A dry or tasteless turkey. It’s an upset that threatens to rip the star off the top of an otherwise perfect Christmas. But after all the hours you’ve spent in the kitchen, you deserve a turkey that would leave even Paul and Mary proud. To safeguard festive cheer throughout your Christmas this year, we’ve assembled our top tips and tricks for a tender, succulent and delicious turkey. Shared with us by three of our favourite cookery schools, these secrets can be applied to any recipe…

Season that turkey:

Massaging your turkey with salt and pepper, inside and out, is a must. But it’s not enough to ensure a well-flavoured turkey…

Emma’s Kitchen’s top tip is to make flavoured butter! Mix chopped herbs and citrus zest into softened butter. Gently separate the skin from the flesh of the turkey breast and smother the flavoured butter all over it.

Want still more flavour? The Avenue Cookery School suggests covering your bird in streaks of bacon. For best results, remove the bacon for the last 30 minutes of roasting.


Avoid dryness when cooking:

Before baking, pour 1 litre of water into the roasting tray to moisten your turkey.

Wrap the entire tray with foil to prevent your turkey drying out in the oven. The Wyld Cookery School tells us that the trick here is to buy extra wide foil. But don’t leave your purchase until Christmas Eve! To prevent your turkey bearing any likeness to the Sahara, ensure you stock up well in advance.

But how long to roast for? The general rule is 35-40 minutes per kilogram. But to get your timing down to a succulent T, the BBC’s roast timer is fail safe.


Gravy and Stuffing (everyone’s favourite):

To create a delicious gravy from your turkey drippings, The Avenue suggests cooking 1 chopped onion, 1 sliced leek, 1 sliced carrot and 2 sliced celery sticks in the same tray as your turkey.

Their top tip for a well flavoured stuffing? Don’t put raw onions in your stuffing – fry them first!


The perfect gravy for your Christmas turkey.

Moisture while you wait:

To release more of those turkey juices – and create oven space for the rest of your Christmas feast – Emma’s Kitchen advises you rest your cooked turkey for up to two hours before serving. Remove it from the oven and cover it in foil and a blanket. 


Who can forget the Cranberry?

The Wyld Cookery School will be serving up their turkey with Cranberry & Orange relish. They recommend Delia Smith’s quick, simple, yet oh so tasty recipe to create the perfect relish to compliment your roast. 


Finally it’s time to serve, and with that comes our most important tip: “don’t be stingy with the trimmings and gravy as, let’s be honest, they are the best bits!!!” – Sophie from The Avenue.


Time to serve.

Want to know more?

Emma’s Kitchen is hosting a class designed to make Christmas dinner easy. Join Emma, from 10am to 3pm, on Monday 12 December where you will be cooking (and eating) an entire Christmas feast!


Why not ensure your little one’s can join in? Book them onto The Avenue Cooking School’s Holiday Cooking Class in Wandsworth, so they can get creative and make their own meals (finally)! This class is running on Tuesday 13, Thursday 15, and Monday 19 December, 10.00-15.00. £125.


Don’t stop practising your new found skills when 2017 calls. The Wyld Cookery School is hosting a 4 week Evening Cookery Club in January and March. Learn to cook a range of scrumptious dishes whilst making supper for two nights. And, if you book through Obby, you’ll get 15% off the original price. (£238 instead of £280).