How to Roast Turkey

Roast turkey is cooked in exactly the same way as Roast Chicken.

(1) Allow 250 g raw turkey weight to each portion to be served.

(2) Allow approximately 2½ hours roasting time per 12 kg bird.

(3) Turkey may be stuffed with various stuffings at the neck end.

(4) Braised Chestnuts may also be incorporated into the stuffings, either mixed with sage, thyme and onion stuffing or sausage meat stuffing.

(5) Turkey is trussed in exactly the same way as chicken.

(6) Turkey may be garnished with watercress, Bread Sauce, Cranberry Sauce, Braised Chestnuts, Grilled Chipolata Sausages, Grilled Bacon or slices of ham, and Game Chips.

(7) Turkey gravy is made from brown stock if derived from the giblets and carcass bones. It is possible to thicken it slightly if desired with diluted arrowroot and should be cooked for at least 30 minutes, including the sediment from the roasting tray in which the turkey has been cooked.

To test when cooked;
Exert light pressure on the breast. If it is rather firm to the touch then the bird is cooked. Alternatively, drive the point of a trussing needle into the thickest and fleshiest part of the bird. Remove the needle and with the flat side of the fork press gently against the point of entry. If the juices which emerge are clear then the bird is cooked.

However, if whilst cooking the breast bone projects through the breast this is a sign that the turkey as a whole is overcooked, although the legs may still not be quite cooked. Where the legs rest against the breast is the last and most difficult part of the turkey to be cooked. Continuous basting, however, will help to lessen the problem.

When testing if cooked pay close attention to the innermost part of the leg and breast. If it is considered that the breast is cooked but not the legs remove the turkey from the oven and open up the legs by removing the trussing string. Cut the skin around the top of the leg, force them apart and return the bird to the oven to continue cooking. Alternatively remove the legs completely and cook them separately.

Some establishments prefer to remove the legs from the turkey, bone and stuff them and roast quite separate from the trunk to give a higher portion yield when carved. This approach is most favored where large numbers are involved but there is no reason why this method cannot be adopted when catering for smaller quantities. The following procedure for preparation and cooking is in line with current trade practice, as will be noted cooking time is greatly reduced.