Sunday, December 18, 2011

Whole Roasted Turkey

My friend told me today that she's never roasted a turkey, and was disbelieving when I said it was dead easy. It really is, so I thought I'd tell you how.

Choose your turkey. In Australia we like turkey buffet, which as a massive breast with the wings removed. A whole turkey is just as good.

Defrost the turkey 48 hours before you want to cook it. Place it in a baking dish or tray and leave it on the sink. If it's a typical hot Australian Christmas, you should defrost the turkey in the fridge, starting a day earlier.

When it's turkey time, rinse the turkey in the sink under cold running water. Rinse it inside and out - this is really important. Pull out any gibblets inside the bird (if there are any) first. My cat used to eat those. I just chuck them in the bin.

Inspect your bird and cut off any oogie bits. Oogie bits are any bits you find gross. Stuff the cavity with the stuffing of your choice and seal the cavity with the heal of the bread you used to make the stuffing. You can still cook the turkey even if you don't stuff it! Tie the legs together with a piece of kitchen string. If you don't the legs will spread during cooking and the turkey will come out looking odd!

Rub the entire exterior of the bird with butter. Lightly salt the bird and place it in a baking tray. A disposable aluminium one is okay. Cover the legs and breast with a piece of aluminium foil. This will stop it from drying out and burning.

Roast the turkey in the oven at 180 degrees celcius. You calculate the cooking time by adding up 20 minutes for every half a kilo of bird. Today's 4.8kg turkey was cooked for three hours, 20 minutes. Remove the aluminium foil from the breast for the last hour of cooking time.

Once cooking time is complete, rest your turkey for a good half an hour before serving it. Transfer the turkey to your serving platter. Pour off all the pan juices and set aside to use in the gravy.

Voila! You have cooked a turkey!

Note: once you have finished preparing the turkey, clean your pre area down with disinfectant. Poultry is famously for germs, and you don't want to make anybody sick at Christmas. Just wipe down all surfaces with a warm cloth dipped in disinfectant and you should be fine. Wash your hands thoroughly too!

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