How to avoid dry turkey

Glenn Futter, new head chef at La Cachette, Elland.
Glenn Futter, new head chef at La Cachette, Elland.
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Ordinarily I would roast a bird whole or at least cook the breasts on the crown. I do however make an exception with turkey.

Turkey is incredibly lean and can therefore become quite dry quite quickly, taking the breasts from the carcass enables us to cook the meat a little quicker (less time in the oven, less likely to be dry).

Once I’ve stuffed the breasts with sausage meat I cook them in a bain marie and with plenty of butter lathered on top during cooking this creates a four pronged attack against the dreaded curse of dry and unappealing turkey!

Below I have set about describing how we prepare and cook our turkey here at La Cachette. The bird will take up far less room in your oven than a whole bird and will be in the oven for approx 2 hours. The relative lack of time and space taken in your oven is an absolute god send on Christmas day and will leave the oven free for roast potatoes, root vegetables etc.

You will need:

1 large turkey breast approx 2kg this will feed 8-12 adults

500g good quality sausage meat

1 packet of fresh sage

Salt and pepper

100g butter

1 large roasting tray

Tin foil (the largest width you can find)

Method

lFirst we prepare the sausage meat, simply chop your fresh sage and mix together with the sausage, if you have bought good sausage it should not need any further seasoning.

lNext we stuff the turkey (this can be done the day before). With the breast skin side down on a chopping board you will need to cut a horizontal pocket straight down the length of the breast. Fill the pocket with the sausage by rolling little balls and dropping them into the open pocket.

lOnce the breast is stuffed wrap it in tin foil with the 100g of softened butter spread on the skin, season with salt and pepper.

lPlace the tin foil parcel in the roasting tray, pour as much water into the tray as you can, put the tray into the pre heated oven (at 180 degrees c) for approx 2 hours, it is best to test with a thermometer at this point you want the centre to be 80 degrees centigrade.

lGive the turkey a nice little rest for at least 30 minutes it should stay nice and warm wrapped in foil.

You will be delighted at how easy the bird is to carve.

Merry Christmas from all at La Cachette .......... Glenn.