Trussing a chicken or turkey keeps it in shape for carving and stops the stuffing falling out. Usually it will arrive trussed from the butcher or supermarket, but just in case, here’s how to do it.
Instructions on how to truss a chicken or turkey
1. Tie the chicken or turkey’s legs together with kitchen string. Cross the string over the legs, then under and over the wings. Cross the string under the turkey’s body and tie at the legs. Tuck the wings underneath the bird.
How to stuff a chicken or turkey
1. Check and remove any giblets and trim off any wodges of fat that are hanging loose. Place these pieces of fat in the bottom of the baking tray where they will become crispy during cooking and provide a cook’s treat.
2. Dry the chicken or turkey with paper, season the cavity with salt and black pepper; and fill the cavity with stuffing, leaving room for it to expand.
STUFFING TIP: Stick a large metal spoon in the cavity of the bird, in the middle of the stuffing – it helps to conduct heat and cook the bird inside. Weigh the bird with the stuffing in situ and calculate the cooking times based on that weight. A stuffed bird will take longer to cook.
You can also cook the stuffing separately either in balls or in an oiled baking tray in a cake. Brush the stuffing with melted butter to keep it moist before cooking.