How to make the perfect Christmas turkey – chef shares top five cooking tips

What’s the best way to cook a Christmas turkey?

With the big day just hours away, it’s probably something you need to know.

Daily Star Online caught up with Jeff Baker – a chef who has been awarded a Michelin star in the past – to get his words of wisdom.

And the foodie, who works at Farmison & Co, divulged his top five tips.

From prepping the turkey, to giving it time to rest, there are plenty of steps you need to take.

Scroll down to find out more.

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1. Prep your turkey nice and early

Always make sure the bird is at room temperature before you bang it in the oven.

Jeff says: “Before roasting, be sure to remove your turkey from its packaging, pat dry and allow it to come to room temperature.

“It is important that you do this as soon as possible as it will take at least an hour for the turkey to warm up.”

2. Don’t forget to preheat

To ensure the right amount of cooking, make sure your cooker is at the right heat before you put the poultry in.

Jeff recommends: “Once you have your turkey adjusting to room temperature, be sure to preheat your oven to 210°C for fan assisted or 230°C for ovens without a fan (gas 8).

“Preheating your oven early will give you that all-important head start.”

3. Easy peasy prep

Make sure your turkey is seasoned before you cook it – this ensures it has plenty of flavour when it comes out.

The food expert suggests using butter, salt and lemon to make the taste even more tantalising.

He remarked: “When the oven has reached the desired temperature, it is time to get your turkey ready for cooking.

“Soften some unsalted butter and add 15g of good quality fine sea salt and some lemon zest.

“Once it is all blended together, massage the butter mixture into the turkey breast by gently pulling away the skin.

“Then place the turkey onto a roasting tray and roast for 20 minutes.”

4. Not quite done yet

Check the turkey’s temperature to ensure it’s perfectly cooked.

Jeff said: “After 20 minutes roasting in the oven, cover the turkey with foil, reduce the heat to 160°C fan assisted or 180°C without a fan (gas 4) and continue to roast for an additional 2 ½ hours removing the foil for the final 20 minutes.

“The turkey’s core temperature should be a minimum of 65°C before resting.”

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5. Time to take it out

Always rest the turkey before serving – and when that’s done, carve away.

Jeff added: “Remove the turkey from the oven and place onto a clean tray.

“To make sure the turkey retains moisture and is kept warm before dinner, cover it with a sheet of foil.

“Allow it to rest for up to an hour before carving.

“Voila! Just follow these five simple steps to perfect your turkey and cook with confidence on Christmas Day.”

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