What everyone should know about cooking a Christmas turkey

Whenever I tell anyone my favourite meat is turkey, they never understand why and ask how I can love such a dry meat. 

But I have never found it dry. 

Unless it is cooked wrong. Which coincidentally, is how most people tend to cook theirs. 

I remember a couple of years ago, we’d gone out for Sunday lunch and I’d chosen to have turkey. It was so dry I needed to take a sip of drink after every mouthful! It ruined my lunch and I wished I’d gone for the beef instead. 

We’ve all been there, haven’t we? And you may have even been the chef behind the dry bird. Don’t worry – you never need to worry about cooking a dry turkey again!

So, let me ask you a question… which way up do you place your bird? Breast side up, right? Facing top so you can get a nice golden colour?

Thought so. 

Christmas day is hectic enough without worrying whether your turkey dinner is going to be a success or not. There are always too many vegetables for the number of pans you’ve got, you have the juggling of timings and you can’t forget the crackers! 

So how can you cook the best turkey ever?

The first thing you need to do is buy a quality turkey. For years I have bought mine from a supermarket, but after trying a free-range bird from Copas Turkeys I will never go back. You get so much more meat for your money and it really does make a difference to the taste and texture.

Secondly, you need to cook the bird breast side down so that all of the juices flow downwards. It makes sense really, doesn’t it? Why would you want the juices to fall down into the boniest part? Honestly, this has been a game changer to the way we cook our turkey and our chicken – such tender meat!

The next thing you need to be sure of is to cook it for the right length of time. With all of the concerns over under-cooked poultry, people tend to cook the meat for longer and end up overcooking it. Hence the dry meat!

We’ve discovered pop-up timers and they are amazing! You pop it into the breast and when the meat is perfectly cooked, it pops out! Genius!! 

Finally, you need to let the bird rest before eating. I always cook it so that it is ready to come out of the oven an hour before eating. I then leave it on the side under foil, while I roast the potatoes and bake the yorkies

And voila! The perfect turkey for your Christmas dinner! If you want to use my timings then take a look at this post for a sit down for 2pm. That is when we’ll be sitting down to eat this year and I cannot wait! 

Let me know how you get on! 



We have been working with Copas Turkeys but as always, all words and thoughts are my own. 


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