Here are three tips on how to cook a turkey in the oven:
1. Defrosting and brining the turkey!
You need 24 hours for every 5 pounds of turkey. Make sure the bird is in the fridge in a shallow pan where it can defrost at a safe temperature. If your fridge is too small, put the turkey in a bucket in cold water. Every hour change the water.
Once the turkey is defrost, it’s time to brine it. The brining makes the meat succulent and gives a juicy flavor. It makes the turkey taste like heaven! You can use a bowl of vegetable juice, a tsp rosemary, one tsp sage, one tsp thyme, a bottle of water and salt to make the juice. Boil the vegetable juice, salt, rosemary, sage, thyme and savory and then leave it to cool. Then place the turkey in the juice and leave it in the fridge for at least 6 hours.
2. Stuffing the turkey!
For stuffing your turkey must have an inside temperature of 165 degrees for everything to be ok. For the stuffing I recommend that you don’t use fresh bread but baked bread. Cook the meat and the rice and saute the vegetables before mixing everything up. If the rice is not cooked before it is mixed and stuffed into the turkey, it will expand and will rupture the bird.
For a great taste you can rub the interior of the bird with a few lemon slices.
If you need a stuffing recipe, here’s one: 1 loaf of old bread or cooked bread cut into 3/4-inch cubes, a cup of walnuts, 2 cups each, chopped onion and celery, 6 Tbsp butter, 1 green apple, peeled, cored, chopped, 3/4 cup of currants or raisins, several chopped green olives, stock from the turkey giblets (1 cup to 2 cups), 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley, 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning or ground sage, salt and freshly ground pepper.
Use the turkey giblets and boil it. In a different pan toast the walnuts on medium high hear until they are slightly brown. In a large pan melt the butter then add the bread and toast it until the color turns brownish but not burnt. The vegetables are sauted in butter for 5 to 10 minutes. The add the bread, the walnuts, the chopped apple, currants, raising, olives and parsley. After a few minutes add the stock from the turkey giblets and then add the sage and the salt and pepper. Let it cook for about an hour on low heat but make sure you stir every ten minutes and add water or stock to keep the stuffing moist.
3. Basting the Turkey
Basting is a lot easier if you’ve already brined the turkey. So, here’s what you need to do next: some of the stuffing needs to be put under the skin, against the breast.
Add some herbs (sage, marjoram and even celery leafs) in some butter and put it under the skin before you put the turkey to cook.
For a great flavor use some bacon strips and place them on top of the turkey. The bacon will keep the turkey moist and give an amazing flavor. Remember to add a cup of liquid in the roasting pan every 45 minutes. And if you’re worried about the skin over-browning, tent the turkey with foil.
After the turkey is out of the oven, let it rest for 30 minutes before dinner to allow the juice to redistribute.