Traditional Christmas Day Turkey Feast……..

By Simon  ,   

December 16, 2014

A spectacular culinary feast for all our senses, connecting & sharing, feel them all, see with your eyes, listen to the sounds, taste with your lips, touch with your body, feel and smell the deliciousness of the day, love with your open heart and spare a thought for your day. Prepare, Cook, Share with emotion, gusto, honour and awareness. A feast for shared treasured memories, Merry Christmas with big love to one and all.

  • Prep: 1 hr
  • Cook: 4 hrs
  • Yields: 10 Generous


8-10 Kg Fresh Turkey

6 Litre Water

1 Large Orange

250 Grams Coarse sea salt

3 tbsp Black peppercorns

1 Large Bouquet garni

1 Large Cinnamon stick

2 tbsp Caraway seeds

1 Scattering Cloves

2 tbsp Allspice berries

1 Small handful Star anise 4-5

2 tbsp White mustard seeds

200 Grams Caster sugar

3 Large Onions

1 Chunk Ginger

5 tbsp Maple syrup

5 tbsp Honey

2 Handful Parsley & Stalks and a handful of ripped bay leaves

100 Grams Butter or goose fat

4 tbsp Maple syrup

20 Small Chipolata sausages

20 Small Smoked streaky bacon

20 Sprig Freshly picked rosemary stalks

1 Splash Olive oil

1 Handful Giblets from the turkey

1 Scattering Allspice berries

1/2 tsp Black peppercorns

4 Medium Bay leaves

1 Medium Cinnamon stick

1 Large Celery stalk

2 Large Carrots

1 Large Onion

1 Scattering Sea salt

1 Litre Water

1 Medium Satsuma orange

2 tbsp Plain flour

2 tbsp Clear honey


Preparing And Cooking The Perfect Turkey.

Put the water into a large cooking pot that will comfortably accommodate your turkey.   If you do not have a large enough pot you could use a super clean bucket or bin.  Squeeze all the juice of the orange into the water and throw in the quarters of orange, add all the other ingredients, stirring it well to combine all the sugar, syrup, honey and salt.  The bath is now ready for your bird to chill and relax in, taking in all the wonderful seasons flavours and aromas.  Check the giblets are removed and remove any string or trussing from the turkey.  Gently place the turkey in the bath, topping up with extra water if necessary. Cover securely and keep in a cold place, (outside is best), overnight or up to a day before cooking.

On the day remove the turkey, drain and pat dry, leaving to stand to bring the bird up to room temperature.  Preheat the oven to 200c/ gas 6.  Melt the goose fat or butter with the maple syrup, making a glaze and liberally paint the bird before placing in the oven for its roasting time, remember to baste the turkey every now and then during its roasting time.  Our recipe is for a 10 kilo turkey giving a roasting time of 4 hours, to check the turkey is cooked pierce the meat between the leg and the body with a sharp knife, when the juices run clear, the bird is cooked or alternativily use a meat thermometer, testing the same place, the bird is cooked when the reading is between 68-71 degrees C.  Remove the turkey from the oven and rest in loosely tented foil for a least 30 minutes or longer.

What size turkey ?  Allow 1/2kg per person, this will give a full on feast and plenty of succulent meat for leftovers.

Cooking times.  The following is a guide and is based on a free range turkey at room temperature, untrussed, with out stuffing and using the above brine method, cooking in a preheated oven 200c Gas 6.  You will know your oven, they vary dramatically and I have found a free standing oven thermometer placed in the oven to be an invaluable investment over the years.

3.5 kg..... 1-3/4 Hours

4.5 kg..... 2 Hours

5.5 kg..... 2-1/2 Hours

6.5 kg..... 2-3/4 Hours

7.5 kg..... 3 Hours

10  kg..... 4 Hours

Allspice Gravy.

In a large saucepan place all the ingredients except the flour and honey.  Bring to a boil, cover with a lid turn down the heat.  Simmer gently for 2 hours.

Strain the stock through a sieve into a large non metalic measuring  jug. This can be made in advance and kept chilled in the fridge until the day.  On the day, whisk the flour with 2 tbsp of juice from the turkey roasting tray, place over a low- moderate heat and add the stock and honey.

Let the gravy bubble away, stirring now and then with a wooden spoon, until thickened and invitingly aromatic.  Serve in warmed jugs ready for the table.


Succulent Sausages Wrapped in Smoked Bacon.

Quality small chipolatas sausages and thinly sliced streaky smoked bacon rashers make for a perfect combination here.  Wrap the sausages in the bacon, drizzle with a little olive oil, season with freshly milled black pepper and skewer with a short stick of rosemary.  Place on a lightly oiled baking tray and roast in the oven 200c for 20-30 minuites, turning every now and then until golden and coked through.  Keep warm in loose foil ready to adorn the turkey platter.  Make ahead uncooked, they will keep for up to 2 days in your fridge ready to be roasted on the day.


Check out all our other Christmas day feast recipes. Bread Sauce.   Christmas Stuffing With Roasted Shallots.   Vibrant Red Cranberry Sauce.  Perfect Roast Potatoes.  Maple Glazed Roasted Parsnips.   Brussels & Chestnuts.  Festive Red Cabbage.  Puree Of Winter Swede & Squash. Baked camembert & cauliflower.














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