As my 6 year old is very quick to tell me, no one cooks as well as Grandma, and when it comes to cooking at Christmas you'd be silly to even try!
The thought of having to cook a whole turkey until recently, filled me with dread. There was no way someone with my cooking capabilities could possibly pull that off. That was until my wonderful morning with Marco Pierre White at his Stamford Bridge restaurant. I must admit it was quite a while ago but something in me has permitted me from writing about Christmas until now.
So what were his tips?
- For the turkey don't go for a massive one, 2 smaller birds are always better than 1 big one! Honestly he actually said that!
- Don't just stick the whole bird in the oven, separate the thighs and crown and roast these but keep the rest of the bones for a delicious gravy
- Stuff the crown and thighs with a mix of sausagemeat and packet mix, I know I couldn't believe it either! Stuff underneath the skin and then pull the skin back over to seal it inside.
- The ideal temperature to remove your turkey is 66 degrees for the crown and 72 for the thighs! This previously would have meant nothing to me but Marco sent us home with a meat thermometer 🙂
- Make a wonderful cranberry sauce by boiling frozen cranberries and sugar until it's a sticky jam and then adding port and orange juice. Extra tip – my mum also adds orange juice to puréed parsnips to serve with Christmas dinner.
- It's ok to use a stock pot to add to your gravy, which you make by roasting the rest of the turkey bits with some butter.
- He did show us how to carve the turkey but I was by this point overcome with the amazing aroma and my mouth was watering too much to concentrate, and in reality I can't cut a loaf of bread so there is no chance I'll ever be allowed to carve a turkey!
The result was unbelievable, I could have eaten many more plate fulls of that lunch!
I am under no illusion that I could ever recreate the same spread as he put on or rival my mother in the Christmas Day stakes but I'm now not scared to have a go. Really it's just a big chicken and I have cooked plenty of those, as long as I get myself organised there is nothing to worry about!
If you fancy learning more about how to make your own dinner to remember check out Lean on Turkey for plenty of tips and you can
drool over watch videos of Marco showing you how it's done.
Now it's just left to decide on the veg…what do you have with your turkey on the big day?