Turkey

turkey HERO

Although only typically surfacing at Christmas, this festive bird is low in fat and high in protein, and great for anything from burgers to super-healthy salads.

Availability

Although it's available year round, fresh turkey will be at its best during December.

Choose

The highest quality breeds are Norfolk Black and Bronze turkeys. Fresh is always better than frozen, but with a turkey that is properly hung, the difference will be minimal. Order in advance if you want fresh at Christmas as they are quickly snapped up.

Prepare

Allow plenty of time to defrost a frozen bird, you'll need to leave it for few days in the fridge, on a tray or plate big enough to collect any moisture or blood.  Avoid defrosting at room temperature, as the risk of bacteria will be higher.

Cooking 

If you're roasting a whole turkey, calculate cooking times based on the weight of the turkey. If it's under 4kg, allow 20 minutes per kg + 70 minutes. If over 4kg allow 20 minutes per kg + 90 minutes. Cook in a pre-heated oven at 190C/Gas Mark 5.  Make sure that the meat is cooked through and there is no pink left. When roasting a whole bird, prick the thickest part of the joint, and check that the juices run clear.

Store

Frozen turkey is often the best bet, as it's easy to store. However you can always buy a fresh bird and freeze it yourself, as the flavour will still be better than one that has been frozen straight away.

Serving Suggestion

Instead of waiting for Christmas, use turkey mince to make burgers, mixed in with a chopped onion and coriander, then formed into patties. Perfect for a summer BBQ.

Glossary

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