*This recipe is gluten-free according to industry standards
Tips and techniques for cooking a turkey
How to make your turkey juicy
Putting butter under the skin of the breast of the turkey keeps the meat moist while it cooks. The breast is the leanest muscle on the bird and most liable to dry out – as the butter melts it will baste this white meat.
Leave to rest – Resting allows the juices that have been forced to the middle of the bird by the heat of the oven to redistribute back outwards meaning juicy meat throughout.
How to make your turkey tender
Dry brining – rubbing salt all over the turkey and then leaving it to rest overnight – helps to break down tough muscle proteins, resulting in tender, deeply seasoned meat, and also crispier skin. It works because the salt draws out the meat juices through osmosis, the salt then dissolves in these juices, and this brine is then reabsorbed into the meat.
Create a foil tent – Cooking the turkey under a foil tent allows it to steam in its own juices, resulting in more tender meat. Because the steam has nowhere to escape, it will ensure the meat stays moist as it cooks.
How to store your turkey
If you can, leave the turkey uncovered in the fridge overnight before cooking. Modern fridges are designed to be as moisture-free as possible, so being uncovered will help dry out the turkey’s skin and ensure it crisps up during roasting.
- whole turkey (about 5kg), giblets saved for stock
- unsalted butter 200g, softened
- fine sea salt 1 tbsp
- black peppercorns ground to make 2 tsp
- onions 3, thickly sliced
Check out our best Christmas side dish recipes to go with your Christmas turkey