Top-Tips For The Perfect Turkey – From Keelham Farm’s Master Butcher

Keelham Farm’s Master Butcher Tony reveals his top tips for the main event…

The fanatical foodies at Skipton’s multi-award winning farm shop, Keelham Farm, are keeping it local this season.

From terrific turkeys and succulent, locally sourced meats to the county’s very best veg and Christmas dinner essentials, you can create the perfect Yorkshire inspired feast for family and friends.

Master Butcher, Tony and his team have hand selected the very best range of turkeys, duck and goose as well as a mouth-watering selection of Yorkshire beef, lamb and pork to grace your festive table. 

Roast turkey is always absolutely delicious at Christmastime and still the number one family favourite for Keelham customers.

In his Christmas turkey recipe Tony shares his top tips for creating the perfect centrepiece for your festive feast.

Initially the bird is steamed with aromatics, then roasted until the skin is super-crispy. The turkey remains beautifully tender, moist and full of flavour, whether you’re enjoying it as part of a big family dinner or for leftovers the next day. 

Tony’s Totally Terrific Turkey!

  1. Take your turkey out of the fridge and unwrap at least an hour before cooking (or longer for a larger bird) 
  1. Place the turkey in a suitable, sturdy roasting tin, breast-side up. Heat the oven to 220°C/Gas 7. Cut an onion into 4-6 pieces. Put some in the cavity. Halve or quarter an orange or clementine. Pop inside the cavity with a few sprigs of rosemary, thyme and/or bay and a clove or 2 of garlic.
  1. Dust with salt and pepper – be generous with the salt as this helps to crisp up the skin, then rub in thoroughly. Put the rest of the onion and some rosemary around the bird. Flip the turkey over so it’s breast-side down. (The generous layer of fat on the back drips down and bastes the breasts as it cooks). Do the salt and pepper rub again.
  1. Roast for 20-30 mins or until bronzed.
  1. Turn the oven down to 170°C/Gas 3 and cook for the following times: • 4kg – 2 hours • 5kg – 2½ hours • 6kg – 3 hours • 7kg – 3 ½ hours • 8kg – 4 hours • 9kg – 4 ½ hours
  1. Use your instincts. Cooking times can vary from oven to oven. If it seems done before time’s up, do the pierce test. Pierce the fattest part of the leg with the tip of a knife or a skewer. If the juices run clear, it’s done.
  1. Carefully turn the bird over to brown the breast. Increase the heat back up to 220°C/Gas 7. Roast for a further 20 mins, or till the breast is beautifully golden.
  1. Rest the turkey (and yourself) for at least an hour before carving.
  1. Poor a glass of something chilled, we recommend Henner’s delectable Sparkling Wine – carve, eat, enjoy, oh, and let someone else do the washing up!      

If you haven’t done so already, get ahead and pre-order all your Christmas essentials HERE

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