Christmas dinner is the biggest meal of the year, and the mere thought of cooking it can stress the life out of some of us.
If you’re on dinner duty this year, fear not!
Here is my foolproof 10 step guide that has been tried and tested for years (it’s never let me down).
I buy a frozen turkey from my local budget supermarket and steam it in the oven, (this makes it so juicy and never dry), costing just 12 euro.
The safest way to defrost it is to place it on a dish or large platter in the bottom of your fridge.
You will need to allow 24 hours for every 4-5lbs/1.8-2.2kg.
The turkey I use is a medium 4.005kg turkey from Lidl.
It takes 48 hours to defrost, and once defrosted it cooks the exact same way as a fresh turkey (costing half the price which leaves more money for the wine!
Cooking time is 2 hours 50 mins (4.005kg turkey) and you’ll need a large deep lipped roasting tin
1 Medium 4.005 kg frozen turkey (48 hours to defrost in the fridge)
1 tablespoon of butter
5 large carrots, peeled
3 large peeled onions
2 celery stalks
1 pint of boiling water with 1 chicken stock cube
1 chicken stock cube for crumbling over the bird
1 tablespoon of fresh thyme
1 tablespoon of fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon of fresh sage
1 teaspoon of cornflour with a teaspoon of cold water mixed
Preheat your oven to 200°C or gas mark six
Step 1: Remove the giblets and turkey neck from inside the bird. Check both ends of the turkey that nothing else is packed inside.
Step 2: My frozen turkey is tied with kitchen string already so I leave it tied. If yours isn’t then tie the legs securely together with kitchen string. Place a carrot and two celery stalks in the neck cavity and a whole peeled onion in the back cavity (I cook my stuffing separately but his is optional).
Step 3: Peel all your vegetables and arrange them around your turkey (no need to chop them).
Step 4: Slather the bird with butter and scatter with fresh herbs, then crumble over a chicken stock cube and season with salt and pepper.
Step 5: Pour the pint of hot stock into the bottom of the tray and cover the whole tray with tin foil (double layer), trapping in all the steam.
Step 6: Place on the middle shelf and cook the bird for two hours 25 mins without checking it, keeping the foil on to trap the steam in for the full 2 hours 25mins.
Step 7: After the time above remove the foil and insert a knife, the juices should run clear. Remove the bird from the oven and turn it up to 230°C or gas mark eight. Baste your turkey by ladling over the juices from the bottom of the tray
Step 8: Remove the carrots, parsnips and onions and place on a separate flat oven dish. Cook the veggies and turkey with no foil until browned for a further 25 mins.
Step 9: When nicely browned, remove from the oven, carefully tip off all the stock into a saucepan and keep warm.
Step 10: Wrap the turkey and veggies in foil to keep warm, they will keep perfectly wrapped in double foil for 1 hour. Boil the stock and juices, you may need to add a little more water in a saucepan and skim the fat off. Mix the cornflour and cold water together to make a paste and pour in to thicken the bubbling stock and give a good mix.
Merry Christmas lovelies from my home to yours x