Friday, 21 December 2012

Turkey Gravy - Trinidad Style Seasonings

All you need :-

- Juices from roasted turkey, made with "Turkey Seasoning Trinidad Style".
- Water from boiled vegetables (or vegetable stock, or plain water)
- plain flour

Method - 10 mins cooking time
- After you lift out turkey from roasting tin, keep the juices in the tin.
- Put the tin on a ring on the hob, and heat tin with turkey juices in it.
- Lower the heat, and add one table spoon of flour at a time, stirring to prevent it sticking to the tin. Stir in more flour if needed until all liquid is absorbed, and mixture is not runny.
- Continue to stir for about a minute, so that flour mixture cooks a little, but not let it get too firm.
- Add half a cup of water and stir quickly so that mixture becomes smooth. If lumpy, use a whisk to break up lumps.
-  Add more water and keep stirring.
- Repeat this process until the consistency is thick and runny, but not too thick.
- Pour into a warm gravy boat, and serve with roast turkey and vegetables.


Have a very Happy Christmas.  

Friday, 14 December 2012

Cooking Instructions for Turkey - Trinidad Style Seasonings

You can do this preparation the night before, or on Christmas morning. But I do it the night before, so that all is ready to pop it into the pre-heated oven in the morning.

This method give you a juicy, succulent and tasty turkey.
{Check Turkey Seasoning - Trinidad Style, by clicking it on the right}

These cooking instructions are for a turkey that is only stuffed in the neck cavity. Stuffing the body cavity increases the cooking time, as well as the chance that the turkey will not be thoroughly cooked. Besides, extra cooking time also means that the extremities like legs and wings become over cooked, dry and fall off.

Use extra strong, wide tin foil (turkey foil)
A very large metal roasting tin - (make sure it will fit in your oven)

Cut a large piece of tin foil, measuring about one and a half times more than needed to wrap the turkey.
Cut another piece, a bit larger than the first.

Note - Always make sure that the shiny side of tin foil what is close to the food. 

- Place the larger piece along the length of the roasting tin, (shiny side up), and mould loosely into the shape of the tin.
- Place the smaller of the two pieces of foil, across the width of the tin over the first piece. (shiny side up)
- Pour some oil generously and rub with hands to grease the tin foil making sure that all exposed foil is greased. This prevents it from sticking on to the skin of the bird.
- Remove turkey from marinading bowl or bucket, and place in the roasting tin.
- Collect all lumpy bits of marinade and spread over the turkey, leg crevices, breast, pockets, and inside. (Don't throw it away)

Make a tent with the tin foil around the turkey
- Take the piece of tin foil closest to the turkey and bring together across, but not touching the turkey. Fold edges over leaving a space around the turkey inside the tent.
- Bring the bottom tin foil around the top and fold over tightly, forming an airtight tent over the turkey.

Pre-heat oven to 220C, or 425F, or gas mark 7

These are the roasting times for a 12-14lb turkey. It will take about 5 hours in all. Calculate the time you want to have lunch, and work 5 hours backwards to calculate what time to put it in the oven. So if you want lunch at around 2pm, add half hour for standing time. So, you want it cooked by 1.30pm. That means it should go into the preheated oven at 8.30am.

- Place prepared turkey in the centre of the preheated oven for 40 mins.
- Lower the oven to 170C, or 325 F, or gas mark 3, [for the next three and a half hours].
- During this time, remove tin from oven after one hour. Open tin foil gently keeping your hands away from the steam. Baste thoroughly with the juices in the tin after one and a half hours, and close back tightly. Replace in oven.
- Repeat the same process in another hour.
- Repeat basting process after another hour.
- After 4 hrs 10 min in the oven (i.e. in the last 50min), open the tin foil and fold back to expose the turkey. Then, replace it in oven.
- Turn up oven temperature to 200C, or 400F, or gas mark 6. Baste at least two times during the last 50mins.
- To test if cooked, pierce the thickest part with a metal skewer or a thin long sharp pointed knife - in the centre of breast, and through the side of the leg joint to make sure the juices run clear or not at all.
- When finished, remove from oven and leave turkey to stand in pan with juices for 20-30 mins.
- Lift turkey out with two large forks and help if you have it, and on to a carving dish. Be careful as it will be very heavy.



If you have any questions, please ask!

Have fun!

Tuesday, 11 December 2012


Here is a recipe for seasoning and marinading whole turkey ready for roasting. It makes the turkey delicious and succulent. It is what my mother used to do, and the aromas are still very powerful for me at Christmas. This is a most important routine for me, and makes my kitchen smell Christmassy.

Prepare the evening before. 

This amount of ingredients will do for anything up to a 12 lb turkey, but you can use a bit more. For me, you can't have too much thyme. 

For a 12 -15 lb turkey, add another half the amount of ingredients.  E.G. one and a half handful of fresh thyme, etc.

- Large handful of fresh thyme sprigs
- Large handful of fresh parsley
- 2x5" sprigs rosemary (optional)
- 2 large fresh tomatoes
- 1 table spoon fine sea salt (or 2 table spoons flake salt)
- half teaspoon ground black pepper
-  large onion chopped fine
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

- Preferably, use a mortar and pestle. (A liquidizer will mince it all up too much)
- Chopper or large knife.
- Chopping board
- Large roasting dish. Preferably stainless steel.
- Turkey tin foil (strong and wide)


Wash herbs and tomatoes.

- Pull off all small leaves from sprigs of thyme by pulling downwards against the stem, and put leaves on the chopping board. Throw away stalks.
- Trim stalks from parsley, and add leaves to heap of herbs
- Pull leaves off rosemary stalks, and add to herbs.
- Use chopper or large knife, and chop all herbs finely.
- Cut up tomatoes into small pieces
- Place all ingredients above into a mortar and pestle, or a strong Pyrex type bowl.
- Add chopped onions.
-  Using pestle, pound and grind ingredients by hand until mushy and runny, but not totally ground. It should remain lumpy and crushed, but not liquidized.
- Add salt and pepper, and continue pounding for a minute.

- You should be able to smell the delicious aroma of all the herbs, tomatoes and onions.

- Wash turkey and pat dry with kitchen paper.
- Loosen the skin around the top of the breast area making a few long spaces between skin and flesh.
- Using hands, take the seasoning mixture and rub all over turkey, inside and outside. Pushing in seasoning mixture inside pockets you've made in breast area. Season inside turkey body also.

- Cut a very large piece of tin foil and place inside tray. Rub with oil, apart from edges.
-  Place turkey on foil.
- Wrap foil very loosely around turkey, Seal by folding an inch of foil around turkey. Leaving enough space inside of top (about 2 inches), so that the hot air can circulate while cooking.
- Put it in a cold room or fridge overnight until ready to cook the following morning. (Make sure it is well away from domestic animals or rats and mice. You could put it in a large plastic storage box)

- Follow whatever cooking instructions you have, allowing enough time for turkey to stand for about half hour before lunch. 

While cooking, open and baste thoroughly at least twice during cooking time.

Would you like my cooking instructions, or How to make gravy from the delicious herby juices? Leave me a comment. 

Hope this goes well for you.

{I have now posted the Turkey Cooking Instructions. Just click on it on the right.}