We team up with Chef Adrian to talk about choosing the right turkey, how to cook it and mostly, how to know when it’s fully cooked.
WHAT KIND OF TURKEY?
- Traditional Free Range Turkeys on the bone ranging from 10 – 22 LB.
- Boned and Rolled Turkeys, Stuffed or Unstuffed. – This is the whole Turkey taken off the bone and rolled and tied into a nice joint – it contains the white breast meat as well as the darker leg meat.
- Other options are – the Turkey Crown(White Breast meat still on the bone) or do boneless Turkey Breast (just the white meat) – Perfect for smaller gatherings.
WHAT SIZE TURKEY DO I NEED?
Guide for making that decision:
10-12 LB 5-6 people
12-14 LB 6-7 people
14-16 LB 7-8 people
16-18 LB 8-9 people
18-20 LB 9-10 people
20-22 LB 10-11 people
Turkey Talk – Tips
- Having a smaller gathering this year? Smaller Turkey Breast portions and Turkey Crowns available – Not sure of what size to go for just ask your local craft butcher.
- Turkey breast can be lean so covering the breast with strips of bacon or prosciutto will help keep the moisture in and add extra flavour.
- Rub butter all over the bird & under the skin – this will help flavour the Turkey and the skin. Remember to season with salt & pepper.
- Always baste the turkey during the cooking process.
- Sit the bird on a trivet of veg – such as carrots, celery & onion. This creates a wonderful base for making gravy.
- Keep the cooking juices from the roasting tin use to make your gravy!
- A turkey will cook more evenly if it is not over stuffed –consider loosely filling the cavity with garlic & thyme, or wedges of lemon or clementine.
- Always allow the turkey to rest before you serve. Do this by covering with tin foil. Then with a couple of tea towels. This will ensure the bird can rest without losing too much heat. This also allows all the juice back into the bird for a moist turkey.
- To store leftover turkey– allow to cool. Remove all the meat from the carcass. Store in an air tight container in the fridge.
- Remember to use up the carcass. Make stock for soup.
How do you know your turkey is cooked?
At the thickest part of the leg the juices should run clear from the bird.
Carving the Turkey:
- Make sure your knife is very sharp.
- Hold the turkey secure with a large fork.
- Cut the skin between the thigh & the breast.
- Bend the thigh outwards, cut through the hip joint, removing whole leg.
- Separate the thigh from the drumstick.
- Cut towards wing, cut through the wing joint.
- Hold the fork against the side of the breast.
- Slice evenly starting at the neck cavity.
- Lift the slices off with the fork and knife.