Recipe of the month: A simple guide to cooking the perfect Christmas turkey
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We thought this basic guide to cooking turkey would be of use, this is only a guide people always read the label of the product you are cooking!
Cooking a Christmas turkey can be a challenging task, but with proper planning and preparation, it is possible to have a delicious and safe meal.
Here is a guide on how to cook a Christmas turkey safely:
1. The turkey should be thawed in the refrigerator, allowing one day of thawing for every 4-5 pounds.
2. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F).
3. Prepare the turkey by removing it from its packaging and patting it dry with paper towels. The turkey can be stuffed with a stuffing of choice, but make sure to pack it loosely as it will expand during cooking.
4. Place the turkey in a roasting pan, breast side up, tucking the wings under the body. Insert a thermometer into the thickest part of the breast, avoiding the bone.
5. Add a cup of water, chicken broth, or white wine to the bottom of the roasting pan to keep the turkey moist and prevent it from drying out.
6. Cover the turkey with foil, sealing it tightly around the edges of the pan.
7. Cook the turkey for approximately 20 minutes per pound or until the internal temperature reaches at least 165°F with a meat thermometer.
8. About an hour before the turkey is finished, remove the foil to allow the skin to brown and crisp.
9. To ensure that the turkey is fully cooked, check the temperature in the thickest part of the thigh with a meat thermometer, which should reach at least 180°F.
10. When the turkey is done, remove it from the oven and let it rest for at least 20-30 minutes before carving. This allows the juices to redistribute and makes the meat juicier and easier to slice.
11. When ready to serve, use a sharp carving knife to slice the turkey into thin slices. Serve with desired sides such as roast potatoes, vegetables, and gravy.
Cooking Tukey Safety Tips
When cooking fresh turkey, safety is paramount to prevent foodborne illnesses. First, always wash your hands before and after handling the turkey. Avoid washing the turkey itself, as this can spread bacteria. Use a separate cutting board and utensils to prevent cross-contamination with other foods. Cook the turkey until it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C), checking with a meat thermometer in the thickest part of the breast, thigh, and wing joint. Never stuff the turkey too tightly and if you do, ensure the stuffing also reaches 165°F. Finally, refrigerate any leftovers within two hours to prevent bacterial growth.