Roast Festive Bird


So let’s talk about the main event The bird, the big bird Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without it So I’ve got an amazing bronze turkey here What I’ve done is just left it uncovered in the fridge overnight No cling film on there, nothing at all What that does, is you can see it’s really dry and that’s going to create the most incredible, crackly, crispy skin so first thing that we want to do is just make a little bed for it It’s going to lift it up off the bottom of the tray and all the heat is going to go all the way around so it cooks nice and evenly Got a couple of bits of veg here keep it realy realy simple, really really easy Got a leek, I’ve got a carrot That’s it Leeks absolutely fantastic, they promote good bacteria in the stomach and carrots are just going to give that roundness, that balance and a little bit of sweetness to everything We’ve also got and what you often get when you do buy whole birds like that is you get some of the innards as well so we’ve got the neck there and I’ve got the gizzards there as well Now this, you’re not going to eat it It’s just going to sit on the bottom of the tray and it’s just going to give an extra meaty flavour which is all just going to go into that lovely gravy right at the end So really don’t need to get squeamish about it It’s just building that flavour First thing that I’m going to do is I’m just going to whack the leek straight down in half And the carrot, just going to take the tops off and then I’m going to give them a real quick wash under some running water That’s it And then just lay it straight down carrot in half aswell right down the middle of the bottom of the tray there so in with the neck and the gizzard there that will sit on top of there and then what I’ve got in the bowl here I’ve got a little bit of star anise, I’ve got some black pepper and I’ve got some nutmeg spices, that’s just Christmas to me So just going to give it a little grind up in there and just really start to get those flavours working right, that’s all been crushed up nice and finely now I’m going to add in cloves, cinnamon, smoked paprika again it’s all about layers of flavour straight in with that a good pinch of nice crunchy sea salt in there and the salt, not only seasoning it but actually helps crisp up the bird so we’re just going to give that another little mix up there just like that herbs, if you’re going to go at the start of the cooking it’s got to be hard herbs bay leaves, thyme, rosemary Rosemary for me works really really well with the spices and it also works well with the orange that I’m going to put on there as well so all the Christmassy flavours going on so I’m just going to take a little bit of the rosemary there and just slice through it there we go and that’s all going to go in with the spices so we’ve got our spice mix we’ve got an orange little bit of orange zest in there as well just the difference from the fruit, from the juice the juice is going to be sweet and the oils that you get on the outside that are released from the zest is just going to give another little layer of aromatic flavours so we don’t need too much of it, it’s not a dessert little bit of the zest there so now what you’ve got is this incredible spicey herby little fruity mix which is just going to be rubbed all on top of the bird and it’s just going to build that flavour orange, whack it in half and then what I’ve got instead of butter or anything like that I’ve got cold pressed rapeseed oil really really good for you and it’s got a wonderful flavour as well it’s an English product and it just marries up everything fantastic So back to the bird What I asked the butcher to do was just take out the wishbone That is just going to make it so much easier later when we try and carve it down just to take off the whole breast It’s really easy for them to do just get them to do it for you Bird, straight on top now I’m going to take some of the rapeseed oil whack all that over just so that all of this lovely spice mix which we’re going to sprinkle over the top now can stick to it I’m just going to rub it in get right inside , get all the legs covered really just give it a nice bit of love there we go last thing we’re going to do is just take these oranges and squeeze all that juice over the top all of that lovely natural fruity sugars is going to caramelise all over the outside and that’s just going to taste like Christmas Last thing, straight into the oven leave that there for 3, 3 and a half hours we’ll give it a check and I’ll show you how to do all of that later So one thing that’s really important whilst the turkey is cooking what we were going to do is just take care of it all of the juices that have started to come out while it’s cooking I’m just going to take that with a ladle and just go over the top of it just keeping it moist, juicy and making sure that none of that flavour is lost So