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How to … Truss Poultry

Trussing poultry is an important step in preparing it for oven-roasting.  Trussing involves tying it snugly with twine so that the wings and legs stay close to the body. This makes it more compact which helps it cook evenly. Trussing poultry also helps prevent the tips of the wings and legs from burning, and makes the cooked poultry look more attractive when you serve it.  This method is suitable for chicken or turkey.

You will need: cotton butcher’s twine or string, someone to hold the twine (since your hands will be handling raw poultry), and something to cut the twine with.  Cotton twine is strong enough to hold a turkey together but won’t burn, melt or otherwise ruin your roast.

  1. Cut a piece of twine long enough to encircle the whole turkey lengthways twice.
  2. Position the turkey breast-side-up with the legs facing you. Place the center of the twine directly beneath the tailbone of the turkey with the ends extending left and right.
  3. Lift the twine, loop each end around the legs and then reverse the twine to make a cross.  Pull tightly on both ends of the twine so that the legs come together.
  4. Pull the ends of the twine forward (away from you), loop it around the front of the turkey and over the wings.
  5. Flip the turkey upside down so that the neck is now facing you, keeping the twine pulled tight.
  6. Tie a knot so that the twine stays secured underneath the neckbone.
  7. Trim any excess twine and flip the turkey onto its back again.
  8. Place the turkey on a roasting rack in a roasting tin and roast according to your favourite recipe.
  9. Remove the string when you are ready to carve the turkey.  See step-by-step instructions on how to carve poultry here.

Oven-roasted Turkey