In Britain it was Charles Dickens who helped popularize turkey rather than the more traditional goose as the centrepiece of the Christmas table. This recipe keeps the bird moist and gives it a delicious crust.
This is a Victorian method of roasting a turkey that has fallen out of fashion. However, the honey gives the meat a truly delicious flavour and adds a rich, dark, crust to the bird. This is a method of cooking that really deserves to be more widely known and will give your Christmas (or Thanksgiving) bird that added 'wow' factor.
Honey-roasted Turkey Recipe
Ingredients:1 oven-ready turkey (about 4.5kg [10 lbs])
1 small apple, peeled
1 small onion, peeled
1 small potato, peeled
1 thick slice of lemon
75g (3 oz) butter
160ml (2/3 up) thick honey
salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
Method:Season the turkey liberally inside and out with salt and black pepper. Sit the apple, onion and potato inside the body cavity (these help flavour the bird and keep it moist). Arrange the bird, breast uppermost, in a roasting tin then rub the skin of the bird all over with the lemon slice.
Combine the butter and honey in a small pan, season lightly then eat gently until the butter melts and the honey is runny then pour the mixture all over the turkey, taking care that all parts of the bird are coated. Set aside to stand for 40 minutes, spooning the honey mixture over the bird from time to time.
After this time, transfer the bird to an oven pre-heated to 200ºC (400ºF) and roast for 30 minutes, basting occasionally. Reduce the oven temperature to 175ºC (350ºF) and roast for a further 30 minutes, again basting occasionally.
At this point, cover the bird with kitchen foil and continue cooking for about 2 hours more, or until the juices run clear when the thickest part of the thigh is pierced with a skewer. Remove the foil for the final 15 minutes of cooking to ensure that the skin is crisp.
Remove from the oven and allow the bird to rest for 15 minutes before carving and serving.
For more information on how to roast your bird to perfection, see the Celtnet Roasting guide.
For more Christmas recipes, see the Celtnet Christmas Recipes collection page and for more Thanksgiving recipes see the Celtnet Thanksgiving Recipes collection page.