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HOW TO COOK YOUR CHRISTMAS TURKEY

ENTERTAINING

Our guide to your Christmas turkey

For a showstopping turkey that’s tender, juicy and easy to cook, it has to be M&S

A Christmas feast

How to cook and carve your turkey

Show off your Christmas bird at its best with our easy-to-follow guide to cooking and carving a turkey.

  • Remove your turkey from the fridge 1 hour before cooking.
  • Always preheat your oven – we recommend preheating to around 180°C/160°C fan/gas mark 4.
  • Remove the wishbone with a sharp knife – this makes removing the breast meat much easier when it comes to carving.
  • Coat the bird in lots of olive oil, salt and pepper and cook it upside down – this ensures the breast meat stays juicy and tender.
  • Cover with foil and roast according to size, turning for the last 30 minutes to crisp up the skin.

Expert tip: after cooking, cover your turkey with foil and let it rest for at least 20-30 minutes. This will help enhance the flavour of this delicate meat.

More Christmas inspiration

 




Introducing our Collection perfect turkey joint

Want your turkey to be totally foolproof and totally delicious? We’ve done the hard work for you! Our new Collection perfect turkey joint, which has just been named best turkey centrepiece by BBC Good Food, comes in a buttermilk stock brine for ultimate succulence. It’s filled with a pork, chestnut, cranberry and sloe gin stuffing and topped with apple wood-smoked bacon. Plus, it comes with a roast chicken stock sachet to supercharge your gravy.

Find the award-winning Collection perfect turkey joint in store from 18 December.

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Festive flavour in the freezer

Want to get ahead without compromising on taste? A frozen turkey is a great-value option for your Christmas centrepiece. Discover our range of fuss-free frozen whole turkeys, crowns and joints in store now.

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Leftovers recipe ideas

Shredded turkey ragu with fresh tagliatelle

Hearty and nourishing, this Italian-inspired pasta dish will warm your cockles – just the ticket in that lazy week between Christmas and the new year, and a clever way to use up leftover turkey

Serves 4-6

400g M&S soffritto mix
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 sprigs rosemary, finely chopped
2 tbsp M&S smoked tomato paste
250ml red wine
1 tin (400g) chopped tomatoes
½ tsp cinnamon (optional)
1 bay leaf (optional)
350ml chicken stock
400-500g leftover cooked turkey thigh meat, roughly shredded
400g fresh tagliatelle
50g parmesan, grated

1. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large pan over a medium heat. Add the soffritto mix, garlic and rosemary with a pinch of salt and pepper and sweat for 10 minutes, until soft.
2. Add the smoked tomato paste, stir and cook for 30 seconds. Add the red wine and simmer until reduced in volume by half. Add the chopped tomatoes, cinnamon, bay leaf (if using) and stock. Bring to a boil, then stir in the turkey.
3. Reduce the heat, cover loosely and simmer for about 1 hour, until you have a thick, rich sauce.
4. With 5 minutes to go, cook the pasta according to the packet instructions, then toss into the cooked ragu to coat. Serve topped with grated parmesan.

Watch Chris make the recipe

Shredded turkey ragu with fresh tagliatelle

Mega melty turkey enchiladas

Mega melty turkey enchiladas

After all that rich festive food, it’s time to wake up your tastebuds with this Mexican-inspired family feast of slow-cooked spicy turkey, tortillas and oozy cheese

Serves 4, generously

1 packet M&S fajita spice blend
400ml passata
1 red onion, diced
2 peppers, diced
1 red chilli, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
500g leftover cooked turkey, shredded into strips
1 tin (400g) kidney beans
1 tin (400g) chopped tomatoes
8 wholegrain tortillas
150g mature cheddar cheese, grated
3 spring onions, finely sliced 

1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/gas mark 6.
2. To make the sauce, heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a small saucepan, fry half the fajita spice blend for 30 seconds, then pour in the passata and simmer on a low heat for 10 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a separate frying pan over a high heat. Fry the onion, peppers, chilli and garlic until softened. Add the turkey and the remaining fajita spice blend. Cook for a few minutes, tossing together.
4. Add the kidney beans with the water from the can and the chopped tomatoes. Simmer for 10 minutes until thick.
5. Spread a large spoonful of the passata sauce onto the base of an ovenproof dish. Divide the turkey mix between the tortillas, roll them up and lay them side-by-side in the dish, on top of the sauce. Pour over the remaining sauce, then scatter over the grated cheese.
6. Bake for 10-15 minutes, until the cheese is melted, then scatter over the spring onions to serve.

