Jamaican Christmas Cooking
I think a 4.5kg turkey is definitely the way to go this Christmas
season, even if you're cooking for four or six, because you'll have
nice leftovers. If you want a bigger bird, then add 15-20 minutes
extra cooking time for every extra 500g, or check the packaging
For the stuffing:
2 onions, finely chopped
2 rashers streaky bacon, chopped
1 tablespoons (15ml) Olive oil
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
15g pack fresh sage, chopped
150g can of chestnuts, drained
500g sausage meat
1 large egg, beaten
200g fresh breadcrumbs
salt and black pepper to taste
For the turkey...
4.5kg fresh turkey
8 jerk sausages
parboiled potatoes for roasting
8 rashers of streaky smoked bacon
Let's start with the stuffing. Fry the onions in the olive oil and
butter for 4 minutes. Now add the fennel seeds. Bash first in a
tea towel with a rolling pin to crack them. Add the sage, crumble
in the chestnuts, add a little seasoning and cook for a further
3 minutes, on medium heat, until the ingredients have all flavoured
each other. Season to taste. Pour it out onto a tray to cool guickly.
Once it's at room temperature, pop it into the fridge until chilled.
Put the stuffing mixture back in a bowl, add the sausage meat and
egg, and mix together. Add the breadcrumbs to lighten and bind.
The mix should hold together but not be sloppy. Place the stuffing
in an oven-proof dish and cook for about 45 minutes or until cooked
thoroughly, to serve with the turkey.
Preheat your oven to 190°C, 375°F. Now remove any giblets
from the turkey. Rub the inside and outside of the turkey with salt,
tucking the skin under to make it look nice. Cover the turkey loosely
in aluminium foil and place in the oven for 3 hours. Feel free to
baste whenever you like after the first 30 minutes. For the final
50 minutes of cooking, remove the foil so the skin can crisp up
nicely. At the same time, scatter your sausages, parboiled potatoes
and bacon into another roasting tray and use some of the turkey
fat to coat well. Once the turkey's done, take it out of the oven,
put onto a plate and, most importantly, let it rest for at least
30 minutes before carving. During resting, you have time to do your
vegetables and make the gravy. Skim off most of the fat, put the
roasting tray onto the hob at a low heat to simmer, and stir in
a good tablespoon (15ml) of flour. Keep stirring until thickened.
After about 1 minute, add a pint of chicken or turkey stock, a little
to start with, until it's all mixed together. Bring to the boil
and simmer until it coats the back of a spoon.