Nick’s Top Turkey Tips

In the first of four items Nick Nairn shows us how to make the most of the Christmas Turkey so that nothing goes to waste. In the first episode he cooks his perfect Christmas Turkey with all the trimmings
Roast Turkey with All The Trimmings.!
Serves 10
1 Whole 5-6 kilo turkey.
Olive Oil for Basting.
Malden Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper.
1 Large Orange
4-5 Sprigs of Fresh Thyme

500gm Brussel Sprouts.
1 Kilo of Parsnips.
50ml Olive Oil
Malden Sea Salt
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
1.5kg Red Rooster Potatoes
150ml Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
500gm Pork and Sage Stuffing
For the sauce.
Turkey Juices
½ Teaspoon of Gravy Granules

With a frozen turkey, make sure you allow plenty of time for it to defrost completely. Always remove the giblets as soon as possible and set aside for making stock later.
Firstly cut the skin between the leg and the breast then gently open out the legs, this will allow the heat to penetrate them quicker. Cut the orange in half before placing inside the cavity of the bird along with the thyme. Brush the turkey very generously with the olive oil. Season well with salt and pepper and place in a roasting tray. Cover the bird loosely with tin foil to allow a flow of air to circulate around the turkey. Cook at 200°C/425°F/gas mark 7 for approx 30 minutes then reduce the temperature to 160°C/320°F/gas mark 3 and cook for a further 75 minutes before removing the tin foil. Turn the heat back up and cook for approximately a further 15 minutes to get the skin nice and golden brown ( remember to baste every 5 minutes) then cover and leave to rest for 30 mins. Cooking time will depend on the exact weight of the bird. These times are for a 5-6 Kilo turkey. A simple rule is 20 minutes per kilo plus 30 minutes at the end plus 30 minutes resting. A great tip is to invest in a food thermometer and check to ensure that the thickest part of the breast has achieved a core temperature of 75oc ( this temperature will increase by some 10oc whilst resting). The legs would normally take longer than the breast however as they have been some what separated from the crown they will be cooked quicker than the breasts. For piece of mind, pierce the thickest part of the leg with a skewer, the juices should run clear
Whilst the bird is cooking, peel and chop your Red Roosters into even 5cm (2–inch) squares, boil for approx. 10 minutes in salted water then drain well. Shake the potatoes in the colander to roughen up the edges and season with pepper. Heat the sunflower oil in a roasting tray in the oven (200°C/400°F/gas mark 6) and, when hot, tip your potatoes in and stir around. Check them after approx. 20 minutes and turn them over. Cook for a further 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve immediately.
For the parsnips, peel then remove the top and bottom before cutting lengthways into quarters. Remove the woody stalk then place in a roasting tray. Rub with olive oil, season and place into a hot oven for approx 30 minutes, turning occasionally.
Take the stuffing and roll into 11/2” balls. Place a frying pan on the stove to heat, add a little olive oil and when hot, add the stuffing. Colour on all sides before placing in the oven to cook through. Again you are looking for a core temperature of 75oc.
For the sprouts, remove the root then peel off the outer leaves before making a cross with a small knife on its base. Cook for 5-6 minutes in boiling salted water.
For the gravy, Pour off and discard any fat from the roasting tray then pour the lovely turkey juices into a small saucepan. Bring to the boil before adding a few gravy granules to thicken.


Role Contributor
Series ProducerSimon Cousins
PresenterDougie Vipond
ParticipantNick Nairn

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