Neil Nugent, executive chef for Morrisons
|Gingerbread houses are expected to be BIG this year|
|Neil's mind is on already on Xmas 2014|
As we rush about the shops this coming month, Neil will be in his kitchen worrying about how his chocolate panettone is going down with the punters. "In this business you have to understand the trends," he said. Apparently, gingerbread houses are also going to be big this year.
It is rather apt that Neil will find out on Christmas Eve how his festive fare has been received. "I usually know if it has been a good Christmas by then," he said with a faint grimace. "But I don't let it ruin my own Christmas." So whichever way it goes, Neil will be basting his turkey this coming Christmas Day (some things just can't be polished off in April) and possibly musing about prawn canapes for 2014...
Neil's top turkey tips
- Get the turkey out of the fridge three hours early on Christmas morning to let it adjust to room temperature.
- Shake the untrussed turkey to open it up so that hot air can circulate around it during cooking (and don't close it up again).
- Push some seasoned, soft butter under the skin to keep the meat moist (go in from the neck end to avoid tearing the skin).
- Cook in the oven at 160˚ (fan-assisted oven) for 20 minutes, and then add on 20 minutes per kilo.
- Don't cover the turkey with any foil as this will steam the bird.
- Once cooked, let the turkey rest for a couple of hours to settle all the juices (the meat is more tender when it's cool).
Disclosure: I was not paid or incentivised to write this blog post, although I did receive a goodie bag of Morrisons products after attending the BritMums Xmas party.