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When it comes to Christmas, Michael is always one step ahead! Organisation and thinking ahead is key. Michael shares his advice on how to make the best Roast Turkey dinner... "Its all about the breed of Turkey. We use Bronze Free Range Turkey at Jesmond Dene House. I try not use a large bird as I find the longer you cook it, the dryer the Turkey. Spend time sourcing a good bird, it will make a difference! Follow my recipe below, I guarantee it will impress your guests this Christmas!"
1 whole Turkey
500g Pork Sausage Meat
50g Dried Cranberries
10g Crushed Garlic
1 Sprig of Thyme (picked)
1 Sprig of Sage (chopped)
1 Medium Onion (chopped small)
2 Stick of Celery (chopped small)
1 Cup of Fresh Bread Crumbs
1 Whole Egg
1 Pinch of Nutmeg
1 Pinch of Salt
1 Pinch of Black Pepper
1 Whole Lemon (zest)
1 Whole Orange
3 Medium Onions
3 Whole Carrots (peeled and cut into three)
1 Bulb of Garlic
1 Sprig of Thyme
100ml of Olive Oil
1 Litre of Turkey or dark stock
3 Tablespoons of Plain flour
1. Preheat Oven to 180°C/ 350°F/ Gas 4
2. Heat a large sauce pan and add the butter, onions, garlic, celery and herbs. Fry everything gently until soft and golden brown.
3. Take the pan off the heat and add the breadcrumbs and the dried cranberries
4. When the Mix has cooled down, add the sausage meat, nutmeg, lemon zest, egg, salt and pepper.
5. Give the turkey a good wipe, inside and out, with kitchen paper and place it on a board, with the neck end towards you.
6. Find the edge of the skin that's covering the turkeys breasts and gently peel back. Work your fingers and then your hand under the skin, freeing it from the meat.
7. You should be able to pull all the skin away from the meat, keeping it attached at the sides (try not to make any holes!). Lift the loose skin at the neck end and spoon the stuffing between the skin and the breast, tucking the flap of skin underneath to stop anything leaking out during roasting.
8. Pop the orange in the microwave for 30 seconds to warm it up and stuff it into the turkey cavity.
9. Weigh the stuffed turkey and calculate the cooking time (about 20 minutes per 500g/ 1lb 2oZ)
10.Place the turkey on a large roasting tray, rub it all over with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
11. Add the chopped carrots, onions and garlic cloves in the tray, cover with tin foil and place in the preheated oven and roast for the calculated time, or until the juices run clear from the thigh, if you pierce it with a knife or a skewer.
12. Remove the tinfoil for the last 45 minutes to get a nice colour on the bird. Let the turkey rest for 20 minutes. This is the perfect time to finish the vegetables and gravy!
1. Skim the surface fat from the roasting tray and add the flour and stock.
2.Place the tray on the hob and bring to the boil on a high heat.
3. When the gravy starts to thicken, strain into a bowl.
TIP: the longer you leave the gravy to simmer the more flavour it will take on from the meat juices in the vegetables.
Serve this Roast Turkey with all your favourite trimmings... Brussle Sprouts, Roast Potatoes, the lot!
You can watch and follow along with a video this recipe being prepared.
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