The turkey is a classic Christmas feast centerpeice so, you want to do it justice. All too often Turkey is dry, overcooked and bland paired with an average stuffing. It's your responsibilty to put a stop to this, with such a low standard your starting in a great place to cook the best roast turkey you and anyone else has ever had (unless you are already very good at cooking turkeys then, well done).
We've got a few tips that will help you acheive fame amoung your friends and family this festive season. It doesn't take any extra effort, just a little extra love and care.
1. Brine. During brining, the turkey absorbs extra moisture, which in turn helps it stay more tender and juicy both during and after cooking. Since the turkey absorbs salt along with the water, it also gets nicely seasoned from the inside out. Great news, our Free-Range Turkeys are already brined so you can skip this step!
2. Defrost (properly). Tip 2 is quite a handy for Hong Kongers with little to no freezer space. A 3.5kg -4kg turkey will take 2-3 days to defrost in the fridge (or a day on the bench). This seems simple step is of utmost importance. A fully defrosted turkey with cook evenly. But wait, there's more! A room temperature turkey, will cook even more evenly! So, if your own of the organized ones whose defrosted their turkey slowly in the fridge - let it sit on the bench for an hour before cooking.
3. Stuffing. It's best to stuff the turkey just before you po pinto the oven. Using fruit like fresh apple or apricot in your stuffing helps with extra juiciness! The apple will sweat putting extra moisture from the inside out.
4.Upside down. Start cooking your turkey by placing it upside down in the roasting dish and covere with foil. With the breast facing down the internal fat will help to baste the breasts. After 1 hour, flip the bird over to colour the top side.
4. Don't overcook it.
Tip 3 seems obvious but it's a tip that's often not given enough attention.
Brine the turkey, defrost the turkey, cook the turkey, watch the turkey, check the turkey, love the turkey, please don't forget about the turkey.
Turkey is lean, it's tendancy to dry out is high so, be on high alert. At 175degC. a 4kg turkey (once fully defrosted) will only take about 1 hour 45 minutes - 2 hours to cook through and upon resting it'll cook a little more. A good rule is 15 minutes per 500g.
5. Rest. This final step could be said to be the most important of them all in your mission to cook a tender turkey. Think your turkeys ready but not sure and nervous about under cooking it and making everyone at your entire Christmas dinner sick and oh what a terrible event that would be and everyone would hate you forever?
It's ok, we've got you.
With a sharp knife, pierce the point where it’s thigh meets it’s body, there should be no red blood. Note that, sometimes the meat close to the bone is darker and maybe slighgly bit pink – don’t worry, the meat is safe to eat, take a breath its ok. Younger turkeys have more porous bones allowing red pigmentation (haemoglobin) to run into the meat. So, while mostly clear, the juices may have a slight pinkish tinge. After the test, take the turkey out of the oven, cover it with tinfoil and cover with a couple of tea towels to keep it warm. Let it rest for 20 minutes – it will continue cooking a little more, and the juices will reabsorb back into the meat keeping it nice and tender.
If you have any more turkey tips, or questions, be sure to get in touch - we love hearing from you. Pop us an email - firstname.lastname@example.org or live chat us (press the green button in the bottom right hand corner.