The end of year celebrations are fast approaching, and with them, the timeless Christmas turkey! Beyond the cooking time and the seasoning chosen, this traditional dish is more difficult to make than it seems. And if he is missed, he could spoil the whole evening! Here are our tips straight from America to succeed in stuffed turkey like no other!
Tip 1: Prepare the turkey optimally
First of all, choose a quality farm turkey, organic or labeled Label Rouge for example. Make sure she is plump, with a short neck, small smooth legs and that her skin is not damaged. A turkey weighing less than five kilograms is more tender, so prefer to cook two smaller turkeys if you receive a large table at Christmas. After having salted and peppered the day before, take the raw animal out of the refrigerator at least 1 hour before placing it in the oven, so that it is at room temperature at the time of cooking. Before baking, remove the so-called furcula, the delta-shaped bone located at the bottom of the turkey's neck. This will allow you to cut it better.
Tip # 2: Prepare the stuffing the night before
If you want to stuff your turkey, don't forget to prepare your stuffing beforehand (24 to 48 hours in advance)! To flavor your meat, prepare it with sausage meat, bread crumbs or rice, before adding onions or shallots, condiments or fruit (raisins, prunes or apples) if you wish it. In a more luxurious version, garnish your meat with foie gras or chestnuts. The major constraint of a turkey is that the legs need to cook longer than the fillets. An unstoppable tip is to put stuffing between the skin and the flesh of the fillets to avoid having overcooked whites or overly pinkish thighs. Finally, count 250 to 375 ml of stuffing per kilo of turkey and allow the stuffing to cool before using it.
Tip # 3: Keep the turkey from drying out
Turkey is the least fatty meat, and therefore potentially more likely to dry out when cooked. Before baking the turkey, brush it with butter (not oil) and rub it with lemon juice so that the skin is golden brown. To prevent the meat from sticking to the bottom of the dish, you can place a bed of vegetables, which will flavor with the fat of the turkey. For the cooking time, weigh the stuffed turkey and count 18 minutes per half kilo, at 180 ° C. During cooking, sprinkle it regularly with juice (made from organ meats, but also carrots, onions or even tomato puree), and halfway through cooking, protect the turkey with aluminum foil so that the flesh be more tender.
Tip N ° 4: Cut the meat without making headache!
Once your turkey is cooked, let it sit for about 20 minutes before cutting it. Store it under aluminum foil to keep the meat juices inside. Your turkey will be softer! A word of advice, cut the turkey in the kitchen, on a board so that it does not slip, rather than at the table. Then cut each leg to detach each part of the bird and follow the white line of fat, parallel to the bones.