Makes: 40 portions. Cooking time: Breast: 2½ hours. Legs: 1 hour. Oven temperature: 220°C reducing to 180°C.
— 1 x 12 kg prepared turkey
— 3 dl melted dripping or oil
— 500 grams thyme or parsley stuffing
— 5 liters thickened brown turkey stock
— 8 bunches picked watercress
— 4 dl cranberry sauce
(1) Remove each leg by cutting around the skin to the ball and socket joint at the bottom of the carcass. Fold back the leg at the joint. Cut through and take off the leg.
(2) Bone the legs removing all sinew and gristle.
(3) Lay the legs on a piece of foil with the skin side down. Overlap the flesh where necessary to form a continuous length of turkey meat.
(4) Season with salt and place a roll of stuffing about 10 cm in diameter along the length of the legs. Roll the stuffing into the legs with the foil and twist the foil at each end of the roll to prevent the stuffing seeping out during cooking. (It is unnecessary to tie the roll with string.)
(5) Place into a shallow sided dish making sure that the rolls of foil do not touch one another. Add sufficient water to 1/4 cover the legs and put the dish in the oven to cook.
(6) Place the turkey trunk into a separate roasting tray standing on the carcass base. Season with salt both inside and outside, cover with melted dripping and place in the oven to roast. After approximately 20 minutes when the outer skin has lightly colored, place a piece of foil or damp greaseproof paper over the surface. Baste occasionally during cooking.
(7) When cooked remove from the roasting tray and retain in a tray, preferably standing on a wire grid. Any juices collected may be used in making the gravy.
(8) Place the roasting tray on the stove and gently heat, allowing the sediment to settle.
(9) Drain off all surplus fat allowing any sediment to remain in the tray.
(10) Add the slightly thickened brown turkey stock and allow to simmer for a few minutes.
(11) Strain through a fine conical strainer into a deep sided saucepan. Reboil, skim all traces of fat and other impurities that may come to the surface and season to taste.
(12) Neatly arrange the slices of meat, leg and breast slightly overlapping on an oval fiat dish, coat with some of the roast gravy. Garnish with the watercress and any other items as desired.
(13) Serve the remainder of the roast gravy and cranberry sauce in sauceboats.
(1) There is no need to truss the turkey if the legs are cooked separately.
(2) The trunk may be stuffed if desired but this is not necessary if the legs are stuffed instead. The trunk should be stuffed at the neck end and sealed by folding under the skin and holding it in position with a skewer or sewing it with a trussing needle and string. Sage and Onion Stuffing, Sage, Thyme and Onion Stuffing or Sausage Meat and Chestnut Stuffing may be used.
(3) For best results the legs and trunk should be cooked in separate dishes.
(4) To prevent burning or scorching the foil around the legs a little water may be added.
(5) If using a thermoneedle or meat thermometer to test if the meat is cooked the needle should be inserted as deeply as possible – almost to the bone – at the fleshiest part of the bird about 21/2 cm up from the wing.
(6) It should be remembered when testing to see if the legs are cooked that the center of the roll consists of stuffing. It is the flesh that needs to be tested, not the filling which will be cooked simultaneously. Test the point where the flesh and stuffing meet.
(1) Ducks may also be roasted with their leg and under-carcass removed. In such cases they are roasted with their breasts uppermost during cooking, allowing ¾ hour roasting time.
(2) To test if duck is cooked, prick the breast several times with a fork. The juices should be quite clear with no traces of blood when cooked. Alternatively, test in the same manner as for chicken.
(3) Sometimes the drumstick of duck remains tough when cooked, in such instances do not serve them.
(4) Single and double spring chicken may be served whole or, in the case of a double poussin, may be cut through into two equal halves lengthways to form two portions. Roast feathered game The following points should be borne in mind when roasting game birds.