When you hear turkey, you might immediately think, baking in the oven. If you do have an oven, you will need one big enough for a turkey and so on and so forth. The following are some recipes to cater to any turkey eater’s mood depending on whether they prefer a whole turkey, turkey curry cut or turkey half.
And here is the best part—none of them require an oven! You heard that right. It takes a bit longer to cook but then it will definitely be worth the wait.
Slow cooked whole turkey
This is a fairly simple method that just needs:
- a heavy bottomed pot with a lid
- your choice of vegetables make sure you include carrots and onions for that lovely flavour they impart
- your choice of spices
- and a whole or halved turkey
Saute the vegetable in the pot with some vegetable oil
Place the turkey on the bed of vegetable and add upto 2 inches of water or stock.
Put the lid on and let the water simmer checking every half an hour to ensure it simmers and not boils. Add more liquid if the liquid level decreases.
2 hours later, if you have a thermometer, check the temperature of the thigh meat (the thickest part) it should be about 74°C. If you don’t have a thermometer, make an incision in the thigh and if the juice is clear, it is done, if it is pink or reddish, it needs more cooking
Test every 20 minutes until cooked and then place on a board and serve using the pot juices as gravy.
You can either use an electric tandoor or a gas tandoor. You can use pre-marinated, halved or whole turkey for this.
If using a whole turkey, you will need to spatchcock it—break and remove the breastbone and cut vertically to sort of butterfly the bird, and then place on grill to get an even crisp skin throughout and juicy meat. If using half a turkey, just marinate and pop it on the grill. Make sure you massage in the marinade just under the skin with a bit of unsalted butter for a lovely rich taste.
Place the meat on a rack of vegetables and cover with a lid and baste occasionally lest you disturb the glorious fragrant heated air pocket in which the bird cooks. The same measure as above applies to check if it is cooked. Once done, carve and serve!
Now this might sound a bit off but ask your grandmothers and they wouldn’t bat an eyelash. It was a run of the mill dish with steaming hot rice before globalisation took us by storm. Curry recipes are the like fingerprints for a household—different and ever so defining. Whether you prefer a tomato based curry or coconut milk based one, whether you like it greasy or a bit loose and light, the choice is yours. To make it you could cut a whole turkey yourself or buy it cut curry-cut style.
Turkey is versatile enough to combine with any of your curry bases to render a spectacular dish of epic flavours. Just ensure that you don’t overcook it lest it shreds and you miss out tearing through the flesh, plump with curry infusions.
Mix up your taste preference and venture into the grand culinary experience that comes with cooking a turkey. Remember, these are mere guidelines, use them to your advantage and add more of your own for a dish with the all-important personal touch.
Comment below and tell us about the turkey dish you made.