With Thanksgiving (in the States) just a week away, now is the time to talk Turkey!
I've shared this method of slow roasting with friends and family all over the country and I am sure they have passed it along to their friends, too! Last year when Tim's Aunt Mary Lou passed, one of Tim's cousins said to me as we were hugging, "I've been slow roasting my turkey every since you told us about it!" That's impact! (smile)
I learned this method from a mentor of mine, Emilie Barnes. Her book,
has all the details in it for "Perfect Everytime" Turkey. I tried it for the first time years ago, and have never cook a turkey any other way again!
Here's what you do -
Chose the desired size of turkey, wash it well, and remove the neck and
giblets. Dry the turkey with paper towels, salt the cavity, and stuff
with dressing of your choice. Rub the outside with olive oil. (I always
Put the turkey breast down (this bastes itself, making the white meat
very moist) on a poultry rack in a roasting pan uncovered. Put into a
350 degree preheated oven for one hour to destroy bacteria on the
surface. Then adjust the heat to 200 degrees for any size turkey. This
is important. The turkey can go in the oven the day before eating it.
(example: I have a 20 pound turkey. At 10:00 P.M. Thanksgiving Eve I put
the prepared turkey in the oven at 350 degrees for one hour. I turn the
temperature down to 200 degrees and leave the turkey uncovered until
it’s done the next day about 1:00 or 2:00 pm.)
Although the cooking times seems startling at first, the meat is
amazingly delicious, juicy, and tender. A turkey cooked the regular time
at the regular temperatures no longer tastes good. And a turkey cooked
at this low temperature slices beautifully and shrinks very little. The
turkey cannot burn, so it needs no watching, and vitamins and proteins
cannot be harmed at such low heat.
A good rule for timing your turkey is to allow about three times longer
than moderate-temperature roasting. For example, a 20 pound turkey
normally takes 15 minutes per pound to cook and would take 5 hours. The
slow-cook method takes three times five hours so this equals 15 hours of
cooking by the slow method. A smaller turkey cooks for 20 minutes per
pound, so an 11 pound turkey takes three hours and 40 minutes.
Multiplied by three, that equals 11 hours.
Since the lower temperature requires longer cooking, its use must depend
on when you wish to serve your turkey. However, once it’s done, it will
not overcook. You can leave the turkey in an additional three to six
hours and it will be perfect. Thus, your roasting can be adjusted
entirely to your convenience. Allow yourself plenty of time, and let
your meat thermometer be your guide to when the turkey is done. Your
only problem could be if you didn’t put the turkey in the oven soon
The meat browns perfectly, and you’ll get wonderful drippings for gravy.
If you are looking for a picture perfect turkey to put on your Thanksgiving table, this is not it. The meat on the slow roasted turkey is moist and wonderful and falls off the bones. If you slice your turkey a head of time, for the table, this is your bird!
If you try it let me know how it turns out!