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Welcome to Kitchen Queries, where the nigella.com team will answer your cooking or food related questions.  We’d love you to submit some of your recipe problems, dilemmas or queries for us to get our teeth into!

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  • Cooking boned and rolled turkey joints

    I had my whole Christmas dinner planned and was ready to follow the Nigella recipe's to the letter. I've been really exctied about brining the turkey and got all the ingredients needed. Now comes the problem....my sister-in-law bought the turkey and thought she was doing us a favour by buying a boned and rolled turkey from the butchers. It's good quality but assuming as it's pre-stuffed I can't brine it. What do I do now? I need a recipe asap. Ppppppleas help me. 

    CAN I BRINE A BONED AND ROLLED TURKEY? BMCP

    From the nigella team:

    It is not a good idea to brine a boned, stuffed and rolled turkey breast as the brine can seep into the stuffing causing it to be too salty and also possibly too wet. Usually the stuffing will help to provide some moisture from the inside and the joint may be smaller than a regular turkey so cooking time will be slightly less.

    To cook a boned and rolled joint first allow it to come up to cool room temperature (1-2 hours outside of the refrigerator, depending on the warmth of your kitchen). Preheat the oven to 200c/400F/Gas Mk 6 (for fan ovens check the handbook but usually you need to reduce the heat by 20c) weigh the breast and calculate the cooking time based on allowing 18 minutes per 450g/1 pound plus and extra 20 minutes. Smear some butter over the skin of the turkey and season then put in a roasting pan and tent with foil. Cook the breast for the time you have calculated, basting once or twice during cooking, and uncover for the last 20-30 minutes to let the skin crisp up. As with a normal turkey, a boned and rolled joint will benefit from resting for 20 minutes or so before carving.

    As the breast is likely to be stuffed with sausage meat we would very much recommend checking that the joint is cooked all the way through before carving. Use a meat thermometer (instant read thermometer) to check the internal temperature. After resting it should be around 75c (165F) though if you check it when you take it out of the oven it can be 5c (10F) lower as the internal temperature will continue to rise at it rests. If you don't have a thermometer then insert a thin, sharp knife into the centre of the roast, the tim should feel very hot and the juices from the roast should run clear.

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