Every Christmas table need a roast turkey. It is very popular in the United States at Thanksgiving celebrations. You can serve it with a bread sauce or a cranberry sauce. In South-Africa we also make roast turkey for Christmas, or sometimes roast lamb or roast chicken. We also like having trifle as dessert on our Christmas table and the table normally consist of a buffet selection, either from starter to dessert or if not, then at least the main courses. Turkey is really something special, and must be made for a special occasion.
CRANBERRY SAUCE thinly pared rind and juice of 1 lemon
thinly pared rind and juice of 1 orange
350 g cranberries(thawed, if frozen)
140 g caster sugar
2 Tablespoons cornflour mixed with 3 Tablespoons cold water
Preheat the oven to 220° Celsius.
Spoon the stuffing into the neck cavity of the turkey and close the flap of skin with a skewer.
Place the bird in a large roasting tin and rub it all over with the butter.
Roast in the preheated oven for 1 hour, then reduce the oven temperature to 180° Celsius and roast for a further 2½ hours. You may need to pour off the fat from the roasting tin occasionally.
Check that the turkey is cooked by inserting a skewer or the point of a sharp knife into the thigh - if the juices run clear, it is ready. Transfer the bird to a carving board, cover loosely with foil and leave to rest.
Carve the turkey and serve with warm Bread Sauce or Cranberry Sauce.
BREAD SAUCE:Stud the onion with the cloves, then place in a saucepan with the milk, breadcrumbs and butter.
Bring to the boiling point over low heat, remove from the heat and leave to stand in a warm place to infuse.
Just before serving, remove the onion and cloves and reheat the sauce gently, beating well with your wooden spoon.
Season with salt and pepper.
CRANBERRY SAUCE:Cut the strips of lemon and orange rind into thin shreds and place in a heavy-based saucepan.
Add the berries(if using fresh cranberries, rinse well and remove any stalks first), citrus juice and and sugar to the saucepan and cook over a medium heat, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes or until the berries begin to burst.
Strain the juice into a clean saucepan and reserve the cranberries.
Stir the cornflour mixture into the juice, then bring to a boil, stirring constantly, until the sauce is smooth and thickened.
Remove from the heat and stir in the reserved cranberries.
Transfer the cranberry sauce to a bowl and leave to cool, then cover with clingfilm and chill in the refrigerator