Mudcat Café message #4025562 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #165215   Message #4025562
Posted By: Steve Shaw
30-Dec-19 - 07:07 PM
Thread Name: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
Subject: RE: BS: Recipes - what are we eating?
I have a rusting old oven thermometer for checking the accuracy of the oven. I may have used it five years ago and I haven't a clue where it is. Other than that, I'm not interested in sticking probes in lumps of meat to find out if they're "done." I know when they're done by appearance and by experience. I've never poisoned anybody and I don't serve up underdone or dried-out meat. I've cooked two 5kg turkeys in the last five days. The rules are:

Don't stuff the turkey

It must be fully at room temp before cooking

Don't use one of those throwaway foil cooking tins. Get a proper baking tin with lots of room in it

Cover the breast with lots of streaky bacon

Put foil over the bird

Turn up the oven to 180C (fan). Put in the turkey on a lower shelf

The 5kg bird needs three hours, then 45 minutes to rest. After an hour and a quarter, take off the foil

After another hour, take off the bacon and baste the bird

Keep an eye on it for the remaining 45 minutes. Baste it once or twice and, if the breast is going a bit too brown, put a small piece of foil on just the breast for a few minutes. You might decide that it can come out a few minutes early

Here's what you don't do:

Never compromise on the quality of the turkey. Genuine free-range and a slow-growing breed are the minimum. Most frozen turkeys are very poor

Never turn the turkey

Never fiddle with the oven temperature. Leave it alone

Never try to cook a huge turkey in a normal oven. Attempts to cook a twenty-pounder in a little oven are doomed to failure. You're far better off with two smaller birds (and you get four drumsticks and four wings...mmmm...) 5kg/12lb is tops for me

I had two perfect turkeys this Christmas. I've made all the mistakes I've mentioned above but, after fifty-plus years of turkey cooking, I'm getting there.