Watch Chris make the recipe

Sticky shredded turkey bao buns

These sticky, spicy bao buns are a great way to totally transform the flavour of your turkey. Tuck in with the family while you watch a festive film

Serves 4

6 spring onions, finely sliced
½ cucumber, sliced into thin strips
1 red chilli, finely sliced
Small bunch coriander, finely chopped
1 lime
1 tbsp sesame oil
500g leftover cooked turkey, shredded
1 tbsp five spice
5 tbsp hoisin sauce
12 M&S mini bao buns 

1. Add the spring onions, cucumber and chilli to a bowl with a squeeze of lime and a drizzle of sesame oil and toss together. Set aside to marinate.
2. Heat 1 tbsp vegetable or sunflower oil in a large non-stick frying pan over a high heat. Stir-fry the turkey for a few minutes until it’s beginning to crisp.
3. Add the five spice and a splash of water to loosen. Stir-fry for 2-3 minutes, until piping hot.
4. Stir in the hoisin sauce and heat through for another 2 minutes.
5. Heat the buns according to the packet instructions. Spoon the sticky turkey into the buns and top with the crunchy onion, cucumber and chilli mix and the coriander.

Watch Chris make the recipe

Sticky shredded turkey

Use-it-up frittata

Make the most of your leftovers with Chris Baber’s fab frittata. Throw anything you like in it, from roast veg and turkey to Christmas cheeses

Serves 4

8 eggs
500-600g Christmas dinner leftovers, cut into bite-size pieces
2 tbsp M&S ’nduja paste (optional)
100g cheese (cheddar, stilton or brie work well)

1. Preheat the oven to 200ºC/180ºC fan/gas mark 6.
2. Whisk the eggs in a large bowl and season with salt and pepper.
3. Heat a splash of olive oil in a large non-stick ovenproof frying pan over a medium heat.
4. Add the leftovers, season and fry for a few minutes until starting to brown.
5. Mix in 1 tbsp ’nduja paste to coat the leftovers and cook for a minute.
6. Pour in the eggs and stir lightly.
7. Scatter in the cheese and add the remaining ’nduja paste in dollops for some pockets of spice.
8. Place in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, until just set.

More Christmas inspiration

Christmas pizza

For a fun family dinner between Christmas and the new year, try transforming your leftover turkey into an amazing homemade pizza. To make it, simply spread some of our special pizza sauce over one of our ready-made pizza bases (you can find them both in store). Then top with shredded turkey and crumbled leftover stuffing, mozzarella and a few spoonfuls of our caramelised onion chutney.

Fry a few fresh sage leaves in a little olive oil until they sizzle, then scatter over the pizza. Bake according to the packet instructions, then let everyone dig in.

More Christmas ideas

The ultimate leftovers sandwich

Who doesn’t love an epic Boxing Day sandwich? Try our easy recipe, made extra-special with some of our favourite festive ingredients, such as truffle-infused brie and spicy chilli jam – find them in store this Christmas

Sourdough baguette, halved lengthways
Dollop Collection truffle mayonnaise
2 tsp Collection chilli jam with piquillo pepper
Handful cooked brussels sprouts, sliced
2-3 slices M&S truffle-filled brie
200g cooked turkey
200g cooked pigs in blankets
Handful spinach leaves
Gravy, warmed, to serve

1. Spread one half of the baguette with the truffle mayonnaise and the other with the chilli jam.
2. Load up with the other fillings, then close the sandwich.
3. Bake at 180ºC/160ºC fan/gas mark 4 for 5-10 minutes, until the brie has melted. Serve with the gravy for dipping.

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Meet our turkey farmer

Our free-range Pembrokeshire bronze turkeys are reared exclusively by Justin on his 400-acre family farm on the windswept Pembrokeshire Coast National Park.

It’s a beautiful spot where the birds forage freely on pastures rich with clover, herbs and wildflowers. This provides the ideal environment for them to slowly grow to maturity, and gives the meat great succulence and depth of flavour.

More Christmas inspiration

How to choose your turkey

However you’re celebrating this Christmas, we have the perfect turkey to suit

 

Whole cooked turkey

Whole turkeys

For a wow-worthy Christmas dinner centrepiece, it’s got to be a whole turkey dressed with garlic, lemon, bacon and herbs

 

A turkey crown with pigs in blankets

Turkey crowns

Feeding a few guests? A crown with plenty of white and dark meat is perfect for sharing. Choose from stuffed and plain turkey crowns at M&S

 

British Oakham stuffed turkey crown

Prepared turkeys

We’ve done the hard work for you this year and created the ultimate spot-on-every-time turkey, filled with a pork, sage and onion stuffing and finished with oak-smoked bacon

 

More festive inspiration

All I want for Christmas hamper

Send joy to their door

Make someone’s Christmas with an M&S hamper filled with festive favourites such as light-up snow globe gin liqueurs, smoked salmon and luxury chocolates

Shop now

A selection of wine and fizz

Stock up on wonderful wines 

Get set for party season by ordering a case of top tipples, from festive fizz to warming reds 

Take me to the tipples

This is not just Christmas food… this is M&S Christmas food

Step into Christmas 

Discover all you need for your most delicious Christmas yet, including gorgeous gifts, festive drinks, recipes and more 

Get inspired