Turkey Roast Recipe for Thanksgiving and Christmas
Thomas Sixt is a chef, food photographer and cookbook author.
Here he shares recipes, answers cooking questions and helps with cooking.
In this article I present you my Turkey Recipe with and without filling.
The wonderful roast poultry from the oven comes to Thanksgiving, thanksgiving and Christmas on the festive table.
Especially in the USA this dish is the MVP (most valuable player) on the Thanksgiving table of every American family.
Also in Germany, the turkey is more of a family meal or a circle of friends meal, if only because of the size of the food.
Everything should be well thought out: Is sister vegan in the meantime? Can all ingredients tolerate?
Are the special wishes of the part-time gourmet brother-in-law also fulfilled? I like the poultry meat most juicy and not dry.
The side dishes should be successful quickly, after all we want to spend a lot of time with our dearest people on festive days.
Now read quickly and get the best tips and after shopping we go to the kitchen… Have fun and good luck!
Table of Contents
- 1. Tips for the Perfect Turkey in the Oven
- 2. Recipe Turkey Roast
- 3. Nutritional Information
- 4. Tips for Turkey Marinades
- 5. Filling for the Turkey
- 6. Preparation Time and Temperature for Perfect Roast Turkey
- 7. Turkey Core Temperature and What to Consider
- 8. Prepare and thicken Roast Turkey Sauce
- 9. Turkey carving made easy
- 10. Delicious Side Dishes with Turkey Roast
- 11. Further Recipe Ideas
1. Tips for the Perfect Turkey in the Oven
To fry a turkey, you need a few things:
- Organic turkey, please order in advance
- You need a large oven, at best with a hot air stage.
- Oven thermometer (optional)
- Large cutting board
- Carving knife
- Pastry brush
Don’t forget the other ingredients! Of course you also need vegetables and garlic, spices, shallots and good ideas for side dishes. So please read on!
Since the type of marinade requires a suitable selection of the side dishes, we will take it step by step….
Seriously you need at least 3.5 hours for the preparation of the large poultry roast with side dishes and sauce.Tip from Chef Thomas Sixt
2. Recipe Turkey Roast
Now we want to go to action and prepare an unforgettable family meal.
My turkey recipe for you is this time without filling, the variant with filling I still owe you 🙂
Questions and remarks to this recipe I accept gladly from you via comment function – answer guaranteed.
Cooked many times, refined, photographed and written down by chef Thomas Sixt.
Guide to prepare roast turkey perfect with side dishes and sauces.
Turkey Base Ingredients
|1||pc||turkey (One turkey in whole)|
|1||bunch||Soup vegetables (Vegetables for the sauce)|
|5||pc||cloves of garlic|
Optional Sauces Ingredients for Christmas
|1||pc||Orange (I use an organic orange)|
Secret Sixt Marinade
|2||pinches||sweet red pepper|
|150||ml||Water (Please use cold water)|
|Salt (I like to use Himalayan salt)|
|80||g||butter (Optionally use the cooled remaining marinade!)|
Prepare the secret Sixt marinade from the article, it will take you about 15 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 220 degrees Celsius hot air.
Wash the turkey, pat dry and place in a large roaster.
Spread the marinade generously over the entire poultry.
Clean and chop the soup vegetables.
Peel the garlic and shallots, spread the prepared vegetables and aromatics in the roaster and pour on with the chicken stock.
Add the bay leaf and thyme.
Add the Christmas sauces ingredients as needed.
Prepare roast poultry
Put the turkey in the roaster in the oven and reduce the temperature to 200°C.
After approx. one hour, reduce the temperature to 160°C and after 1.5 hours check the core temperature of the breast for the first time.
Prepare side dishes
Prepare the side dishes according to your own ideas, see the tips above in the recipe.
I prepared glazed chestnuts and cream savoy cabbage in butter.
After the breast has reached the desired temperature, the legs are folded down from the poultry body.
You can consult sketch 1 in point 9. Raise the roast poultry and let the stock run into the roaster.
Pour the stock into a saucepan and bring to the boil.
Slowly add the cold starch water and continue cooking until the desired consistency is reached.
Alternatively, instead of starch water, use a finely grated potato to bind the sauce. Season the sauce with salt, pepper and cayenne pepper.
Mix with cold butter shortly before serving.
Smart chefs will use the rest of the marinade, as long as something is left over.
Carve the turkey with a sharp knife. Heat sketch 2 under point 9.
Heat the side dishes and arrange on hot plates.
Serve the meat and sauce.
Enjoy your meal!
3. Nutritional Information
4. Tips for Turkey Marinades
Marinating is not a must, you can add a tasty emphasis.
First I show you a few ideas and then I answer the question:
Overnight or longer or shorter marinating.
In addition to the marinade suggestions, please note my side dishes ideas, after all, the side dishes should complement the roast in a tasteful and suitable way!
