If you'd rather something a bit different to serve as a centrepiece this Christmas, check out our best ever recipes for 'anything but turkey...
Impress your guests and learn how to cook the perfect turkey centrepiece this Christmas Day.
Check out our recipe for a perfectly cooked turkey this Christmas, and follow the tips below. Cooking turkey in a foil tent means it will steam in its own juices, resulting in tender meat. Take off the foil and turn up the oven at the end to get crispy skin. Buy extra-large roasting foil for this and make sure you have a large enough roasting tin for the bird.
Which is the best turkey to buy for Christmas?
When buying your turkey it’s important to think about who will be eating it. In the UK there are two distinct types of turkey to buy, and each will be suited to different tastes.
If your family prefers white meat, with a less gamey flavour, look for a white breed of turkey, also known as the Broad Breasted White. As its name suggests, this has a higher proportion of white breast meat to dark leg meat. This is the breed most commonly available from supermarkets in the UK, and is often less expensive than other breeds.
Alternatively, breeds such as Bronze and Norfolk Black are slower growing, with a much more gamey flavour as they are often hung for 14 days. Proportionately they have more leg to breast meat than white turkeys do, so are a better option for those looking for a more pronounced flavour.
If there’s only a few people to feed, consider buying a turkey crown (a whole turkey with the legs and wings removed) or a boneless breast joint.
Where is the best place to buy Christmas turkey?
It’s worth getting the best-quality meat that you can so, if the budget allows, go for a free range or organic bird. In most cases the turkey will have had a longer life with access to outdoor pasture, which will give its meat a superior flavour. As with chicken, a lower price can often mean lower standards of welfare.
Any good butcher or farm shop will be able to order in exactly the size/breed to suit your family and friends, and increasingly the supermarkets can, too. Good stockists include kellyturkeys.co.uk, pipersfarm.com or most large supermarkets.
Our Christmas turkey recipes
There's one Christmas recipe that we can't do without, a classic roast turkey. Cooking a turkey is a lot simpler than you think so just follow this easy recipe and you'll deliver a juicy perfectly cooked bird the whole family will love.
Check out our best ever trimmings recipes to go with your roast turkey...
Try this stuffed turkey breast with easy bacon lattice for an impressive Christmas day centre piece. Making a bacon lattice is the kind of kitchen prep that looks a lot harder than it is. It’s worth taking a little time to put it together as it envelopes the stuffed turkey breast, keeping the meat moist and giving the joint a professional-looking finish.
Ask the butcher for a boned turkey crown; that’s both breasts taken off the bone with the skin still connecting them and the wings taken off. A turkey crown can be prepped ahead, there’s no waste, it carves beautifully and it only takes two hours to cook, so is the ultimate Christmas roast!
A different way to present your Christmas turkey. Maple syrup and bourbon give a sweet but mature flavour, and a beautiful bronzed finish. And a few clementines for festive cheer, and you've got yourself a winning recipe.
Check out our best ever roast potatoes recipes too...
Looking for the perfect Christmas Day centrepiece? Make everyone happy with our prosciutto-wrapped turkey. Here's how to do it, step-by step.
Overnight dry brining in flavoured salt will concentrate flavours, give you juicier turkey meat and help the skin crisp up. Start this the day before, and you'll be laughing come Christmas Day...
Start the turkey prep on Christmas Eve so it’s ready to go straight in the oven on Christmas Day. You could also get the chestnut and sage stuffing made up and cook it alongside the turkey for the last 40 minutes. Cooking the stuffing separately means you are in control of the cooking time, so you end up with a crisp top and sides, without drying out the centre.
A turkey crown is just the breast, here taken off the bone, it comes with the skin attaching the two breasts together. It’s easy to stuff and cook and even easier to carve. Perfect for a no-fuss Christmas dinner.
We have spruced up the classic roast turkey recipe with rosemary, bay leaves, garlic and white wine for an Italian twist.
Looking for other Italian recipes? Click there for more exciting recipes...
Listen to our podcast to learn how to cook the perfect turkey this Christmas