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Roast Turkey Help!

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#1 PrincessPeach

Posted 21 December 2012 - 09:21 AM

I've been delgated the task of cooking the turkey for our family christmas lunch this year & i'm in need of help - I have no idea how to cook it.

It's just the breast, with skin & it's 3.8kg.

My oven is fan-forced & run's reasonably close to temp - i'd normally cook up a 2.2kg whole chicken (no stuffing) in 2 hours with it set at 190.

#2 laridae

Posted 21 December 2012 - 10:02 AM

Do you have a meat thermometer? That will make it a bit easier.  190 is probably a bit high - I normally roast at 180.  It'll take probably 3-4 hours.
You can brine it beforehand (soak it for a few hours in salt & water or juice & herbs) then leave it overnight in the fridge for the skin to dry out, or just roast as is.
Make sure its fully defrosted if frozen - this may take a few days in the fridge!

#3 HRH Countrymel

Posted 21 December 2012 - 10:14 AM

Oven bag!

Biggest you can buy.

Chuck in some onions, veg and hebs to give it some extra zing.

Break the bag open about 15 mins before you finish to get the skin super crispy.

And as PP said make sure it is fully defrosted - we use an old eski and leave the bird in there for 2 days.

I'd set the oven at 180 too, and the cooking time will be about 3 1/2 - 4 hours - don't forget to leave time to let it rest.

#4 *LucyE*

Posted 21 December 2012 - 10:58 AM

I prefer to cook poultry at 160C for longer than at a higher heat for a shorter period. I roughly give it 20mins per 500g.

So, I'd probably cook your turkey for 2.5hrs at 160C BUT ensure I gave it at least an hour to rest in a warm spot. I'd also baste it every 30 mins during cooking. My favourite turkey basting mix is equal parts butter to maple syrup.

I just read the other replies and wanted to explain the reason for the big difference in my cooking time suggestion. I read the OP as having a 'buffe' roast so it would be a rolled piece of breast with no bone. A roast with bones would take longer to cook through due to the density of the bone vs meat. The meat will keep cooking as it is 'resting' so it can come out of the oven slightly underdone.  The internal temperature will still rise a few degrees if kept in a warm spot to gently relax.

If you use a meat probe, leave it in until serving time because otherwise you'll allow all the precious juices to escape. Turkey tends on the dry side anyway so you want to minimize that moisture loss. Same reason why I don't recommend skewering meat to look for clear juices as a sign of done-ness.

Take a leap of faith with timing (if you can trust your oven temp) and if worse comes to worse and it is still raw when carving, chuck it in the microwave to zap it or pour over gravy and heat it up in the oven.

And edit again to explain that basting time should not be included in cooking time. If you baste it 6 times during that period and it takes 5mins each time, the overall cooking time will be plus an extra 30mins.

Edited by *LucyE*, 21 December 2012 - 11:10 AM.

#5 PrincessPeach

Posted 21 December 2012 - 11:17 AM

Yep, have a meat thermometer, so I'm hoping that can be my secret weapon.

I'm also currently drooling over the butter & maple syrup mix - sounds devine!

I'll have to look around for extra large oven bags - I never realised they came sized as i just pick up a box & never look at them too closely. I usually use the oven bags for my roasts & they come out fine - so lets hope I can find one big enough for this turkey breast!

#6 Copper and May

Posted 21 December 2012 - 03:40 PM

I like the sound of the butter and Maple Syrup too and when Jamie Oliver cooked a turkey yesterday on his show, he let it rest for about two hours and it was covered with alfoil and two towels. It was still hot to serve up when the time came.

#7 Super Cat

Posted 21 December 2012 - 03:58 PM

Op are you doing a stuffing? I cook a turkey every year and always do a stuffing. They're pretty easy to make but there are a few tips to make it more succulent.

If you don't want to use an oven bag lay some bacon strips over the turkey prior to cooking. Hold hem I place with tooth picks. Remove the bacon about 20 minutes before the bird is finished. You can eat it separately and it's delicious!

If you're baking a ham you can use the ham skin as a cover for your turkey as well. Keep it on for all but 20 minutes of the cooking time and discard when it's done.

Put a litre of chicken stock in the pan before cooking. This will help keep the turkey moist as it bakes and can be used to make the gravy when you're done. I'd you've used bacon strips as a cover your gravy will be extra tasty!

Let me know if you want some easy peasy stuffing recipes.

Edited by Super Cat, 21 December 2012 - 03:59 PM.

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