There's nothing like cooking a perfect turkey to make you feel like an accomplished cook! Even better when it's the first time you've done it!
(Although maybe it was just beginner's luck...) (also, please ignore the rack on which the turkey is sitting - I couldn't work out how to get the turkey off it and onto the plate - so we just moved the whole thing!)
We had friends over for christmas lunch today and we decided to try doing a turkey. I've never really been a huge fan of turkey, as pretty much every turkey I've had in the past has suffered from dry turkey syndrome. Not my turkey! So moist and juicy and tender. It really was the best turkey I've ever had, and I'm not just saying that because I cooked it! I did make sure I got a nice crispy bit of skin too.
I've got two christmas specific recipe books (Nigella and Donna Hay) so I read up on their turkey recommendations. Nigella soaks hers in "brine" for two days beforehand, which wasn't going to work for me for various logistical reasons. So I went with Donna Hay, but following Nigella's timings for my 6kg bird.
What's the secret? Well, I don't know why my turkey turned out so well, but I followed the recipe pretty much exactly, so I guess that's the secret. Lots of butter between the breast skin and meat (tell you what, carefully separating the skin from the meat with your fingers is a very odd business, only beaten really by then stuffing dobs of butter back in there!). Sit the turkey on a rack in the baking tray, and fill the bottom of the tray with chicken stock, and baste every hour or so with the stock/juices mixture (would have done half hour, but couldn't fit that in with the other prep jobs I had to do!).
And there wasn't much left, always a good sign! We should have enough pickings for turkey bubble and squeak for lunch tomorrow I think! Thanks to Fiona for doing the veg, Sue for the dessert and Jack for the champagne - truly a great joint effort christmas lunch.