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Christmas Turkey Wine Pairing

Edward’s Christmas Buttered Turkey & Stuffing

“You just can’t beat the traditional Christmas turkey. Everyone’s perspective is different with regard to the stuffing but I think it is fine to stuff the actual bird. However, I would remind you to ensure that the turkey is completely cold before you stuff the bird (unless you are cooking the turkey immediately).” – Chef Edward Hayden


Christmas Turkey Wine Pairing

Chef Edward Hayden ?

Edward Hayden is a well-known chef and food writer/blogger and is very familiar to radio and television audiences from his weekly cookery slots on TV3′s Ireland AM and regular appearances on KCLR 96FM. Edward has published three cookery books and his most recent publication, ‘Food For Friends’ has already featured in the top 10 Irish bestsellers.

Pairing wine with your Christmas Turkey

We believe that pairing the right wine with your Christmas turkey is as important as all the sides. Contrary to popular belief, turkey pairs wonderfully with reds — just keep them on the lighter side (no heavy tannins). If your preference is red, a stellar choice is Domaine Duband Cote De Nuits Village. This Pinot Noir is a turkey-friendly stunner. The delicate earthy inspired flavours of a Pinot Noir tend to show well with the traditional flavours of turkey and stuffing. The Domaine Duband Cote De Nuits Village is an alluring and juicy Pinot Noir. The stylish perfume and very elegant structure denote a red wine of class. The winemaker, David Duband, practices 100% organic farming and his Pinot’s are characterised by purity, balance and fruity layers.

A creamy and buttery Chardonnay from Burgundy is also a top choice for a special-occasion white and Domaine Emilian-Gillet is at the top of that list. The best thing about pairing turkey with white wine is not worrying about overpowering tannins. A chardonnay is perfect for bringing out the simple and light flavours of the meat. Domaine Emilian-Gillet’s winemaker, Jean Thevenet, is so ground-breaking he has his own entry in the Oxford Companion to Wine. The entire operation is organic and only natural yeasts are used. Most wines are fermented within a month but they use a natural ferment that takes a year. You’ll understand why the wait upon the first sip. You will see both of these wines on many a Wines Direct staff table this Christmas.

Christmas Turkey Wine Pairing

Edward’s Buttered Turkey

16lb/7.25kg Turkey

6 smoked rashers of bacon



1 medium onion-diced

4oz/110g butter

½ medium sized onion

1 cooking apple-grated or finely chopped

3oz/75g fresh cranberries

¾ lb/350g sausage meat

12oz/350g fresh white breadcrumbs

4 tablespoons of chopped mixed herbs –parsley, sage, thyme, etc.

Seasoning-Salt and Pepper


Additional Ingredients:

3oz/75g softened butter

1 tablespoon of chopped mixed herbs –parsley, sage, thyme, etc.

Heat the butter in a medium sized saucepan and gently fry off the diced onion for 4-5 minutes until it has softened but yet not coloured. At this stage add in the cranberries and the chopped mixed herbs and immediately turn off the heat. Allow this mixture to cool

(You must be particularly careful about this stage particularly if you are preparing the terrine in advance because this is a critical stage when it comes to food poisoning)

Add this ‘buttery onion’ mixture to a large mixing bowl and add in the grated apple, breadcrumbs and sausage meat. Season with salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas Mark 6

Using some cold damp kitchen paper, wipe out the cavity of the turkey.

Line the cavity with baking parchment and loosely pack the stuffing into the bird.

Now weight the turkey again, once it has been cooked to get a true estimation of the cooking time.

Put the Turkey onto a large roasting tray. Mix the remaining butter and the remaining mixed herbs together.

Gently manoeuvre your hand under the skin of the turkey and spread the flesh with the softened herb butter, trying to get it spread evenly over the breasts.

Lay the streaky rashers of bacon across the buttered breasts to protect the meat and prevent it from drying out.

Put the turkey into the oven and begin to bake. If you feel the turkey is browning too quickly you can cover down the turkey with some tin foil for the first two hours. After the first hour reduce the temperature to 150C/300F/Gas Mark 2

Allocate 20 minutes per pound and then an additional 20-30 minutes in the oven. In total it should take about 5½ hours. When a skewer is inserted into the meat nearest the bone (i.e., the Leg) the juices should run completely clear and the leg, when pulled, should feel loose and ready to fall away.

Allow the meat to rest when it comes out of the oven and carve as required.