There’s nothing that quite compares to a tasty, and perfectly cooked, roast turkey dinner! Soft on the inside and crispy on the outside roast potatoes, thick gravy, perfectly seasoned stuffing and of course a succulent bird that’s been perfectly roasted.
In theory it all sounds ideal, but in practice the whole process can be a case of stress in the kitchen. That’s why so many of us may put on the act of being a kitchen goddess, but in secret we are desperately wondering how to cook a turkey without cooking up a lot of stress.
That’s why we’ve kindly prepared for you a few simple tips that will have you delighting family and friends with a guaranteed perfectly cooked turkey dinner – enjoy!
Tip 1 – Don’t Forget The First Step
When you’re thinking about how to cook a turkey, your first thoughts may go to the amount of time the bird needs to stay in the oven for. Oh dear, you’ve already missed a crucial step – preparation!
Ideally make your own stuffing by frying onion and butter for 5 minutes, then adding in breadcrumbs, lemon zest, herbs, seasoning and egg. Place the stuffing in the cavity but don’t pack it too tight.
Next break some softened butter over the body of the chicken and season with plenty of salt and pepper. All that’s then left to do is loosely cover the turkey with a piece of foil, great for keeping the meat moist while it cooks.
Tip 2 – Do Your Calculations
One big mistake made by many people cooking turkey is to overcook the poor bird. That’s why you should take you time at this point to make an accurate calculation. So it 20 minutes per kg plus an additional 70 minutes – not too difficult to calculate, right?
You’re not done just yet though. Every 30 minutes you should baste the turkey with the cooking juices and for the last 30 minutes cook without the foil.
Once your calculated time has elapsed insert a skewer into the thickest part of the turkey and make sure that the juices run clear.
Tip 3 – Time For A Rest
No, we don’t mean for you! It’s time to let the turkey rest. Ideally you want to aim for 60 minutes rest time for the turkey before serving, however if you can’t leave your guests waiting that long, then 30 minutes will also make a good difference. Your turkey should be covered with the cooking foil when resting.
So why should we let the meat rest anyway? Granted it does give you the perfect amount of time to get the roast potatoes and veggies in the oven, but that’s certainly not the main reason. Allowing the meat sufficient time to rest lets the meat tenderize and relax, but it will still stay at a warm temperature for serving.
So there you have it, knowing how to cook a turkey perfectly doesn’t need to be rocket science! Just make sure you prepare well, calculate the cooking time accurately and allow at least 30 minutes for the bird to rest. After that it’s time to impress your guests!