How To Cook The Perfect Turkey
No need to be scared……at RQM we have put together our top tips to make you look like a master chef and cook the perfect turkey.
The good news is you don’t a lot of equipment or ingredients to cook the perfect turkey besides the turkey and seasoning.
Make sure you have a big enough roasting pan. Be sure there is enough room around the bird to prevent it touching the sides of the pan.
One step listed here is to tie the turkey’s legs together—if you choose to do this, you will need some kitchen twine, which you can find at the grocery store. Also, it is always recommended to have your own meat thermometer.
1. How to Choose the Right Turkey
- Make sure you source a Free Range Turkey for that extra special taste – your family and friends will love you for it!
- Allow 400 to 500 grams per person when purchasing a whole Turkey.
2. How to Prep the Turkey
- For frozen Turkey allow a min of 2-3 days to thaw in the fridge
- Take your turkey out of the fridge and unwrap at least an hour before cooking.
- Before you can do anything to the turkey, you need to remove the neck and clean out the inside cavity of the turkey. Then rinse the turkey inside and out with cold water.
- Dry thoroughly with paper towels (this is very important if you want a crispy skin).
- Pull the wing tips forward and tuck them under the breasts so they don’t burn. This also keeps the turkey sitting nice and straight.
3. How to season a Turkey
- Season the entire cavity liberally with salt and pepper. Add a few sprigs rosemary, sage, garlic, and onion cut into 4-6 along with a few wedges of either lemon or and orange.
- Sprinkle the rest of the turkey with the salt and pepper
- Secure the legs to each other using kitchen twine this will help with the presentation of the whole turkey
4. Season the meat as well as the skin – The way to get a flavorful turkey is to season the meat as well as the skin
- Firstly, loosen the Turkey skin over the breast with your fingers or a plastic spatula being careful not to damage the skin
- Then spread evenly 2 tablespoons of seasoned butter with salt and pepper under each breast – this will make the breast nice and juicy.
- Make sure you rub the outside of the Turkey with a little butter and then dust with salt and pepper – be generous with salt as it crisps up the skin.
5. Roasting the Turkey
- Pre heat the oven to 220C.
- Place the bird in a roasting tin, breast-side up and on a rack
- Place your preferred chopped vegetables around the Turkey for extra flavour
- Roast for 20-30 mins, till nicely bronzed.
- Turn the oven down to 175°C/ and baste often with the poultry’s own juices
- Cook your Turkey to an internal temperature of 65°C (measured with a meat thermometer at the thickest part of the turkey – leg and thigh). Otherwise use the tip of a knife. If the juices run clear, it’s done.
6. Use your instincts.
Ovens differ. Your good judgement doesn’t. So why not make life easier for yourself and simply use a meat thermometer – no guessing required.
Approximate cooking times: ½ hour to the kg.
- 4 kg – 2 hours
- 5 kg – 2 ½ hours
- 6 kg – 3 hours
- 7 kg – 3 ½ hours
- 8 kg – 4 hours
- 9 kg – 4 ½ hours
*****If you are stuffing your Turkey this could add approx. an extra ½ hour to cooking times.
7. Rest the bird (and yourself)
Rest for at least 20 – 45 minutes in foil before carving.
How to Carve and present your Turkey
– Follow These Steps
- Make sure you use a sharp chef’s knife – No need to make things any more difficult for yourself. Besides, you would have now come across our butchers tips – knife sharpening
- Remove the string
Place the turkey on a carving board. Remove the string tying the legs together, using the tip of your chef’s knife.
- Remove the legs and thighs
Cut through the skin that connects the breast and the drumstick. Slice down until you reach the joint. Using a paper towel, grab the leg and push down, separating the leg and thigh from the bird. Use your chef’s knife to slice through the joint.
- Remove the drumsticks
Separate the drumstick and the thigh by cutting through the joint that connects them. Transfer the drumstick to a platter; set aside the thigh meat on a cutting board to slice later. Repeat steps 2 and 3 with the other leg.
- Remove the wishbone
Find the wishbone at the front end of the breast. Use your fingers to pull it out.
Tip:Removing the wishbone makes it easier to carve off the breast meat.
- Remove turkey breasts
Find the breastbone. Position a long, flexible knife (or a boning knife) on one side of it, and slice downward, as close to the bone as possible. As you slice, use your other hand to pull the meat away from the breastbone, until you’ve cut the breast off the carcass in one piece. Transfer to the cutting board.
- Remove the wings
Using the chef’s knife, slicing through the joint to remove a wing, and transfer to the platter. Repeat steps 5 and 6 on the other side.
- Slice the thigh meat
Work on the cutting board. Holding the thigh bone with tongs or a paper towel, remove the meat from the bone with the edge of the chef’s knife. Transfer meat to platter.
Slice the breast meat
Using the tongs to steady the breast, position the meat so you’ll cut it at its shorter length. Slice against the grain, taking care to keep the skin attached. Transfer pieces neatly to a platter.