It’s the festive season and we all get to spend precious time with our families and friends. We have all had a busy year. So this year let me share some of my family’s favorite turkey recipes.
It has always brought joy to our Christmas table. They are all simple and easy recipes so you can easily manage them.
This will also be your chance to use that best ceramic knives you just bought yourself as a holiday cooking tool treat. We all owe ourselves a treat so why not have a stunning knife to ease your cutting this holiday season.
The turkey must to be room temperature and not frozen.
Preheat oven 180°C
- 5 kg turkey
- olive oil
- sea salt
- 2 chopped carrots
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1 orange cut in half
- 2 onions, chopped
- fresh rosemary
- 2 chopped celery sticks
- olive oil
- 2 onions, finely chopped
- sea salt
- black pepper
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- 300g mince
- 250g breadcrumbs
- Drizzle olive oil and sprinkle salt and pepper all over it. Massage the entire turkey getting the mixture all over.
- Add a bit of oil to a pan over medium heat and fry your onion until soft. Add in salt and pepper, along with nutmeg and chopped sage leaves. Fry for another 2 minutes.
- Put the mixture in a bowl and allow cooling, then add in breadcrumbs and mince. Mix.
- Take the turkey and pull the skin by the neck back so you see the hole and put half the stuffing inside. When done pull the skin up and over the hole.
- The rest of the stuffing along with the halves of orange, rosemary and fill the other hole.
- Take your chopped veg and place it in the roasting pan and place the turkey on that.
- Cover the turkey with foil and place into the oven. Cook for 35 to 40 minutes per kilo. So 5kg bird will cook for 3½ hour
- Check on it regularly and spoon some of the juice from cooking over it keeping it moist.
- After 2½ hours, remove the foil and allow to crisp. After 3½ hour, remove from the oven and allow resting for an hour.
Mamma’s Lemon Breast-Down Turkey
Most turkeys are frozen when bought. Pop it in the microwave and defrost. Preheat oven 180°C. This size turkey should give you 10 servings. It’s a very simple and uncomplicated recipe and is for the health conscious that are watching calorie intakes but still celebrating the holiday season.
- 1 turkey (5kg) – defrost in the microwave and let it get to room temperature
- Lemon juice – if you can’t do freshly squeezed then bottled lemon juice will do
- Salt and pepper
- Olive oil
- ½ a finely chopped onion
- 2 finely chopped celery sticks
- 2 finely chopped carrots
- bunch of parsley finely chopped
- Some fresh rosemary and thyme – finely chopped
- Sprinkle olive oil and lemon juice all over the turkey
- Liberally sprinkle with salt and pepper all over
- Using your fingers rub the turkey, massaging in the oil, lemon juice, and spices.
- Take all the other ingredients onion, celery, carrots, parsley, rosemary and thyme and place inside the turkey.
- Liberally squirt lemon juice inside the turkey.
- Pull the legs together and tie with a cooking tie
- Pull the skin over the neck cavity and tuck under to keep the moisture in
- Wrap the turkey in foil
- Place in roasting pan – if you don’t have a large one you can use a purchased foil roasting tray that can be disposed of afterward. Most stores sell them.
- Place in oven with the turkey’s breast area facing down
- After 2½ open the foil up and allow to brown and crisp
- Remove after 3½ hours and allow resting for an hour or so
Honey Roasted Turkey
The initial steps
- Turkey to be defrosted and at room temperature
- 45 min prep time
- 2½ hours to cook and 3 ½ hours to ready
- Preheat the oven to 200C
- 1.5k Turkey
- 1 lemon cut in half
- Salt and pepper
- 1 peeled apple
- small peeled onion
- 1 peeled potato
- 3 tablespoons of butter
- 6 tablespoons of honey
- 1 cup of chicken stock
- Rub the lemon all over the turkey
- Season the turkey with salt and pepper (inside and outside)
- Place the lemon halves, onion, apple, and potato into the turkey
- Place turkey into a roasting pan
- Using a small pan melt butter and honey together on a medium heat
- Spoon the honey and butter mixture over the turkey coating the entire exterior.
