Bohemia Head Chef Steve Smith Reveals his Top Turkey Tips

With December just around the corner, it’s time to start preparing for the culmination of all the festivities—Christmas Day itself. Steve Smith, head chef at Jersey’s Bohemia restaurant and holder of a Michelin star for over 15 years, passes on his top tips for how to create the best turkey possible on Christmas Day, plus his favourite recipe for a turkey-leftovers sandwich.

Invest in your turkey

Spending that little extra on an organic or free-range turkey is certainly worth it. Not only is it ethically sourced, it will also have better nutritional benefits and deliver on flavour.


Wash and thoroughly dry the cavity of the bird before leaving it to reach room temperature. Putting a moderate amount of softened butter under the skin of the bird will ensure it remains moist. Finally, truss the legs together so it retains its shape throughout cooking. Follow these simple steps, and you will have an absolute showstopper of a turkey.

Festive extras

Stuff the cavity of the turkey with herbs, citrus fruits, and an onion to add flavour. However, it is important to ensure there is space for heat to circulate. To make the stuffing seasonal, add some festive favourites such as cranberries, chestnuts, sage and clementine zest.

Glorious gravy

Don’t dispose of the caramelised juices left behind by the turkey, as they make the perfect base for the gravy. Adding Madeira, a tbsp of plain flour and quality stock to it will make your gravy rich and delicious.

Stress-free carving

Leave the turkey to rest for at least 30 minutes before carving. This allows the meat to relax, making carving easier. Separating the breasts from the legs and thighs will make carving a lot more manageable as you can simply slice the breast meat, and the rest should fall off the bone.


Turkey, cream cheese, apple & celery, pecan and mizuna on multiseed/rye bread

Makes 4 sandwiches

  • 8 slices of rye/multispeed bread
  • 10 generous slices white turkey meat
  • 100 grams sliced/flaked turkey leg meat
  • 1 Granny Smith apple sliced
  • 24 pecan nuts roughly chopped
  • 1 stick celery finely chopped
  • 40g mizuna
  • 120g cream cheese or Philadelphia
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsps hazelnut vinaigrette
  • 25g butter

Butter all of the bread. Divide the cream cheese between 4 slices of the bread and spread evenly. Sprinkle the pecan nuts and celery over. Divide the brown turkey meat between the sandwiches and cover with sliced apple. Season with salt and pepper. Mix the mizuna with a little hazelnut dressing, place on top of the turkey meat. Place the white turkey meat on top, and place the remaining slice of bread on top. Cut with a sharp serrated knife and serve.

Bohemia Bar & Restaurant, Green Street, St. Helier, Jersey JE2 4UH, Channel Islands; 01534 880 588;

Bohemia is the only restaurant in the Channel Islands to be listed in The Sunday Times Top 100 Restaurants. Bohemia received the highest score in the Channel Islands in the Good Food Guide 2016 with a glowing score of 7, its highest score yet, and was listed as the best restaurant in Jersey in the guide’s ‘Top 50 Restaurants in the UK’. Bohemia was also recently listed as the best restaurant in Jersey in Square Meal’s Top 100 Best Restaurants 2016.

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