Back to basics: Turkey

Ahhh. Christmas! The time where everyone gathers around the table for a Christmas feast. Chances are the star dish is going to be a turkey. Sadly, not a lot of people know how to cook a turkey that well. It’s either too dry or still raw on the inside. This week I’m going to teach you my tips and tricks on how to cook turkey. Trust me, it’s fool-proof

  1. What temperature should I set my oven?

Usually it’s around 325ºF-350ºF (162ºC-176ºC). Depending on the size of the bird. Smaller ones can be cooked at a lower temperature while bigger ones are to be cooked at higher temperatures.

  1. Should I stuff my turkey?

You can if you like. I generally don’t like it because hot air won’t flow smoothly in the turkey. It won’t cook evenly. I personally like cooking the stuffing separately.

  1. How long should I cook my turkey for?

Rule of thumb is 20 minutes per pound. If it’s stuffed it will take longer. Usually inside some of the packaging for turkey, it’ll have a chart of long you need to cook, stuffed or unstuffed. If they have one, follow it. The turkey will be cooked when it reaches 165ºF (75ºC).

 

I also have a recipe of my signature turkey marinade. It’s light, fragrant and most importantly, it’s really easy

Ingredients:

1 pound unsalted butter, soften

1 bunch fresh parsley

2 sprigs rosemary, chopped

4 sprigs thyme

2 lemons, juiced and zested

sprinkle of salt and pepper

 

Directions:

In a large mixing bowl, mix all ingredients together. Rub the marinade on the turkey. If you need more marinade, feel free to double the batch. Let it sit in the fridge 12-24 hours before cooking. This will let all the flavors seep in and really get to know each other.

 

When I’m done cooking the turkey, I always let it rest for at least 1 hour so that all the juices and muscle tissues will relax and seep back into the turkey. This will also keep the turkey moist. After resting, I use the leftover juices from the turkey to make the gravy. All you need is red wine or cider vinegar and a liter of chicken or vegetable broth. Let it simmer and reduce it to half.

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