There are so many different ideas out there for roasting your turkey using butter, bacon etc. but really I think it’s about getting the bird into the best size possible for roasting so that each part of the bird has a chance to cook through without drying another out. This requires a little bit of butchery but afterwards requires no other trickery!
It may be better to ask your butcher for a little help with this but he really shouldn’t have a problem doing this for you. You should be asking him for “Boneless turkey legs along with the Turkey Crown”.
Firstly remove the wish bone; you can set this to one side to dry out if you like to pull it with someone! Now remove the wings at the second joint in. Remove the legs and set aside before removing the crown (this is the two breasts of the bird still attached to the bone) from the carcass.
Set the carcass on a roasting tray ready to roast along with all the other bones, from this you can make your stock and then gravy.
Now remove the bone from the legs and try to remove as many sinews as possible.
To prepare the stuffing begin by gently frying the onions in a pan along with the sage for about 5-6 minutes or until very soft but do not colour them, now add the butter to the pan and once it has melted set this to one side to cool.
In a mixing bowl add the sausage meat, chestnuts, bread crumbs and parsley, season with just a little pepper, no salt as you are using sausage meat which contains quite a lot of salt.
Mix this well and once the onions have cooled mix them through as well.
I like to stuff each leg at a time but it is possible to place one leg on the bottom, stuffing on top and the second leg on top of that, tying the whole lot up into one big joint.
I think it is best to stuff each leg as an individual roast and from a timing point of view this is best for having everything ready at the same time.
Once you have stuffed rolled and tied each leg it is best to wrap them well in foil before placing in the oven.
On the Big Day:
I like to cook my turkey on Christmas day. I know that once I have broken the bird down as described above it’s not going to take mine more than and hour and a half to cook, I love the smells in the house and it looks great when it arrives to the table.
Preheat your oven to 200°C.
Place the crown on a large deep roasting tray.
Season the meat well and drizzle a little oil all over the skin.
Place this in the hot oven for 15 minutes before reducing the heat to 160 degrees.
This will seal the outside of the bird keeping all those juices in side. You can now place the legs into the oven as well. A time guideline for a Turkey Crown (the weight of the crown alone) is 20 minutes per Kilo plus 15 at the end but as ovens vary so much the single best way to know if your turkey is cooked is to use a meat thermometer ensuring that a core temperature of 75 degrees is reached for at least 2 minutes.
Use the time guide as just that, a guide and give yourself plenty of time at the end before you intend to serve.
This will allow you to cook it a little longer if necessary or just give it time to rest before carving if it is cooked through.
The legs should take the same amount of time to cook as the crown but again check them with a thermometer to be sure.