The Journal | #FortnumsChristmas

Cheese & Wine

Cooking your Turkey this Christmas

Christmas simply isn’t Christmas without a good turkey. And ours are very, very good turkeys indeed.

Allowed to roam free in the grassy paddocks and green fields of a beautiful Worcestershire farm, every Fortnum’s bird is fed on an all-natural and locally-grown diet, before being wax-plucked, hand-finished and hung to mature for a minimum of eight days.

After all that careful tending, the result is a full-flavoured and tender bird that makes the perfect centrepiece to any Christmas meal. Let the feasting commence!

How to Cook
1 First, remove all packaging from your turkey – including the giblets, which will also arrive vacuum-packed – and store in your refrigerator. When you are preparing to cook, take your turkey from the refrigerator, remove the trussing band, and leave the bird to stand for a couple of hours.

2 Next, prepare a seasoning for the bird’s cavity. We find a peeled onion, a halved lemon and a cored apple work best in the body cavity, with traditional stuffing or sausage meat best reserved for the neck. As for the giblets, we suggest sautéing them in butter, before chopping and adding them to your stuffing.

3 At this point, coat your turkey over and under the skin with plenty of softened butter, then sprinkle liberally (inside and out) with salt and pepper and place the bird breast-down in a roasting tin. We recommend cooking your turkey this way for two reasons: firstly, because white meat cooks faster than darker meat, and secondly, because it allows for the fat in the bird to run into the breast, ensuring the meat is moist and tender.

4 Cooking times will vary according to the weight of the turkey and your oven type, but as a guide we would recommend pre-heat the oven to 190ºC, 375ºF, Gas 5, and cooking for approximately 25 minutes per kg.

5 About half an hour before full cooking time, carefully turn the turkey breast-side up to brown and crisp the skin. Your turkey is done when the juices run clear, when tested with a fork under the thigh.

6 After cooking, stand for an hour’s covered rest in a warm place – the turkey not you, of course – and prepare to carve.

How to Carve

Here’s what our experts recommend.

1 Hold the turkey leg by the knuckle.

2 Cut close to the body and twist off, then carve this dark leg meat.

3 Remove the wing and cut in half.

4 Slice the breast meat from one side.

5 Repeat for the other side.

How to Eat

There is no right or wrong when it comes to enjoying your Christmas turkey. Just make sure there’s a little left for those all-important Boxing Day sandwiches.

Shop now | Christmas

Shop now | Christmas
From hampers, champers and glorious gifts, to decorations, crackers and food enough to fill your festive table - everything for a very merry Christmas here.

RECIPE | Nigella Lawson's Christmas Beef

RECIPE | Nigella Lawson's Christmas Beef

Friend of Fortnum's and foodie extraordinaire Nigella gives us her expert tips on rustling up perfect festive beef

Festive Tips for a very Fortnum's Christmas

Festive Tips for a very Fortnum's Christmas

Need a few Christmas hacks to make Christmas merrier? Read on and discover our Festive Tips for a Fortnum's Christmas.