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turkey christmas dinner recipes

Turkey Christmas Dinner Recipes with our amazing Gordon Ramsay lookalike

Alive’s very own Gordon Ramsay lookalike talks turkey and shares his secret recipe for a seasonal scene-stealing gravy…

My Christmas turkey with lemon & apple

This is my no-fail Christmas turkey recipe! It’s a slow cook method, but I get a succulent, easy to carve turkey every time. Roasting takes about 4.5 hours with a further 1-2 hours to rest. It serves about 8 people, with plenty left over for a tasty curry on Boxing Day!

If you have kids, it’s best to take care of the turkey before you start grappling with toy packaging or building lego! I take the turkey out of the fridge first thing so that it’s at room temperature before I start to prep, then get it in the oven at about 9.30am. That leaves plenty of time for the turkey to cook and rest before we sit down for dinner at 4pm.

Finally, be sure to make a big breakfast, hide the kids’ selection boxes until after dinner, and have plenty of eggnog on hand! DONE!

 

 

Ingredients

1 organic or free-range turkey (about 5kg serves 8)

Zest and juice of 2 lemons

1 apple, halved

1 lemon, halved

1 red onion, peeled and halved

A handful of fresh sage

6 bay leaves

6tbsp salted butter (organic if possible), softened

6-8 rashers of smoked streaky bacon

A few carrots, leeks and celery, roughly chopped

Olive oil for drizzling

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Top Tip

For the best flavour, get a fresh organic/ free-range turkey. You really do notice the difference! Order from your butcher well in advance, and check with them how long it will keep. Generally, you should cook your turkey within three days. Ask the butcher to prepare it so that it’s oven ready - and ask that the giblets are included to make a delicious gravy stock.

Start. Preheat your oven to 200? (180? Fan), Gas Mark 6

Wash out the cavity with salty water

Put inside lemon, apple and onion halves, as well as the sage and 2 bay leaves.

Using your hands or a flat knife, lift up the skin on breast area and legs  and insert knobs of the butter underneath. Massage to cover the breast and the legs. Insert the remaining bay leaves under the breast skin.

Top Tip

For even cooking, place the turkey on a metal rack or trivet set in the roasting tray. Get a set that has enough space between the rack and the bottom of the tray for vegetables. This helps ensure you have well-flavoured pan juices to make a top notch gravy.

Prep. Insert your trivet into the tray and underneath put your chopped carrots, leeks and celery, making sure that they are below the level of the trivet.  Pour enough boiling water to cover the veg, but it shouldn’t touch the turkey.

Put your turkey on the trivet breast down!

Lay your rashers of smoked streaky bacon over the turkey’s back.

Cover and seal tinfoil all around the bird leaving a bit of space between the foil and the skin

Top Tip

Want the secret of a tasty turkey? Roast it upside down on it’s breast. Instead of running into the roasting pan, juices from the back and legs will run down into the breast keeping it super succulent.

Roast. Put the turkey in the oven for 30 mins. Lower the temperature to 170? (150? Fan), Gas Mark 3 and roast for a further 3.5 hours.

After 3.5 hours, remove the tinfoil, carefully turn over the turkey so the breast is on top, drizzle with olive oil, season and cook for another 20 mins to brown the skin.

After 20 mins, check your turkey is cooked by piercing the thigh with a skewer. If it’s ready, the juices should run clear. If it’s pink, roast for another 20 minutes and check again.

Done. Remove from the oven, and put onto a hot/warm dish.Cover with tea towels and leave to rest for at least 30 minutes. Before you carve, remove the bay leaves from under the skin.

Top Tip

If you can rest the turkey for longer than 30 minutes - 1 or 2 hours if possible - it will be worth it. As the meat relaxes the juices will re-absorb, making the meat more succulent, tender and easy to carve. It will also give you chance to make the gravy. Pour a piping hot serving over the turkey when it is on the dish to restore any lost heat.

My secret ingredient: Homemade turkey stock

It makes the most amazing gravy, but this is probably for the purists/chefs without young children among you! If you don’t have time - or giblets! - an organic chicken stock cube will work perfectly well.

To save time on the day, make this on Christmas Eve. Store covered in the fridge, preferably in a glass jar or bottle.

 

Ingredients

Giblets - from your fresh turkey
6-8 Peppercorns

A bay leaf

A couple of sprigs of fresh thyme

1 carrot, chopped

1 onion, chopped

1. Remove giblets from the cavity, take them out of the bag if they’re in one. Wash well, place in a pan and cover with water.

2. Add peppercorns, a bay leaf, fresh thyme, carrot and onion.

3. Boil and cover for 1 hour.

4. Strain and store the liquid in the fridge.

5. Discard giblets and any leftovers after straining.

My scene-stealing Christmas gravy

It makes the most amazing gravy, but this is probably for the purists/chefs without young children among you! If you don’t have time - or giblets! - an organic chicken stock cube will work perfectly well.

To save time on the day, make this on Christmas Eve. Store covered in the fridge, preferably in a glass jar or bottle.

 

 

Ingredients

1 tsp flour

3 tbsp of port or red wine

1 pint of your homemade stock or organic chicken stock

At this point, you will have taken your turkey out of the oven and set it aside to rest.

Transfer your roasting tray to the hob to heat the veg and juices.

‘Deglaze’ the pan by spooning off most of the fat from the pan juices and place the roasting dish on the hob over a medium heat.

Slowly stir in 1 tsp of flour, then mash the veg using a fork or potato masher – don’t worry about lumps!

Mix, then pour in 3 tbsp of port or red wine.

Add 1 pint of your homemade stock or organic chicken stock and bring to the boil.

Season and simmer, stirring occasionally for 10 minutes until reduced and thickened.

Sieve over a large jug, using a ladle to push it through.

Discard the leftover veg, decant the gravy into your preferred gravy boat or jug. Serve!