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Scottish Christmas Recipes

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Scottish Christmas Turkey
There are many variations of turkey recipes especially for stuffing.   Often families have had a particular variation passed down from mother to daughter.  The traditional and economic sage and onion is less and less being used as folk could afford to be more adventurous and with so many Scots travelling abroad in the past 30 years.

The Turkey
4.6 - 5.6 kg (12 - 14lb) turkey, plus giblets
3oz butter, softened
Streaky bacon rashers, remove any rind (optional)
1 tsp grated orange rind

2oz butter
5oz unsmoked back bacon, finely chopped
10oz onion, finely chopped
8oz medium oatmeal, lightly toasted
3oz wholemeal breadcrumbs
2 large eggs, beaten
1.5oz suet
1 tbsp chopped parsley
1 tbsp chopped fresh sage
Salt and freshly ground pepper

1 pint well flavoured stock made from the giblets
2.5 tbsp cornflower
3 tbsp orange juice
Small whisky (optional) In the turkey or you.

Weigh the turkey to the cooking time, allow 20 minutes per 500g/lb. Place the turkey in a roasting tin. brush with half the softened butter, season with salt and pepper. Place bacon rashers on the breast, or if no bacon cover with baking foil. Roast at 190 degree/C 350 degrees F/Gas Mark 5, basting from time to time.  Remove the bacon or tin foil 30 minutes before the end of cooking, mix the orange rind with the remaining butter and brush over the turkey to get a nice brown colour.

Cooking time: Allow 20 minutes per 500gm/lb   Do not deviate from recommended cooking times when cooking poultry.

When the turkey is cooked, test that the turkey is cooked by piercing with a skewer on the thigh and if cooked the juices should be clear.

Place the turkey onto a large plate or serving dish and allow to stand for 15 minutes, while you make your gravy.

Heating the butter in a pan, add bacon, onion and cook over medium heat for 4 - 5 minutes. Pour into a bowl and then let it stand to cool.  Add the other ingredients and mix together. Wipe the inside of the turkey and stuff the neck end, folding in the neck skin and securing with a metal skewer.  Extra stuffing can be put into a small greased loaf tin, covered with foil and cooked for 40 minutes in the oven at the end of the cooking time for the turkey.

Skim the fat off the juices from the turkey, put the juices into a saucepan and add the stock. Simmer for about 5 minutes.
Blend the cornflower with the orange juice, stir into the pan and stir until boiling. Simmer for 5 minutes. Add whisky and season after tasting and strain into a warmed gravy boat.
Preparation time: 40 minutes

Serves 13 - 14 people.

In the Kitchen
Checking the size of the turkey and calculating the time is essential to avoid any danger Salmonella which poultry is susceptible to.  This bacteria is killed by correct cooking and you do not want any upset tummies at Christmas or any other time.  always wash your hands and all utensils and surfaces thoroughly that come into contact with poultry.

2 handfuls of oatmeal
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup butter or margarine
1/2 cup boiling water
Mix dry ingredients in a bowl.  Mix in butter with knife until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs.  Add the water.   Mix to a dough.   Roll out until thin and then cut into rounds (about the size of a jam lid). Cook at 200 degrees celcius for 10 minutes - may vary slightly depending on size rolled out.