Recipe of the Month

Thanksgiving or Christmas turkey

Place the turkey in the large roasting tin.

 

Stuff the neck cavity only – I tend to cook any stuffing separately, we have more than once forgotten that the stuffing was in the bird until too late!  If not putting stuffing into the bird, peel and cut up an onion and push that into the cavities, with a little butter.  Weigh the turkey after it has been stuffed to calculate the cooking time.

 

Smear the bird with some butter, then cover it with foil. 

 

 

Slow roasting the turkey:

 

If your turkey weighs more than 16 lb (7kg), put it into the roasting oven for an hour, then transfer to the simmering oven overnight.

 

For turkeys under 16 lb (7kg), just put into the simmering oven and let the Aga do the rest!

 

FOR A TOTAL CONTROL AGA, USE THE BAKING OVEN SET TO SLUMBER, THIS IS 120C WHEREAS THE SIMMERING OVEN IS 100C AND NOT HOT ENOUGH TO COOK THE TURKEY.

 

All Agas cook at slightly different speeds, an older Aga will take longer than a new one, but as a rough guide:

 

8 – 10 lb (3 – 4½kg) turkeys will take about 8 – 10 hours

10 – 16 lb (4½ - 7kg) turkeys will take about 9 – 12 hours

16 – 22 lb (7 – 10kg) turkeys will take about 10 – 14 hours

 

Next day, check the turkey mid-morning, it should be almost cooked.  Pierce the thigh with a skewer and if the juices run clear from the hole, it is cooked.

 

If it is completely cooked at 11am and you plan to eat at 3pm, DON’T PANIC!  Re-cover with the foil then lay a large bath towel, folded into quarters, or a cot duvet or your fleece jacket, or all three, over it and place it beside the Aga (on a 4 oven Aga, put it onto the silver area of the top) and just leave it.  It has taken about 12 hours to get really hot and cooked through; it won’t cool down in any sort of hurry!

 

If it is not cooked through, re-cover and return it to the simmering oven.  Check it again in an hour.

 

 

Fast roasting the turkey:

 

Put the foil-covered turkey into the roasting oven and cook it.

 

Timing:

 

8 – 10 lb (3 – 4½kg) turkeys will take about 2 hours

10 – 16 lb (4½ - 7kg) turkeys will take about 2 ½ to 3 hours

16 – 22 lb (7 – 10kg) turkeys will take about 3 to 3 ½ hours

 

 

Finishing the turkey, both methods:

 

When you and the turkey are ready, pour off the juices - this is easiest if you have a second, clean roasting tin and just transfer the bird from one tin to the other, leaving the juices in the first.  Put the turkey into the roasting oven, uncovered, for half an hour to brown the breast, while you make the gravy.  Once the breast is browned, transfer to a serving plate and allow to rest for 15 minutes before carving.

 

Gravy

Serves 6 – 8

 

1 pint (550ml) turkey stock or giblet stock or stock mixed with wine or water and a stock cube

1 tbsp  plain flour

1 tbsp turkey fat or the juices from the roasted bird

Salt and pepper

 

Oven: Aga roasting oven

Prepare ahead: Yes

Freeze: Yes

 

When the turkey has cooked, pour off the juices from the roasting tin.  This is easiest if you have a second, clean roasting tin and just transfer the bird from one tin to the other, leaving the juices in the first.  Cover the bird with foil and allow it to rest while you make the gravy and dish up all the vegetables.

 

Pour the juices into a jug, leaving a tablespoonful or two in the bottom of the pan.  Stir in the flour, then gradually blend in the stock and seasoning. 

 

Put the tin onto the floor of the roasting oven to boil.  Stir after about 5 minutes, then return to the oven for a further 5 minutes until boiling and thickened.  Strain and serve.