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Turkey Tips

Turkey is a tricky bird, as the sheer size means that so many of us are tempted to overcook it just to be on the safe side but this leaves this magnificent bird dry and crumbly which is just a travesty really. I spoke to the Head Butcher of Hampstead Butcher & Providore for some failsafe tips to ensure your bird is a big juicy one this year:

  • I don't even need to say this, but go free range, and go bronze. Buying an inferior bird is a false economy and you deserve to treat yourself at Christmas!

  • Use a roasting bag - popping your turkey in one of these will mean that it cooks more quickly thanks to the steam but also ensures that the bird stays lovely and moist by trapping all the cooking juices ready for you to add to the gravy at the end

  • All of the Hampstead Butcher's turkeys come with a handy pop up pin this year which lets you know when its cooked, but you can but a thermostat for the same result

  • Buy a boneless turkey breast rather than a whole bird if you are feeding ten or under - the butcher himself is doing this, and you'll have room in your oven for a ham to go with it this way

  • Criss cross the breast with plenty of streaky pancetta for depth of flavour and to trap those precious juices in further

  • If you still don't feel up to it and are lucky enough to live in NW3, the kind souls there will roast you the bird themselves and deliver it to you on Christmas eve ready to eat for a very continental Christmas

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