So how do I cook my turkey? Here’s how!

Looking for some inspiration on how to cook the centre piece of Christmas dinner?
So how do I cook my turkey? Here’s how!
Turkey Baked with Marjoram by Darina Allen, from Darina Allen's Simply Delicious, The Classic Collection. 

Today, we remind you of a tasty recipe we carried in our recent Women on Wednesday Christmas food special — a spectacular turkey centre piece by Darina Allen

THIS casserole roasting technique is a totally brilliant way of cooking not only turkey, but also chicken, pheasant and guinea fowl. You’ll have lots of flavourful juices as the base for a delicious sauce.

This whole dish can be prepped ahead, covered and reheated.

Use the turkey carcass and giblets if you have them.

There are several varieties of marjoram; the one we use for this recipe is the annual sweet or knotted marjoram — origanum majorana.

Ingredients (Serves 12 to 14)

1 x 4.5–5.4kg organic, free-range turkey

2–3 sprigs marjoram

110g salted butter, softened

4 tablespoons freshly chopped marjoram, plus extra to garnish

900ml single cream salt and freshly ground black pepper


Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4.

If time allows, brine the turkey overnight, it’s so worthwhile for the extra depth of flavour. The next day, drain and dry.

Remove the wishbone from the neck end of the turkey for ease of carving.

Also remove the fat from the vent end, season the cavity with salt and freshly ground pepper and stuff with the sprigs of fresh marjoram — there’s no need for extra salt if the turkey has been brined.

Smear the breast and legs of the turkey with 55g butter. Put the turkey breast-side down into a large casserole and cook over a gentle heat for six to eight minutes or until the skin on the breast turns golden.

Turn the other way up and smear with half the chopped marjoram mixed with the remaining butter.

Season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Cover with greaseproof paper and a tight-fitting lid.

Cook for two to two and a half hours. Check if the turkey is cooked; the juices should be clear and there should be no trace of pink between the thigh and the breast.

Remove the turkey to a carving dish and leave to rest while the sauce is being made.

De-grease the cooking juices, add the light cream, bring to the boil, taste and reduce if necessary to strengthen the flavour. Add the remaining chopped marjoram. Add the juices from the carving dish to the sauce. Season to taste.

Carve the turkey and nap with the sauce. Garnish with freshly chopped marjoram.

This recipe is from Darina Allen’s Simply Delicious, The Classic Collection, featuring 100 recipes from soups and starters to puddings and pies. Published by Kyle Books/ Hardback, €25, with photography by Peter

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