Christmas is a perfect time to reconnect with family and friends. Sharing the good vibes and spreading the good will of the holiday is one of the most essential parts of celebrating Christmas.
This is the best time of the year for exchanging gifts- through which you will be able to convey and express love to lift up the Christmas spirit and get your family into holiday mood.
It's also that time of year when you cook a big fat turkey to enjoy with the family, followed by home-made yummy cakes and pies.
Learn how to cook a turkey in two different ways that everyone will love.
1) Roasted Turkey
1 whole turkey (5kg)
• 1 onion, peeled and quartered
• 1 lemon, quartered
• 1 apple, quartered
• 340g fresh rosemary
• 340g fresh thyme
• 340g fresh sage
• 1 cup unsalted butter
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
• 6-8 garlic cloves, minced
• 2-teaspoons dried basil
• 2-tablespoon garlic powder
• 3/4 cup olive oil
• 4-tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1. Remove the thawed turkey from the fridge an hour before roasting it, so that it can come to room temperature.
2. Adjust your oven rack so that the turkey sits on the centre and preheat oven to 325°F.
3. Make the herb butter by combining room temperature butter, minced garlic, salt, pepper, one-tablespoon fresh chopped rosemary, one-tablespoon fresh chopped thyme, and half tablespoon of fresh chopped sage. (You will use the remaining fresh herbs for the stuffing)
4. Season the cavity of the turkey with salt and pepper and stuff it with the quartered lemon, onion, apple and leftover herbs.
5. Use your fingers to loosen and lift the skin above the breasts and smooth a few tablespoons of the herb butter underneath.
6. Tuck the wings of the turkey underneath it and set the turkey on a roasting rack inside a roasting pan.
7. Microwave the remaining herb butter mixture for 30 seconds (it does not need to be completely melted, just really softened). Use a basting brush to cover the meat with the remaining herb butter.
8. Cover and roast for 2 hours for a small turkey under 5 kilos, 3 hours for 5-7 kilos, and 4 hours for a large turkey over 7 kilos.
9. Uncover the turkey, baste it with the pan juices and continue roasting for 20 - 30 minutes until its skin turns golden-brown.
10. Turn the turkey over so that it is breast side up. Spread the reserved herb butter on top of your turkey for extra flavour (the turkey will be hot and the butter will melt nicely over the skin). Pour any remaining juices over your turkey.
11. Reduce heat to 325 degrees F and continue roasting while basting every 15 minutes, until completely cooked through.
12. For extra crispy skin, broil the turkey for a further 10-15 minutes, keeping your eye on it so it does not burn, until the skin is crispy and golden brown all over.
13. Tent turkey with foil and allow it to rest for 15-30 minutes before carving and serving with gravy, cranberry sauce or other condiments of your choice.
2) Turkey Brine
2 gallon water, divided
1 lemon, cut into rounds
6 cloves garlic, smashed
1 tbsp. black peppercorns
1 tsp. allspice berries (optional)4 sprigs fresh rosemary
4 sprigs fresh sage
4 dried bay leaves 1/2 cup brown sugar
1 orange, cut into rounds Salt to taste
First, you have to combine 1/2 gallon water (8 cups) with all other ingredients in a large pot and place over medium heat.
Then, bring to a boil, stirring frequently, then reduce to a simmer and cook until salt and sugar have dissolved completely. Remove from heat and add remaining 1 1/2 gallons (24 cups) water to the pot. Stir to combine and let cool completely, around 1 hour.
Now, submerge turkey completely in brine. If more water is needed, mix together additional brine by adding 2 tablespoons kosher salt to 1 cup of water, and stirring until dissolved. Brine overnight, or up to 24 hours.
When ready to roast, thoroughly rinse turkey and pat dry with paper towels.