Culinary Director, Food and Beverage at Galeries Lafayette, Le Gourmet, Dubai Mall and City Walk
The perfect roast turkey
For approx 10 people
1 Turkey (approx. 16lb - 7kg)
6 oz - 175gms Soft butter
8oz (225gms) fatty streaky bacon
salt and pepper
Sausage meat or Veal mince
Fresh sage - dried will also work well
1 large onion - finley chopped
Turkey Giblet stock
1 medium onion
2 carrots - peeled and diced
2 celery stalk
5 pepper corn
To make the stuffing, combine the breadcrumbs with onion and sage in a large mixing bowl, stir in a little boiling water and mix thoroughly. Next work the sausage meat into the mixture and season with salt and pepper. Leave the stuffing covered in a cool place - but not in the fridge, as it shouldn’t be too cold when you come to stuff the turkey. Pre-heat the oven to 425°F (220°C). Stuff the turkey by loosening the skin with your hands and pack the stuffing into the neck end, pushing it up between the flesh and the skin towards the breast (not too tightly because it will expand while cooking). Press it in gently to make a nice rounded end, then tuck the neck flap under the bird’s back and secure with a small skewer. Don’t expect to get all the stuffing in this end - put the rest into the body cavity. Arrange two large sheets of foil across your baking tin - one width ways, the other lengthways. Lay the turkey in the center, rub it generously with butter, making sure the thighbones are particularly well covered.
Next season the bird with salt and pepper, and lay the bacon over the breast with the rashers overlapping each other.
Wrap the turkey in foil. The parcel must be firmly sealed but roomy enough inside to provide an air space around most of the upper part of the turkey. Bring one piece of foil up and fold both ends over to make a pleat along the length of the breastbone - but well above the breast. Then bring the other piece up at both ends, crimp and fold to make a neat parcel.
Place the roasting tin on a low shelf in the oven and cook at the initial high temperature for 40 minutes. Lower the heat to 325°F (170°C) and cook for a further 3 hours for a 12 lb bird (approx. 5.5 kg), or 3½ hours for a 14lb bird (approx. 6.3 kg), or 4 hours for a 16lb. Tear the foil away and remove the bacon slices to allow the skin to brown and crisp. Turn the heat to 400°F (200°C) and cook the turkey for a further 30 minutes. It will need frequent basting during this time.
To test if the bird is cooked, pierce the thickest part of the leg with a thin skewer: the juices running out of it should be golden and clear. There should be no trace of pinkness in the juices. Remove the turkey from the roasting tin and transfer it to a warm carving dish. Leave it for 45 minutes to rest before carving.
Put the giblets in a saucepan with halved onion, cover with 1½ pints (900 ml) water and bring to simmering point. After removing any surface scum with a slotted spoon, add the remaining ingredients. Half cover the pan with a lid and simmer for 1½ -2 hours. Then strain the stock and store, covered, in the fridge. Keep the juices that end up in the bottom of the pan from the cooked turkey and add to the Giblet stock. To make the gravy, tip the fat and juices out of the foil into the roasting tin - work the flour into the remaining juices over a low heat. Whisk in the Turkey Giblet Stock bit by bit until you have a smooth gravy.
Serve with roasted potatoes and parsnips, cranberry sauce, buttered brussels and sweet buttered carrots.
Serves - 8 to 10 people
Price - Dhs795
Tel: 04-3399933 ext. 2395