clear.
After cooking, allow the turkey to rest for about 15 to 20 minutes, and then carve.
Photo: © Morton’s Traditional Taste

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