Nigella Lawson's Sausage-meat Bosomed Christmas Turkey

I have done an awful lot of jumping up and down and shouting about my way of making sure your turkey is going to be sure-fire succulent


Remove any string or trussing from the turkey and shake it free. (Take out the giblets as soon you get the bird home and stash them separately in the fridge, throwing away the liver, I’m afraid to say, but keeping the rest for the allspice gravy, see links at bottom of page).

Before putting the turkey in the fridge, wash the inside of the bird with cold running water. Drain well and blot dry with kitchen towels. The important thing is that you take it out of the fridge a good hour before you want to start cooking it, so that it’s at room temperature when you begin.Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan/400F/gas 6.

Take your turkey and, using your fingers, wiggle some
space between the skin and the breast of the bird, being careful not to tear the skin (mind you, turkey skin is so tough you’d probably need talons to rupture it). Into this space, squeeze the sausage meat, pushing, pressing and coaxing so that it covers the whole breast.

Then, from on top of the skin, mould it with your hand so that the breast is voluptuously but smoothly bulging. Secure the flaps of skin over the cavity with a metal skewer so that the sausage meat doesn’t escape during cooking.

Put the turkey breast up in a roasting tin and roast for about 2 hours and 40 minutes, basting periodically. The skin really crisps up as the turkey roasts, and the sausage meat, which drips down into the breast as it cooks, keeps the meat from drying out. To ensure the turkey doesn’t brown too rapidly, cover it loosely with a sheet of buttered foil halfway through the roasting time.

When you think it’s ready, pierce the turkey with the point of a sharp knife where the body meets the leg – if the juices run clear it’s cooked, if still pink, cook it for longer until they run clear.

Or, if you want to be really scientific, use a meat thermometer. Then take the turkey out of the oven and let it sit, tented with foil, for 20-40 minutes or even longer if you like, as I do.


Good Sausage Meat 900g
Turkey 1 x 5.5kg/12lb

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