There are only two ways to cook a turkey. Roasted or part roasted and part steamed, I prefer the latter for two reasons. First, not only does the bird cook much quicker, but the meat stays very juicy and succulent. The next thing to worry about is the stuffing, traditionally the neck is filled with one stuffing, and the cavity is filled with another. I like to fill just the cavity with one stuffing. Always stuff your turkey when it is fully defrosted, and make sure to cook through well. The steaming method given here ensures that the stuffing is cooked well. Once the precious bird is cooked, then simply glaze with honey, lemon and mustard. I serve our bird with the chipolata and bacon rolls, a wonderful gravy as you will see, and cranberry sauce plus the obligatory vegetables. An absolute must is well cooked Brussel sprouts. Not only are they fab, but they make the best 'bubble and squeak' the next day.
- 5 kg bronze turkey, with giblets and the wish bone removed.
- 2 large carrots, peeled
- 1 large onion, peeled
- 2 sticks of celery
- 1 leek
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 organic chicken stock cubes (Kallo)
- 375 ml half a bottle of dry white wine
- 300 ml cold water
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 50 g melted butter
- 2 tsp cornflour
- 4 tsp cold water
- The first job is to remove the giblets from the bird, and if you are using a frozen bird, make sure that it is fully defrosted.
- Season the bird well inside and out well with salt and pepper and pack the stuffing into the body cavity.
- Tie the legs and the Parsons's nose together with a piece of string and secure well to hold the stuffing inside the bird.
- Chop all the vegetables into large chunks and place them in the bottom of a large baking tray. Place the turkey on top; the tray should be large enough, so the bird has at least 2 inches gap around.
- Pour in the white wine, cold water and chicken stock cube, and place the whole tray onto the stove.
- Bring to the boil, cover tightly with two layers of foil, and pop into a preheated oven Gas 6-7, 200C.
- Cook the bird for about 2 hours approximately.
- To check if the bird is cooked, remove it from the oven carefully as there will be a lot of stock, wine and turkey juices. Next, remove the foil and insert a knife where the thigh attaches itself to the bird's body; the juices should run clear. If not, then cover again with foil and cook for a further 20 minutes.
- When the bird is cooked, remove it from the oven; turn it up to 230C, Gas 8. Carefully lift the bird out of the tray using carving forks or tongs; take care as the bird is very hot and heavy and place in a separate baking tray. Spoon a little of the honey and lemon glaze and pop the bird back in the oven for about 10-15 minutes, so it browns evenly. You may need to apply the glaze two or three times.
- Once browned, remove from the oven, loosely cover with foil and keep warm.
- Strain the juices into a saucepan, skim well, pop on the stove, bring to a boil, and simmer gently to reduce the stock until it is deeply flavoured. Skim well and thicken with the cornflour and water mixture.
- Carve the bird the flesh will be soft and juicy, and serve the gravy and stuffing separately.
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