It’s time for the main event. The show stopper. The prize pig, or in this case, bird.
We have ditched the traditional turkey this year, so pluck up your courage and try our turkey with a twist.
Gingerbread Turkey with Orange, Brown Sugar and Ginger Glaze
- 1 Turkey, approx. 6kg, removed from fridge at least 1 hour before cooking
- 3 medium onions, peeled. 1 chopped in half, 2 cut into thick round slices
- 4 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
- 1 finely chopped garlic clove
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
- 3 bay leaves
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 250g filo pastry sheets
- 1 tbsp minced ginger
- 30 mini pork sausages
- 2 oranges
- Pat dry the skin of the turkey with kitchen paper. Remove the neck and giblets (discard or use for stock). Weigh the turkey and work out the overall cooking time – it should be 20 minutes per kg, plus 90 minutes (so approx. 210 minutes for a 6kg turkey)*.
- Place the round onion slices onto a rack, on top of a large roasting tin. Since we’re cooking the turkey breast side down at first, this will protect the skin from tearing or leaving rack marks on the breast.
- Spread 2 tbsp of the butter on top of the turkey (using your fingers), sprinkle with the salt and pepper.
- Zest the oranges (reserve the zest), then cut the zested oranges in half and place inside the turkey cavity with the onion halves, the rosemary sprigs and the bay leaves. Tie the legs together loosely with a piece of string. Turn the turkey upside down (breast side down) and place on top of the onion slices. Pat the underside dry with kitchen paper and sprinkle with a pinch of salt and pepper. Place in the oven. Turn the oven to CircoTherm® 160°C with medium steam** (no need to pre-heat, let the oven warm gradually with the turkey in there). Cook the turkey for the first 30 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and very carefully, using kitchen paper to protect your hands, turn the turkey over. Discard the onion slices and place the turkey back in the oven to continue cooking. There’s no need to baste the bird, as the steam from the oven will do this job.
- Meanwhile, mix together the orange zest (use less if you don’t want it too orangey), remaining butter, brown sugar and ginger in a small bowl.
- Approx. 40 minutes before the turkey is ready, add the mini pork sausages to the tin, around the sides of the turkey.
- Approx. 20 minutes before the turkey is ready, take it out of the oven and spread the orange mixture on top. Place the turkey back in the oven for the rest of the cooking time, until golden and cooked through (Hint, you can check the turkey is fully cooked if you prick the thickest part of the thigh, and the juices run clear. Or you can use a thermometer, inserted into the thickest part of the thigh – which should read 74°C ).
- Once cooked, remove from the oven. Place the turkey on a board, then cover with foil and a tea towel or two and leave to rest for 30-45 minutes (whilst you finish off the rest of the meal). The turkey will release juices as it’s resting, so be sure to drain these off, back into the tin to use for the gravy.
- Serve the turkey on a large plate decorated with the mini sausages, fresh herbs and orange slices.
* Cook’s tip – your turkey may take a little more or less time to cook – it’s a good idea to check with a thermometer in the last 60 and 30 minutes of cooking to ensure it doesn’t over-cook (see step 8 for temperature guide).
** Cook’s tip – if your oven has no added steam function then use 400ml of stock under the turkey and create a foil tent over, but not touching, the turkey. Remove the foil for the last hour of cooking to brown the turkey.