Roast turkey with chestnut and celery stuffing Top tips • Allow 350-450g per person when buying your turkey if using a smaller bird under 5kg. If you’re using a big bird, allow 300g per person. • I believe free-range Bronze turkeys are the best. I’ve bought one oven ready from Ian at Gabriel Machin’s in Henley (01491 574377 – book early!) • Tom Copas also farms Bronze turkeys at Cookham – free-range birds roam in Cherry Orchards and meadows, a traditional breed that are slow growing which are raised to full maturity. (Copas 01628 474678 – email@example.com). • Carl Woods butchers of Sonning Common also stocks traditional breed freerange turkeys and geese (Woods 01189 722228). Chestnut and celery stuffing – serves 8 115g butter 3 medium onions, sliced 3 cloves garlic, chopped 6 celery sticks, finely diced 1 lemon, zest finely grated 400g cooked, peeled chestnuts, roughly chopped 4 tbsp finely chopped parsley 1 tsp chopped lemon thyme 400g fine white breadcrumbs 3 eggs Salt and freshly ground black pepper The turkey – serves 8 3.6kg bronze-feathered turkey Half lemon, juiced 115g softened butter 375g streaky bacon, finely sliced Melt the butter for the stuffing in a frying pan and gently fry the onion, garlic and celery until soft. Remove from the heat and mix in the lemon zest, chestnuts, parsley, thyme and breadcrumbs, followed by the eggs. Season to taste and leave to cool. Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/Gas 4. Loosen the turkey’s skin with your hands and pack the cold stuffing into the neck end, pushing it up between the flesh and the skin towards the breast. Don’t pack it too tightly or it will burst as it cooks. Secure the neck flap under the turkeys back with cocktail sticks. Don’t place any stuffing into the bird’s cavity (stuffing placed here may not reach a sufficiently high temperature to destroy harmful bacteria). Line a bread tin with buttered foil and press n excess stuffing. Put in the oven 50 minutes before you are ready to serve. 1
Put two large sheets of foil across a roasting tray, one lengthways, one widthways. Lay the turkey on its back on the foil and rub with lemon juice. Season and rub all over with the butter. Make sure the thighbones and breasts are well covered. Cover the breast and legs with the bacon. Loosely shape the foil into a baggy parcel so that the bird has lots of air space around its breast. Crimp together the foil edges to seal it in. Roast for 2 hours, 40 minutes. Remove the bird from the oven. Fold back the foil from the top and sides of the turkey. Remove the bacon, baste the turkey and return to the oven for 30 minutes to brown. Baste regularly. Check it is cooked by piercing its thigh with a skewer – the juices should run clear. Remove the bird from the oven and transfer to a warm serving dish. Wrap in two layers of foil and leave to rest while you finish preparing the meal. Serve with gravy and your accompaniments. Turkey gravy – serves 8 Nothing beats the taste of homemade gravy, rich with roasting juices and given extra depth with redcurrant jelly. 1 tbsp plain flour Juices from turkey roasting tin, with excess fat poured off 400ml hot turkey or chicken stock, with excess fat removed 1-2tbsp redcurrant jelly Salt and freshly ground black pepper Using a wooden spoon, stir the flour into the juices in the roasting tin, scraping and stirring to incorporate all the residue. Gradually pour in the hot stock. Place on the heat and bring to the boil, stirring constantly, until the gravy has thickened. Then stir in the redcurrant jelly until dissolved. Season to taste. Top tip For a richer gravy, stir 2-3 tbsp red wine into the juices before adding the flour.