- Leave to stand for 30 minutes
- Then reapply the mixture a few times
- Place turkey in the oven at 200C for 30 minutes
- As the honey mixture drips off baste the turkey a few times
- Reduce the temperature to 175C and cook for 30 minutes
- Baste frequently
- If needed then use the cup of chicken stock to keep the juices from drying out
- Now cover the turkey with foil and cook until no longer pink on the bone
- You can check this by a small piercing into the turkey and see that the liquid runs clear
- Leave in the oven for a further 1½ hours
- Remove the foil and for about 15 to 30 minutes basting regularly
- Then remove from the oven and cover with another layer of foil completely
- Allow it to rest in the wrapper for about 15 minutes before opening and slicing
Roast Turkey with garlic & lemon
- Prep time 30 minutes
- Cooking time 3½ hours
- Two days before cooking season
- Crispy and delicious
- Preheat oven to 180C
- 1 x 5kg turkey
- Half of an onion
- 1 lemon half
- Whole bulb of garlic
- 2tbsp sea salt
- 1tbsp thyme
- 1tbsp peppercorns
- Butter mix
- 100g butter
- 1tbsp vegetable bouillon powder
- 1 lemon zested (grated skin from the lemon above)
- 2 days prior to cooking you will have rubbed your salt and pepper mix onto your turkey and left in the roasting pan uncovered in the fridge. The longer the salt stays on it the moister it will be.
- Take the butter, vegetable stock, and lemon zest and mix together in a bowl. Cover and chill in the fridge
- Take the turkey out the fridge and let it stand to get to room temperature
- Take your butter mixture from the fridge
- Using your hands spread the butter mixture under the skin and between the thighs and the main part of the turkey.
- Place the onion, garlic and lemon halves into the inside of the turkey
- Cover the roasting pan with foil
- Cooking time is about 3 hrs. It’s about 40 minutes per kilo of turkey
- About 30 minutes before cooking time is up, increase the oven temperature to 200C
- Remove the foil
- Baste the turkey and place back in the oven
- When the turkey is beautifully brown remove from the oven
- Leave it to rest for at least 15 minutes covering it with foil
- The juice left in the roasting pan can now be used to make your gravy
Turkey Breast stuffed with walnut & cranberry
If you don’t want to roast a whole turkey perhaps try just turkey breasts
- boneless turkey breasts with skin (about 2.7kg)
- 5 cups chicken stock
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1/3 cup plain flour
- 2 lemon thyme pieces
- 60g butter
- 2 onions, finely chopped
- 4 cups fresh breadcrumbs
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1/2 cup finely chopped dried pears
- 1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts
- 1/4 cup finely chopped sage leaves
- 1 lightly beaten egg
- Make the stuffing first. Melt the butter in a pan
- Add in onions – cook until soft
- Put into a bowl
- Add the breadcrumbs, pear, walnut, cranberries, beaten egg and sage
- Mix them all together
- Season with pepper and salt
- Preheat your oven to 190C
- Place your turkey on a board with the fat piece towards you
- From where the breasts join cut a slit into the breast at an angle
- Cut the turkey breast horizontally through the meat but not all the way through
- This will give you a flap
- Flap the breast open
- Place the stuffing in the middle of the breast
- Fold the flaps back to encapsulate the stuffing
- Using kitchen string tie them to secure the stuffing inside
- Pour a cup of stock into the roasting pan
- Add in your turkey breasts with the skin facing upward
- Lightly brush with 1 tablespoon of oil
- Season with salt and pepper
- Roast in the oven for about 100 minutes
- Baste regularly
- Remove breasts from roasting pan
- Cover with foil and let it rest for 15 minutes
- The juice that remains in the pan is perfect to make a gravy with
The Christmas holidays are always a special time of the year. Be kind, Be gentle, and Be forgiving and share what you have with those that are dear to you. Take the time to say I love you and share a smile with a stranger.
If after Christmas day you have some turkey left over (if your family is like mine you won’t), then there are some lovely quick and easy recipes to use that leftover Turkey for. From a simple Turkey salad to a Turkey sandwich or even a Turkey Pâté