simple as that, every hour or so, back in the oven, keep an eye on it but really you don’t need to worry about it straight back in, another couple of hours and we’ll be ready to go so the turkey has been in the oven now 180 degrees It’s been in there for about 3 and a half hours or so I think it’s going to be pretty much there now we’re talking about a 6 kilo, just under a 6 kilo turkey This is going to probably feed, I would say between around 8 to 10 people depending on how hungry you are, especially if you want leftovers so we’re going to take it out now, we’re going to give it a check Look at that Magnificent Don’t worry about the colour on the outside All of that it just the spices on there It’s not the skin, it’s not burnt, it’s perfect for how I want it today It’s amazing So, most important thing, we’re going to check that it’s cooked Now the easiest way to do it is with a meat thermometer put it into the thickest part of the meat and just check that it’s come to 75 degrees and then you know it’s done I’ve got another really good trick for you I’ve just got a little metal skewer here and again all I’m going to do is just push it into the thickest part of the meat just by the leg, make sure you’re not touching a bone and then when we bring it out, just touch it to your lower lip and if it’s hot, you’re good so that one is ready to go and all we’re going to do now is take it out of this tray because this is where we’re going to make all of our gravy This is where the goodness is This is where everything has been cooking together all of those juices coming out of the turkey all of the carrots and leaks have been cooking down underneath it Really nice caramelised flavours Most important thing with any meat Rest it, ok we are going to rest it now anywhere between half an hour, and hour even more than that is absolutely fine Just going to take it out and you can hear It’s wonderfully crisp Just pick that up, let some of the juices drain off and then we’re just going to move it over here onto a nice chopping board just to rest I’ve got some tin foil and all we’re going to do is loosely cover it and that’s just going to keep some of the heat inside just so we don’t lose too much temperature but don’t worry, it’s not going to get cold we’re in a warm kitchen and this gravy is going to be piping hot when we pour it over later really is going to bring it all back to life don’t worry about it at all This is your chance to catch up leave your meat, now we go in to the over with our veg now we make our gravy now you get your starters out, now you don’t need to worry have a glass of wine It’s done, it’s ready, it’s waiting for you so really simple gravy, easiest thing is to use an oven tray that you can then move onto the stove you don’t want to be using a glass one, or anything like that pyrex tray, you want to be using something that you can just literally get there and go straight onto the stove now traditionally when you’re making a gravy you would make whats called a roux to start off and that uses flour so what I’ve done, instead of using plain flour I’ve got rice flour here ok so this whole dish is going to be completely gluten free and easily digestible all I’ve got here is all of the juices that have come out of the bird and a little bit of the rapeseed oil and some of the natural fats out of the meat which I’m just going to bring up to a light simmer and I’m going to go in with some of the rice flour and cook that all off so I’ll just wait for that to come up to a simmer and then we’ll go straight in Now traditionally with a bird, rather than a piece of beef or something like that we’re going to go with white wine so I’m going to stick with tradition on that I think that those flavours just work perfectly together All we need apart from that, is a little bit of seasoning and I’ve got about half a litre of really nice dark chicken stock here Now if you want to use a stock cube, no problem, crack on It’s not an issue, but you can get fantastic liquid stocks now from all of the main supermarkets It’s really really easy to get hold of and I really would recommend it It’s just going to bring it from a good gravy to an absolute knock out gravy So this has all started to boil up now just going to get a little bit of the rice flour in there ok and were just going to start to cook that out about 3 tablespoons will do just fine there Just going to get a wooden spoon and I’m just going to mix that into the fats ok and just get that cooking don’t worry about lumps, this is all going to cook down later you can strain it through a sieve and you’ll get your lovely glossy thick smooth gravy so that’s looking good just going to get some of those lumps out of there you can see it’s starting to fry and it’s creating that roux base that thickening base which is going to give you a delicious rich glossy gravy So that’s cooked out there What I’m going to do next is add in my