• Menzies Hotels

Top Tips for a Perfect Roast Turkey

December 14, 2012

Christmas Day just wouldn’t be complete without a traditional roast bird, complete with all the festive trimmings. To help make sure there are no culinary disasters on the big day, we’ve asked our head chefs at our 15 hotels to share their top tips for achieving the perfect roast turkey. Here’s what they said:

Whatever you do, don’t leave it in the oven too long. Make sure you accurately work out the cooking time based on the weight of the bird, otherwise the meat will dry out and no amount of gravy will save it

Keep the turkey covered with tin foil for as long as possible. This holds the steam around the meat and makes sure it cooks evenly and stays juicy. You can remove the foil for the last 20 minutes of cooking time to crisp-up the skin

Add chicken stock to the roasting tray to create extra steam while cooking. Some of the stock will also be absorbed into the turkey and will give the meat a richer flavour. Not to mention the amazing gravy you’ll have in the tray at the end of cooking time

Covering the turkey with smoked, streaky bacon not only adds moisture but makes it look extra special on the table. You can lay the strips over the bird in a lattice which stops them from curling up and creates a delicious layer of crunch. Don’t be surprised if a fight breaks out over the crispy bacon, either!

Placing a whole lemon in the turkey cavity will stop the meat from drying out on the inside. It will also create a lovely fragrance and add an extra flavour to the delicious gravy juices at the bottom of the roasting tray

Did you know that carving turkey a certain way can make it taste better? For extra tender slices, carve horizontally through the meat, towards the breast bone and against the grain. This tip is also guaranteed to impress your guests and make you sound like a pro

Stuff sliced lemon, orange, butter and thyme under the skin.  It might look a bit of a mess to start off with, but it will keep the meat moist and the flavours will really come through. Once cooked, you’ll also be able to see the thyme leaves and citrus slices through the skin. It looks pretty impressive, and you can pretend it took you ages to achieve the effect

Make the most incredible stuffing by combining sausage meat, onions, garlic, thyme, rosemary, butter and most importantly – croissants!  We guarantee you’ll never go back to ready-mix again

So, there you have it. Top tips for a triumphant turkey roast. But don’t get stuck slaving over the stove. You could always take the stress out of Christmas Day by treating yourself to lunch at a Menzies Hotel. We’d love to help you put your apron to one side and spend some quality time with family.

For more tips, offers, competitions and festive fun keep your eye on our Facebook page in the run up to Christmas.