Christmas Dinner Cooking Tips

So, you’ve just collected your turkey and the rest of your Christmas Dinner from Swillington Farm. Now what? You’ve watched countless TV chefs do Christmas; recommending utterly bizarre turkey cooking methods and each suggesting differing cooking times and ‘secret’ tips, but do any of them really make all that difference?

We’ve put together a step by step guide for preparing your organic bird to make the most of its unique, delicious taste (and avoid spoiling it with a silly recipe).

Firstly, make sure you put any meat in the fridge as soon as you get it home. Most of our meat has been freshly butchered so it will keep in the fridge until the ‘Use By’ date on the pack or 6 months in the freezer. Any items previously frozen will be labelled as not suitable for freezing.

Turkeys & Poultry

1. Turkeys and geese have been freshly prepared and will keep in the fridge until the ‘Use By’ date if stored correctly. We recommend freezing if you don’t have room in the fridge to store as below.
2. Remove the giblets and keep in a covered bowl in the fridge. Remove all the packaging then wipe the bird all over with kitchen towel.
3. Put the bird on a tray or plate wide and deep enough to contain any blood or juice that might seep out. Cover loosely with foil. Ensure that it doesn’t touch any other food in the fridge that’s to be eaten raw, or cooked meat.
4. We recommend you store it at the bottom of the fridge, turn the temperature down to its lowest setting and keep the fridge door closed as much as possible to maintain a constant temperature and ensure freshness.
5. The birds have been hand plucked so there may be a few feathers still on them, we don’t recommend washing poultry before cooking.

Roasting your bird

1. Set your oven to 190c/170c fan/ gas mark 5.
2. For accurate timing always weight your turkey after it’s been stuffed. If it’s very large, you may need to use the bathroom scales!
3. The latest advice from the British Turkey Information Service is that if the turkey is over 4kg calculate 20mins per kg + 90mins. If the bird is under 4kg calculate 20mins per kg + 70mins.
4. To test that it’s done make sure the juices run clear when you pierce the thigh where it meets the body.
5. If it’s not done, put it back in the oven for another 20mins, then test again.

Good meat is for life, not just for Christmas. Remember to redeem your meatbox gift voucher (email us with your order no if you’ve lost your code).

For more tips, videos and an easy to use cooking time calculator you can visit www.britishturkey.co.uk, and for some excellent and imaginative leftover turkey recipes visit BBC Good Food.

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