white wine It’s probably about a large glass straight in with that and we’re just going to bring that up to a simmer again and just when you start to reduce it down, all of those little bits on the bottom you want to go around and scrape all of that you want to get all of those little bit of flavour stuck to the bottom of the pan or stuck to the veg, press down the veg you know get all the flavours out the meat It’s already smelly incredible so that’s going to cook away it’s going to reduce down now for about 5 minutes or so just keep an eye on it, keep stirring it and then we’ll go in with our chicken stock So now all of that wine has reduced down you can see it’s got thick it’s got sticky we’re going to go in with the chicken stock now and that’s it leave it to simmer now, turn it down and just leave it to thicken up get nice and glossy, and that will take about 20 minutes or so ticking over, give it a little taste ok we’ll strain it off into a pan, done so the gravy, it’s been cooking away for about10 or 15 minutes now It’s come down it’s reduced, it’s glossy it’s thickened up, it’s exactly where you want it to be So all I’m going to do is just remove out some of those little bits of the meat and the veg that we just used to prop it with and these have done their work you know, they’ve given all of their goodness and flavour to this sauce so we’ll just put those to one side now and all I’m going to do is take that wonderful gravy and we’re just going to strain it off through this sieve and that looks absolutely incredible so just with the back of your spoon you’re just carefully going to work all that through you don’t want to lose anything at all so I sieved all of that through now all of the fantastic gravy underneath there and all we’re going to do is just carry on reducing that down you take it as far as you want if you like a really really thick gravy take it right down if you want it nice and a little bit nicer, which is how I like it just as it is, is absolutely perfect so you can keep that on a low heat now just ticking over ready to go for when you’re ready to sit down with your turkey give it a season right at the end and what I find is really really good, because it’s so rich and sticky and thick, what I like to do is just finish it off with a little bit more of the raw, organic, unfiltered apple cider vinegar right at the end and it just balances off those flavours gives you a little bit of freshness and lightness just at the end ok so there we are ready on the gravy turkey is resting we’ve got the carrots and the stuffing balls in the oven we are relaxed, we’re ready to go no concerns so we’ve been about half an hour now we’ve had our carrots in the oven, we’ve had our stuffing balls in the oven They’ve all cooked down absolutely ready to go we’ve got our pomegranate seeds there I’ve got my hazelnuts, gravy is ticking away nicely just on a low simmer ticking away, bubbling away greens are there, turkey is resting we’re looking good so I’m going to get the carrots out of the oven they’re looking amazing all of that glossy sticky orange juice is come right down I’ve got this star anise here, you can smell all that coming through so all I’m going to do is just go straight into the bowl just like that and over the top, we’re going to have our toasted hazelnuts in there pomegranate seeds over that absolutely fantastic, you’ve got incredible colours That to me is so Christmassy, so wintery it’s absolutely delicious hot like that or you can leave it to cool down as a salad, delicious so next, also ready to go we’ve got our incredible stuffing balls they’re glossy, they’re caramelised on the outside they’re golden brown absolutely incredible so all I’m going to do is pick up our turkey here which is all rested up and ready to go I’m just going to go and tuck these round so you’ve got your beautiful turkey, you’ve got your stuffing balls there help yourself, dig in pull it apart this is all about sharing, family, getting stuck in Incredible incredible flavour on these I guarantee you and that’s your turkey, stuffing balls which have got pumpkin seeds it’s got oats, it’s absolutley delicious nice and moist, and really really good for you as well This is healthy food ok and it’s going to make you feel great it’s going to make you feel celebratory This is Christmas, but done my way Last thing, gravy Nice and thick, ready with just a little splash of the raw unfiltered organic apple cider vinegar just a little bit right at the end That acidity is going to balance everything fantastic and you can see as that goes in It’s glossy, it’s thick That is proper proper gravy Serve that up with your greens, with your miso dressing lemon and herbs and that is a proper Christmas dinner it’s going to make you feel good It’s going to keep you on your toes for all of that Christmas excitement My God is it delicious

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