Getting the best out of your cooking your Christmas Turkey
The thing about cooking turkey is the most of us don’t cook it that often so we really don’t get a lot of practice. And of course practice makes perfect. So here are a few Christmas cooking tips about buying and prepping turkey which I hope will be of help.
Busy Mums Christmas Tip 1
If possible buy a fresh turkey. Fresh turkeys need ordering in plenty of time. However if you find it more convenient or are unable to order a fresh turkey, try to choose a frozen turkey which is not frozen with added water.
Then make sure you allow plenty of time to defrost the bird. The bigger the bird – the longer you need to allow.
Busy Mums Christmas Tip 2
Write a menu plan. Your menu plan should start with when you will collect or buy your turkey. If frozen, mark the date and time you are going to take your frozen bird out of the freezer. Add to your menu plan with a To Do List of what times you want to start cooking vegetables, roasting potatoes and setting table. This way you don’t have to hold everything in your memory and you are less likely to get distracted or forget to do something.
Busy Mums Christmas Tip 3
Remove the giblets from the turkey as soon as you can. With a fresh bird this should be as soon as soon as it arrives home. With a frozen bird as soon as it is defrosted enough. This way you can get on with making the gravy in advance and it is also better for the bird.
Busy Mums Christmas Tip 4
Adopt a recipe for cooking your Christmas Turkey and stick to it if the recipe has worked in the past. Although there are lots of different recipes and quirky ideas about cooking a turkey, unless you are going to make a monthly habit of turkey cooking why keep changing something that tastes OK already. There are also lots of other things you can change to make your Christmas dinner a little different from last year like the vegetables and the stuffing.
Busy Mums Christmas Tip 5
Personally I am a Delia Smith fan and I follow her Traditional Turkey recipe which I find works a treat. You can find how to cook Turkey and all sorts of other great recipes that work in Delia Smith Complete Cookery Course Classic Edition
Busy Mums Christmas Tip 6
Make sure you leave your turkey to cool to room temperature before you cook it. Don’t leave it overnight in the shed, the car or refrigerator especially if you are going to eat your Christmas dinner at lunch time. The same goes for stuffing – this should be removed from the fridge too. It is important that your turkey and stuffing are not fridge temperature when you start cooking.
Busy Mums Christmas Tip 7
Do not stuff your turkey until you are ready to cook it. It is important to allow the air circulate around the bird.
If your turkey is shoved into the oven, straight from the fridge, along with the stuffing – the temperature of the turkey is going to be much colder and this will affect the cooking times.
Busy Mums Christmas Tip 8
Get stocked up on wide turkey tinfoil and food freezer bags, so that you can freeze any leftovers that are not going to be eaten in the next day or so after Christmas.
Plan some interesting recipes with your turkey leftovers. Use your favourite chicken recipes and just replace with turkey. Recipes like paella or risotto make turkey leftovers seem a bit more exotic and interesting than just sticking with cold turkey and sandwiches.