Month: December 2015

Guy’s Best Christmas Turkey Recipe

Head Chef, Guy Owen shares his best Christmas Turkey recipe….

Personally for me, to get the best result from a roast turkey is to brine it for 48 hours, in a brine containing all of the flavours that we would associate with Christmas, these being orange, bay, cinnamon, clove etc.

This recipe is based on a turkey weighing 5kg (enough to feed around 10 people)

Firstly the brine:-
3 litres of tap water
300g table salt
250g sugar
5 bay leaves
4 oranges (zest and juice)
1 onion cut in half
Two heads of garlic in half
A few white peppercorns
A few coriander seeds
15-20 cloves (depending on how much you like the flavour)
2 cinnamon sticks

Take a large container (one that is wide enough and deep enough to take the whole turkey).

Mix all of the ingredients together and stir until all of the salt and sugar have dissolved.

Place your turkey in there and let it brine for 48 hours in the fridge. (If the turkey isn’t completely submerged in the brine, rotate the bird every 8-10 hours)

After the 48 hour period is up, remove the turkey, pat it completely dry using paper towels, and sprinkle a small amount of salt over the whole bird (make sure it is only a small amount as the brine would have natural seasoned the meat) Then leave the bird, uncovered, in the fridge for an hour (this will help dry the skin out a bit, leading to a delicious crispy, perfect skin)

Now for the cooking.

For a 5kg bird the cooking times are as follows:-
Oven temp – 180 degrees
Cooking time – 3hrs 15 mins
Basing allowance’s – 6 (this means a basting every 30 minutes roughly)

It is always recommended when cooking any roast, to not bake it directly on the metal of the baking tray, this is mainly due to the metal becoming so hot, that it will actually over cook or scald the part of the meat in contact with the metal tray. So slice a couple of carrots, or an onion or something, lay on the base of the tray, and lay the meat on top of this. This will not affect the cooking in anyway, and helps to deliver better flavour and a greater yield of all of those lovely roasting juice’s that’ll be used to make the gravy at the end.

Once the turkey is in the baking dish, lay a few pieces of streaky bacon over the top of the crown (the bacon becomes a natural baster in itself and protects the top of the turkey breast from over cooking quite so fast). Season with a little olive oil, and pepper, no more salt at this point. Then cover all of the turkey in some tin foil. Place into the oven and bake for 1 hour and 30 minutes (remembering you will need to baste the turkey 3 times in this period). Turn the turkey around and bake for a further 1 hour and 30 minutes (remember to continue with the basting). This would have taken you to within 15 minutes of the required cooking time.

Now remove the turkey from the oven and turn the heat up to 240 degrees Celsius. Whilst waiting for the oven to heat up to the required temperature, continually continue to baste . Drain off any excess juices and reserve in a pan to make the gravy, then return the bird to the hot oven without the foil on it for fifteen minutes, to brown the skin all over.

Once the skin is all golden brown and crispy, remove from the oven and let the bird rest for at least 30 minutes (preferably 45 minutes). Carve and serve at the table – enjoy!


And his Top Tips for Brussel Sprouts….

I love Brussel sprouts in which ever form they come in, but a lot of people find them extremely boring, and only have them at the Christmas day table by way of tradition instead of actually enjoying them. A very quick and effective recipe below to brighten them up and offer something completely different than the usual more traditional ways.

2 banana shallots (very thinly sliced)
2 cloves of garlic (finely chopped)
1 kg Brussel sprouts (very thinly sliced, some supermarkets have sprouts already shredded down like this)
1 large teaspoon of curry powder
2 tablespoons raisins
A good knob of butter
Salt and pepper

Add a little butter to a pan on a low-medium heat.  Sweat the sliced shallots down first until tender, then add the garlic and continue to sweat down. Turn the heat up a little and add the sprouts. Cook until soft, then add the raisin, curry powder and butter. Cook out for around 5 minutes on a medium heat. Season and serve immediately.

Wishing you all a very merry Christmas.

Idle Winter Pimms Recipe

A long, refreshing cocktail – a perfect aperitif for a winter’s day or night

Ingredients –
25ml Hendricks Gin
25ml Winter Pimms
Juice of 1/2 a lime
1 x bottle Fever Tree ginger ale
Fresh mint, cucumber, orange & berries

Method –
Build over ice in a hurricane glass

Guy’s Recipe for Apple and Cider Souffle

Apple Puree Base


500g apple puree

50g cornflour

Pinch of salt

150g sugar

50ml water.


Take the cornflour and water, mix these together to form a soft paste, reserve to one side

Add the apple puree, salt and sugar to a pan and heat up. Then when it’s hot, whisk in the cornflour and water mix, and cook out for 1 minutes. Place puree into a container and cool in the fridge.


Pear and Lime sorbet


600g of pear puree

5 limes (zest and juice)

200g sugar

200ml water.


Place all ingredients into a pan, and heat gently to the boil. Whisk very hard once boiling point has been reached, then transfer to an ice-cream machine and add the juice of half a lemon halfway through churning. Once churned correctly, place in a container and put into the freezer.


Apple and cider soufflé- oven 180 degrees.

200g egg whites

75g castor sugar

110g apple puree base

40g cider base


Cider base:

Take a 500ml bottle of cider and bring it to the boil in a pan. Boil for 1 minute, take off the heat, place in a container and put into the fridge to cool


Take 4 medium sized ramekins, and butter the inner edges. Once butter, add a small amount of sugar to the bottom of the dish and roll the dishes at and angle to line the edges of the dishes with the sugar.

Take a food processor, and whisk the egg whites to medium peek. Once medium peek has been reached, add the sugar to the mix and continue to beat until stiff peek gets reached.

In a separate bowl add the apple puree and cider and using a metal spoon, mix together until fully incorporated together.

Then gently spoon a 3rd of the egg white mix into the apple mix, and beat very firmly (this is to ensure the apple mix is incorporated into the egg mix, don’t worry about knocking the air out of the eggs at this point). Once mixed in, and another 3rd of the mix, and using the metal spoon, gently fold the mixture together,  once this is done do exactly the same for the remaining 3rd of the egg white mix.

Take your lined ramekins, and add your egg mix to fill each one. Gently tap on the base of each ramekin to release and large air bubbles, and using a pallet knife, smooth off the tops. Next place the fill and ready ramekins on a tray and bake at 180 degrees for 8-10 minutes, until they are fully risen.

Take out and serve with the pear and lime sorbet immediately.

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