Turkey. Turkeys Originate from Mexico Not Turkey!

The Journal (Newcastle, England), November 22, 2007 | Go to article overview

Turkey. Turkeys Originate from Mexico Not Turkey!


PRODUCING a beautifully cooked turkey this Christmas has just got quicker. New shorter cooking times developed by the British Turkey industry should wipe out that dreaded scenario - a scorched, dry, turkey that crumbles rather than carves and, after all your effort, no-one wants to eat.

It's little wonder so many of us overcook the turkey. There's the fear it won't be done in the middle, not to mention the pressures of juggling present opening with getting the potatoes crispy and the gravy smooth while keeping the in-laws happy with just the right amount of sherry.

Now, new cooking times devised after more than a year of rigorous trials, mean you simply can't go wrong. For families planning to tuck into a huge bird, this may also mean a lie in on Christmas morning. A 10kg turkey will take 2 1/4 hours less to cook.

The calculation is simple: For all birds weighing 4kg or more, cook for 20 minutes per kg then add 90 minutes cooking time at the end. For small birds and joints such as crowns weighing less than 4kg, cook for 20 minutes per kg but add just 70 minutes cooking time at the end. The times also work for turkey crowns and other joints.

The British Turkey industry says the new generation of super efficient ovens is the main reason why cooking times can now be significantly reduced. It offers the following tips for a perfect Christmas turkey:

Choose a turkey with the Quality British Turkey mark - this is your guarantee you are buying from farmers and producers who achieve some of the highest standards in the world.

Weigh your turkey after stuffing.

Cover the breast with strips of bacon or smear with softened butter then cover loosely with foil.

Preheat your oven to 190C (375F, Gas Mark 5. Reduce by 10C for fan assisted ovens) Bring the bird to room temperature

Remove the foil for the last 40 minutes to brown the top.

Always test your turkey to make sure it is thoroughly cooked. Pierce the thickest part - this is usually the leg of a whole turkey - with a skewer or sharp pointed knife. Hold a spoon underneath to catch the juices as they run out. If they are clear the turkey is done. If they are pink it needs further cooking. …

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