4.1 Herbs Marinade with Lemon
You prepare this marinade so simply:
- 3 tablespoons olive oil,
- abrasion of a lemon,
- juice of a lemon,
- fresh herbs (plucked or finely chopped) such as chervil, thyme, sage or rosemary with some
- 1/2 tsp salt and 6 pinches of pepper mix.
Taste-wise, I find the variant with fresh or dried thyme in combination with the lemon zest particularly fine! The roast gets a wonderful lightness through the herbs.turkey seasoning tip from chef Thomas SixtTurkey seasoning tip from chef Thomas Sixt
4.2 Barbecue Marinade with Garlic
Preparation made easy:
- 3 tablespoons rapeseed oil,
- 6 pieces of garlic cloves with salt grate,
- with the juice of a lemon and with 6 pinches of pepper and 1/2 teaspoon salt,
- 1 tablespoon paprika noble sweet and
- 1 teaspoon curry as well as 1 tablespoon sugar stir.
To be honest, I prefer this seasoning mixture all year round rather in summer.Poultry marinade tip from chef Thomas Sixt
4.3 Honey Marinade
The preparation is very simple:
- Mix the juice of a lemon with
- 2-3 tablespoons of honey,
- add 6 pinches of pepper and
- 1/2 teaspoon salt and
- 1 teaspoon sugar and mix.
Especially during Christmas time and Christmas Eve I add a pinch of cinnamon or gingerbread spice to this marinade.Christmas turkey marinade tip from chef Thomas Sixt
4.4 Sixt Secret Marinade
This is my favourite marinade, the preparation is very simple and the taste output is phenomenal:
- Put 250 g butter in a small pot, heat it up and bring to the boil.
- Let the butter simmer for 15 minutes and brown lightly. Be careful, the butter is very hot!
- Pass the hot, brown butter carefully through a fine metal hair sieve into a clean pot and allow to cool.
- Mix the nut butter with a little salt, pepper, two pinches each of curry and paprika and coat the roast poultry with it at the beginning.
- Nut butter gives the large poultry roast a fine, light, nutty sweetness. You can add thyme towards the end of the cooking time.
Nut butter adds a subtle, light, nutty sweetness to roast large poultry. You can add additional thyme towards the end of the cooking time.Chef secret tip from Thomas Sixt
Spread the marinade on your roast every 15 minutes, I promise you: It will be delicious!
4.5 Turkey Marinate Overnight or Not?
So, now I’m telling you a real chef secret… Marinating the poultry overnight or even 24 hours has hardly any noticeable effect on the taste.
On the contrary: Strongly marinated poultry does not tolerate high temperatures. Honey and sugar marinades brown the meat and the skin very quickly, herbs suffer when the temperature is too high.
You can save 2, 4, 8, 12 hours of marinating!Marinate poultry Tip from Chef Thomas Sixt
This is the reason why many poultry roasts on the Internet get a highly dubious last dress with aluminium foil.
Honestly, if Manneken Pis gets a new outfit every now and then in Brussels because of the tourist attraction, I can live with that. The aluminium foil on the turkey breast just turns me off.
Chest and aluminium foil is a NOGOChef Thomas Sixt about the frying cover thingy
At the same time it is unnecessary if you do it ingeniously…
4.6 Best Method of using the Marinades
So… my recommendation is… spread the roast poultry with some oil and season with salt and pepper first.
If you use the Sixt secret marinade, you can marinate from the beginning, because the ingredients tolerate high heat.
Apply all other marinades to the poultry meat after a cooking time of approx. 60 minutes and continue cooking at reduced heat.
Apply the marinade later and prepare the roast poultry with certainty!Chef Thomas Sixt on modern marinating and glazing
By the way, the aluminium foil has only a small effect on the breast, which I would like to explain briefly.
So you can stand your ground at the table in the Perfect Dinner-watching-round:
The marinade with sugar lies on the poultry meat and/or the poultry skin.
In the oven there is a temperature X which is distributed. Now you put aluminium foil on the skin and what happens then?
The heat is still present in the whole oven and the sugar caramelises further, no matter if there is foil or not.
Even with top heat the aluminum foil does not bring much.
Always prepare poultry with hot air, the cooking result is more even.
5. Filling for the Turkey
In Germany the turkey is usually not filled. Of course you can put the herbs in the abdomen and influence the taste of the sauce!
In the USA fillings are very popular. You can try the American style. I don’t like this kind of filling so much, it reminds me of crumbled dumplings.
You can also prepare the fillings in the pan and then serve them for frying. I prefer the bread crispy and don’t add broth.
But that’s my opinion and I also think it’s justified for fillings, because: Every little animal has its own little pleasure!
