This year is the first year that I will be cooking Christmas lunch in Nigella, my Everhot. Since we have 10 for lunch I did not want it to go wrong. We always buy a free-range fresh bird from Hunts Hill Farm but I though to be safe this year I would do a dry run so I can be sure on the day it will work. The plan was to slow-cook the turkey in the bottom oven overnight giving the option of using more ovens on Christmas Day itself.
- 5kg turkey, free range (I got mine from Hunts Hill Farm in Normandy)
- 1 orange
- 2 onions
- 50g butter
- selection fresh herbs, rosemary, bay leaves, thyme
- 500ml white, wine, water or stock
- 50g peppercorns
- Seasoning and dried Italian herbs
- Place the orange , onions and assorted herbs into the cavity.
- Butter the outside of the breast and season with cracked black pepper, salt and Italian herbs
- Place turkey on a trivet in a roasting tray (right side up) and place in the top oven at 220ºC for 35-40 minutes, until browned.
- Remove from the oven and poor stock, white wine or cider into the bottom of the roasting tray to about an inch.
- Cover loosely with foil, covering the entire bird. Put in the bottom oven at 95ºC for around 2 hours per kilogram. ( I looked at it after eight hours and checked with a temperature probe and it was reading 63ºC. I guessed at that point in needed another couple of hours to reach 73-74ºC) but it actually took 3.
- Remove from the oven and check with a probe. You want it to be at around 73ºC right into the centre of the bird (don’t push into cavity) to be confident it has cooked through. If it isn’t getting to temperature quick enough you can also give it a quick blast in the top oven again.
- Recover with new foil and clean tea-towels and leave to stand for at least an hour before serving while you get on with the rest of the cooking.