Handy tips to help you make the most of your TNP free range turkey or chicken
Making the most of your free range TNP turkey or chicken couldn’t be simpler – just follow the suggestions below.
What size should I choose?
It’s normal to provide servings of 350g/12oz per person. However, also allow for some meat being eaten cold later or used in other dishes. Here’s a fairly accurate guide:
|Size of oven ready turkey||Amount of stuffing|
|Serves 4||2.7kg/ 6 lb||454g/16 oz|
|Serves 6||4.5kg/ 10 lb||568g/20 oz|
|Serves 8||5.4kg/ 12 lb||852g/30 oz|
|Serves 10||6.8kg/ 15 lb||994g/35 oz|
|Serves 12||8.1kg/ 18 lb||1136g/40 oz|
|Serves 14||9.4kg/ 21 lb||1306g/46 oz|
- Don’t forget to remove the giblets and neck from the turkey’s cavity and place them in the roasting tray.
- If your turkey is frozen, it should be completely defrosted before cooking.
- Remember, this is a guide – cooking times can vary among appliances.
- The turkey should be at room temperature before cooking commences.
- Add a couple of cups of water to the roasting tray to help keep the bird moist and produce the gravy.
- Onions, seasoning and stock cubes can be added to the tray if desired.
- You could roast the turkey with its breast down in the roasting tray for three-quarters of the cooking time and then turn it over onto its back for the remaining period.
How long should the bird be roasted?
To cook your TNP turkey from chilled we recommend you first bring it to room temperature by removing it from the fridge for at least an hour before cooking. Then place it in a roasting tray and cover it loosely with foil.
Then, place it in a preheated oven at 170°Fan/190°C/375°F/Gas Mark 5 for 45 minutes per kilo (2.2046 lbs) plus an extra 20 minutes.
For the final 20 minutes’ cooking time remove the foil and, before carving, cover the bird again with foil and allow it to stand for a further 20 minutes.
To ensure the turkey is cooked, insert a skewer into the thickest part of the meat. If the juices run clear – not pink – it is fully cooked. Be sure to serve piping hot.
After cooking is finished, cover the turkey in foil and a tea towel and leave it to stand for up to an hour. This will allow all of the juices to soak back into the bird.
What is the correct amount of stuffing?
The guide above suggests an amount of stuffing per person based on a range of turkey weights. The calculation takes into account some stuffing for the bird’s neck end plus an additional amount for making stuffing balls.
However, at TNP we recommend that all stuffing is cooked separately – ideally in a shallow tin.
A tremendously tasty turkey tip
From the cavity end gently prise up the skin on the breast and rub in butter (under the skin), or place streaky bacon under it. Or, if you prefer, baste regularly with juices from the roasting tray.
Always make sure your turkey is at room temperature before you cook it, otherwise the cooking times given may not be accurate.
- Before cooking, your TNP chicken should be left at room temperature for one hour.
- If your chicken is frozen, it should be thoroughly defrosted before cooking.
- Remember, this is a guide – cooking times tend to vary between appliances.
- If you are using a fan-assisted or combination oven refer to your manufacturers’ handbook and adjust the cooking times accordingly.
- Add herbs to the roasting tray and/or place them inside the bird’s cavity.
- You could also try placing a lemon or garlic cloves inside too.
Roast chicken made easy
Roast your TNP chicken, suitably covered in foil, at 190°C/375°F/Gas Mark 5 for 45 minutes per kilo (2.2046lbs) plus an extra 20 minutes. Take care to make sure the oven is preheated, and remember to remove the foil 30 minutes before the end of the cooking time.
To check the chicken is thorougly cooked, insert a skewer into the thickest part of the meat. If the juices run clear – and not pink – it is ready and fully cooked.
Leave to stand for 20 minutes before carving.
Try a different position
Start roasting your bird with the breast side down. This will help the juices to move into the breast meat. Half-way through roasting turn the chicken over so the juices redistribute – making the white meat moist and tasty.
Season under the skin
Put seasonings, such as mixed herbs and salt and pepper, under the skin. They will add to the chicken’s flavour and keep it moist.
Add a lemon
Try the traditional approach: pop a lemon, clove of garlic and herbs, such as rosemary and thyme, inside the bird.
Keep it crisp
There might be a few extra calories involved but nothing beats fragrant, roast chicken skin for flavour. One thing is certain – it will be eaten quickly.