Cooking Guide

Cooking Instructions

You have just purchased a very special fresh turkey. A great deal of care goes into the rearing of these birds for Christmas. There is no comparison with the cheap, mass produced, intensively reared turkeys commonly sold in supermarkets.

In order to transform your turkey or chicken into a very special meal we have put together some cooking guidelines. These are our recommendations and we appreciate there is more than one way to cook a turkey !!!!!!!



When you get your bird home, remove it from the plastic bag, remove the giblet bag if supplied and refrigerate. If you are unable to store it in a refrigerator, store it in the coldest place you can find, such as hanging it up in the garage or garden shed, or even in the boot of your car overnight. But do not leave in the plastic bag because it prevents air circulation , your bird should be stored at no more than 5C.



Wash the bird inside and out with cold salt water, and dry. Care should be taken to avoid splashing the water on kitchen surfaces.

Reshape the bird by pushing the legs towards the breast.

Place the bird on its back on a sheet of foil in a baking tray

Rub with butter all over, particularly on the breast and legs

Season with salt and pepper and cover the breast with streaky bacon

Wrap the bird loosely with the foil to form a parcel, leaving a small hole to allow steam to escape

Preheat the oven



There are four stages, first a very high temperature gas mark 7. 425F, 220C. Second stage is a low temperature, gas mark 3, 325F, 175C. The third stage is to uncover, crisping and basting the skin at gas mark 6, 400F, 200C. The fourth stage and equally important is the resting stage out of the oven covered by the foil and a cloth.

The length of each stage is dependent upon the cooking weight of the bird


Weight                stage1      stage2     stage3     stage4          total

lbs     kgs           hours

8         3.6               0.5         2.5           0.7            1                 4.7

10       4.5               0.5        3               0.75          1                 5.25

15       6.8               0.75      4               0.75          1                 6.5

20       9                  0.75      5               0.75          1                 7.5

25      11.4              1           5.5            0.75          1                 8.25


All oven temperatures can vary these times are a guide, time for stage 3 includes the time outside the oven when basting the bird.

At the end of stage 3 the bird should be completely cooked, to check that the bird is completely cooked pierce the thick area on the thigh, the juice should run clear, with no trace of pink.

Once the bird is fully cooked begin stage 4, remove from the oven, the baking tray and cooking foil, place on the carving tray and cover with foil and a cloth to keep it warm. The resting period improves the carving, and allows vegetables and other food to be cooked.