How to cook a turkey for Christmas with recipes from Jamie Oliver and Nigella Lawson

How to cook a turkey for Christmas with recipes from Jamie Oliver and Nigella Lawson

Turkey is the centerpiece of the Christmas table for many, but this is something some find difficult to get right.

Fortunately, there are countless recipes to try this holiday season, from the traditional to the more adventurous.

Here’s how top chefs recommend cooking your bird:

Nigella Lawson

According to Nigella’s recipe for “super juicy” roasted turkey, the “only” way to prepare a turkey is by brining it.

To do this, she recommends filling a large bucket with water a day or two before you plan to cook your bird and placing it in the turkey, along with oranges and some spices.

On Christmas Day, mix together the goose fat and butter or maple syrup, and coat the turkey with the glaze — after drying the skin well — before putting it in the oven.

The recipe can be found on Nigella’s website.

Jamie Oliver

For those looking for an ‘easy’ turkey recipe, Jamie Oliver’s recipe from his 2018 Channel 4 special, jimmy quick and easy christmas, its yours.

The TV chef makes butter using cranberries, bacon and thyme, which is spread between the meat and skin, before putting the bird in the oven.

Woman holding spoon and pouring oil on roast chicken, cooking Christmas meal, roast family dinner, special occasions, home cooked food
Fortunately, there are endless recipes to try this holiday season, from traditional to more adventurous ones (Photo: 10’000 Hours/Getty/Digital Vision)

He recommended placing a large bird in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes per kilogram and a regular bird in the oven for 35 to 40 minutes per kilogram.

Here’s Jimmy’s easy turkey, prepared two ways.

Yotam Ottolenghi

For a less traditional approach to your Christmas bird this year, Ottolenghi has a recipe that uses only the breasts.

The turkey is marinated for at least 24 hours in a mixture containing mint, garlic, coriander, parsley, lemon juice, olive oil, white wine, cumin, salt and pepper.

Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 7 or 220°C and roast the turkey for 15 minutes before reducing the temperature to 200°C/Gas Mark 6 and cooking for a further 15, then to 180°C/Gas Mark 4 and cooking until done.

Recipe can be found On his website.

Gordon Ramsay

The Michelin-starred chef prepares his bird by making a butter mixture using garlic, parsley, olive oil, lemon, salt and pepper, which he spreads under the bird’s skin.

Gordon recommends placing some onions in the bird’s cavity, which he says will steam as the turkey roasts, adding to the flavor.

Cook the turkey in a 220°C oven in a roasting tray for 10 minutes, drizzling with olive oil.

Remove from the oven and brush with the juices before placing the smoked bacon on top and then brush again.

Then we lower the oven temperature to 180 degrees Celsius and start grilling the meat – 30 minutes per kilo. You can see Gordon Ramsay’s turkey recipe in full here.

Delia Smith

For those looking to avoid anything too adventurous, Delia Smith has a recipe called “Traditional Roast Turkey with Ham, Sage, and Onion Stuffing.”

The beloved chef recognizes that cooking Christmas dinner can be a “painful” experience and says the secret to success is giving the turkey a good blast of heat at the beginning.

She suggests making the filling on Christmas Eve by combining ground pork with eggs, breadcrumbs, onions and sage.

On Christmas morning, this mixture can be stuffed between the meat and skin of the turkey. Season the bird throughout and cover with bacon before wrapping it in aluminum foil and placing it in the oven.

Delia recommends 40 minutes at 220°C before lowering the oven to 170°C and cooking for an additional 3 hours for a 12-pound bird (about 5.5 kg), or 3 1/2 hours for a 14-pound bird (about 6.3 kg).

The aluminum foil and bacon are then removed and the bird is cooked for a further 30 minutes at 200°C. Don’t forget to baste the turkey regularly and let it sit for 30-60 minutes before carving it.

Here’s her recipe for traditional roasted turkey with ham, sage, and onion stuffing.

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