Whether your favourite turkey day is Thanksgiving or Christmas, buy the best bird you can afford and don’t stuff it up. Here are our tips for making the most of your festive bird.
A note on quills: one of the characteristics of the bronze turkey is their dark plumage, when plucked it can leave dark marks and tiny pieces of quill in the skin, especially around the wing and under carriage. These are a little more prevalent in Thanksgiving birds as they haven’t yet all moulted, but rest assured that they are absolutely nothing to worry about, and are a trait present in all Bronze turkeys; the marks and quills disappear during cooking.
Rub the skin with plenty of butter and pepper and cover the breast with lots of streaky bacon. Make a big tin foil cross inside your roasting pan, place the turkey in the middle and wrap the foil around to make a loose but closed parcel. Cook at 220˚C/ 425˚F/ Mark 7 for 40 mins. Reduce heat to 170˚C/ 325˚F/ Mark 3 and cook for approximately a further 3 hours (small turkey), 3 1/2 hours (medium), 4 1/2 hours (large) and 5 hours (X-large). Uncover for the last 30 minutes and remove the bacon to crisp the skin. Stick a long skewer in the fleshiest part to test for doneness; the juices should run clear. Wrap the turkey well in foil, lay a bath towel over the top, and rest it for up to an hour before carving - trust us, it’ll be super-succulent.
And then there are leftovers, a subject which deserves a post all of its own.