There are no limits to the creativity of the filling. So let’s go wild, wild West!Says Chef Thomas Sixt
|Classic||1 small loaf of farmer's bread, cut into 1⁄2 cm pieces,
3 tbsp butter,
Two diced onions,
2 sticks of chopped perennial celery,
3 cl chicken broth,
8 fresh, finely chopped sage leaves,
1 bunch of chopped fresh parsley,
Two whisked eggs,
|Autumnal||300g diced farmhouse bread,
200ml chicken broth,
200g finely chopped butter, chestnut or porcini mushrooms (brown mushrooms if necessary),
6 soaked dried plums, finely chopped,
1 bunch of finely chopped parsley,
2 diced onions, sweated,
|Fine||according to instructions approx. 400g solid polenta prepared,
2 bunch parsley finely chopped,
2 pickled truffles finely chopped,
1 tsp truffle oil,
8 shallots glazed in a pan,
salt and pepper
|Fruity||2 handfuls of dried fruit soaked and cut into small pieces,
1 fresh pineapple peeled, cored and cut into small cubes,
1 orange finely diced,
6. Preparation Time and Temperature for Perfect Roast Turkey
The preparation time for turkey is wrong in most recipes. The cooking time of 3-5 hours far exceeds what is necessary.
I have been preparing these wonderful roasts every year for more than 15 years. So far I have always done well with 2-2.5 hours.Chef Thomas Sixt about the cooking time of roast poultry
Depending on the oven, the weight of the bird and the chosen marinade, the optimal temperature is 200°C at the beginning and 130-160°C after 60 minutes.
The overview may help with the preparation:
- Preheat oven to 200-220° C with hot air.
- If you open the oven, the temperature will drop below 200°C.
- Brush the roast poultry with some oil, then season with salt and pepper. (exception Sixt secret marinade)
- Pour about 500 ml chicken stock into the roaster.
- Add garlic and chopped root vegetables (soup vegetables) to taste.
- The roast is then put in the oven. Start with an initial temperature of 200°C.
- After 60 minutes, generously spread the desired marinade on the roast and continue cooking at a reduced temperature of 130-160°C maximum.
- Now is also a good time to add the innards, if supplied.
- Vegetables such as soup vegetables and also organic oranges cut into coarse slices are added on the side.
Sometimes I also add cored and quartered apples.
7. Turkey Core Temperature and What to Consider
With a roast thermometer you can check the core temperature of the breast by piercing it.
Without a thermometer you can use a fork and a needle sample:
You can do this by piercing the breast with a thin fork, checking the temperature of the fork with your finger or carefully on the lip.
The breast is also ready when the escaping juice is clear.
The core temperature of the breast should be at least 72°C.Chef Thomas Sixt about the optimal roast core temperature
Then I have another tip here! Did you know that the poultry parts breast and legs have different cooking times?
In upscale restaurants the breast is always served first, the legs come after the carving of the breast, this happens before the guest at the table, again in the kitchen and are allowed to cook.
The breast is always the first to be finished with poultry!Chef Thomas Sixt about the cooking time of breast and leg
Serve the perfectly juicy breast meat first and cook the legs again briefly. Simply hand them over in the second round! I do it like this: The breast is cooked, my side dishes are prepared and hot. Now I turn off the oven and leave the turkey in the oven. Now we make the sauce fast…
8. Prepare and thicken Roast Turkey Sauce
The great sauce in the roaster is a stock. The chicken broth added at the beginning, the meat juices from the turkey in combination with vegetables and aromatics have developed deliciously in the oven.
8.1 Preparing Turkey Sauce
- Now first cut along the clubs so that they fold downwards. Raise the roast diagonally so that as much meat juice as possible runs into the roaster.
- Pour the stock from the roaster into a saucepan and bring to the boil at high heat.
8.2 Binding the Turkey Sauce and seasoning to taste
- Mix 150 ml cold water with 1 tbsp corn starch.
- Pour the starch water slowly into the boiling stock.
- The stock binds now and you can reduce the heat.
- Season the sauce with salt, pepper, thyme and cayenne pepper.
- Mix the sauce with cold butter shortly before serving.
Note: The original Turkey Gravy is rather thin in the USA, the presented variant tastes better to me personally.
9. Turkey carving made easy
No video today, but a sketch! I think the picture helps you to carve the roast poultry.
Sketch 1 shows the cutting for folding the legs.
Sketch 2 shows the carving of the breast from the outside to the inside.
10. Delicious Side Dishes with Turkey Roast
What can you serve as a side dish? Please note the instructions above for the marinades.
The type of poultry preparation decides on the side dishes.
10.1 Vegetables Side Dishes for Turkey Roast
10.2 Potatoes and other satiating Side Dishes
I have decided on a simple side dish and show you glazed chestnuts as a side dish.
You can get the chestnuts at Christmas time from the chestnut man.
Always peel the chestnuts hot and then place them in the pot.
Later, toss in butter, season to taste with salt, pepper and nutmeg and caramelise lightly with a hint of icing sugar before serving.
11. Further Recipe Ideas
My Christmas goose recipe shows the preparation classic with dumplings and red cabbage!
The roast goose recipe brings you current chef tips in the kitchen.
The sauce to the goose I have made an extra post, classic goose sauce and quick variant of an orange sauce
Comments, Cooking Questions and Answers
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