If you did a turkey this year, and it came out super moist, please share your secret. Mine was shit :(

(53 Posts)
Jacksmania Wed 26-Dec-12 18:59:32

I have been cursed by The Dry Turkey. Third time in a row. Yuck sad
So disappointing.

Please share any and all recipes for a super amazing moist turkey so my family doesn't suffer like this again.

stargirl1701 Wed 26-Dec-12 19:01:34

What kind of turkey do you buy?

I find only the slow grown ones are moist but they cost a fair amount.

Doyouthinktheysaurus Wed 26-Dec-12 19:03:44

We did beef because my turkey is always shit. The rib of beef was divine, the Yorkies rose majestically, I will never cook turkey again!


Glittertwins Wed 26-Dec-12 19:03:47

DH did ours in a roasting bag in a tin at 160 C. He accidentally left it upside down so the breast was at the bottom the whole way through, we both forgot to turn it to crisp up the skin. Oh well,it was nice and juicy, no hint of dryness at all so he did a good job grin

Yes my turkey was beautifully moist, and still is for sandwiches today.

I used Nigellas brining recipe on a fresh turkey,and it was out in the garden in the brine for two days.

The recipe doesn't have stuffing in it, I used two clementines cut in half in the cavity, and her maple syrup/butter glaze.

I basted well every half hour. A 3.5kg bird took 13/4 hours and rested for 40 mins under foil and tea towels while I did the potatoes.

If I can't brine a turkey I won't cook it.

Earlybird Wed 26-Dec-12 19:04:09

Brine it, or buy a pre-brined one. Makes a huge difference.

Jacksmania Wed 26-Dec-12 19:04:26

It was a young turkey, which I cooked in one of those oven bags. Still dry sad

TheArmadillo Wed 26-Dec-12 19:05:12

Mine are never dry.

Don't overcook - that tends to be the biggest problem ime. Most timers overestimate (even by just 10-15mins sometimes but sometimes 30 mins or so) the amount of time it takes to cook a turkey. As long as there is no trace of pink in the breast meat it is cooked.

Cover in foil until the last 30mins.

Put an inch or 2 of water in the bottom of the roasting tray to keep it moist. I chuck the herbs in the water which helps to subtley flavour the meat. And its good for adding to the gravy.

You can rub the top in butter/cover in bacon etc but you run the risk of making it greasy. I put lemon slices onto of mine as the acid seems to make it more tender.

FromGirders Wed 26-Dec-12 19:05:30

Our turkey was fab this year. Not meaning to boast, but it just really was.

It was a fairly expensive, free-range one from Scotland. I roasted it upside down for the first hour and a half, with a heap of oil sloshed around it, and foil over the top. Then I turned it the right way up, and slathered around half a pound of butter all over it. Kept the foil on all the time.

When I carved it, there were juices running out of it in pockets all over the place. It was gorgeous. Under the skin was quite a thick layer of fat, so I think the free-range-ness of it is important.

RillaBlythe Wed 26-Dec-12 19:06:16

Turkey for the first time ever, followed delia to the letter. Came out lovely. Might try brining next year.

LittleChristmasBearPad Wed 26-Dec-12 19:06:27

Another brined turkey here, Nigella's recipe. It was really juicy and is easy to do. It went in the oven for 21/2 hours (14lb) turkey and then rested for almost an hour.

Onlyaphase Wed 26-Dec-12 19:07:04

I used Nigella's brining recipe on a defrosted cheapo turkey, stuck it outdoors for 48 hours, and it was lovely and moist. Shan't be bothering with £80 turkeys again when a cheap frozen one can be made to taste so nice.

spanky2 Wed 26-Dec-12 19:07:27

Smear in butter and cook on it's breast, so upside down. wrap the whole thing in tin foil and ignore for the cooking time.utter was and

spanky2 Wed 26-Dec-12 19:08:29

Stupid phone doesn't display the message !

BellaVita Wed 26-Dec-12 19:08:34

Lots of butter under the skin, streaky bacon on top. Lots of basting. Cook at 180.

I do buy free range Norfolk Black though.

NatashaBee Wed 26-Dec-12 19:18:07

I follow delia's recipe - never fails.

HumphreyCobbler Wed 26-Dec-12 19:20:32

We cook it overnight in the simmering oven of the aga, you can also do this in a gas oven on about 1. It works brilliantly, it has never been dry. It normally gets put in when we go to bed.

MistyB Wed 26-Dec-12 19:34:10

I picked Nigella's Christmas up in a charity shop a few years ago and her method works for me.

Furball Wed 26-Dec-12 19:38:20

I make a slit through the skin, enough to get a finger full of butter in every 4 ish cms all over the breasty bit

ShotgunNotDoingThePans Wed 26-Dec-12 19:42:38

Another Aga cook here. Never been organised enough to dk it over ight but it still comes out moist from fast-roasting in the hottest oven. It's the ambient heat, see?

SentimentalKat Wed 26-Dec-12 19:46:44

We had the Waitrose butter basted turkey breast (feeds 8), and it was perfect. Dh made noises that it was "too moist".

FiveFestiveFlowers Wed 26-Dec-12 19:53:05

£80 for a turkey shock We had a frozen Aldi turkey crown.

Once it was defrosted, I separated the skin from the breast and put plenty of butter in, then cooked it for the minimum time, covered until the last 30 minutes.

Then I covered it with foil and let it rest for about fifteen minutes.

It was lovely and moist. I prefer the taste of chicken though grin

ifancyashandy Wed 26-Dec-12 20:03:39

I stuffed it under the skin - butter, garlic, finely shredded clementine peel and finely chopped bacon. Did the legs like this too. And then stuffed the cavity with pork and chestnut stuffing.

Covered it it foil for the first hour and then off for the last 45 mins. Basted every 30 mins

Still moist today.

Ninetyninepercent Wed 26-Dec-12 20:07:34

We put a rather generous amount of softened butter and cut up pancetta under the skin. A lemon and some veg n herbs in the cavity. And stuffing in the neck. more pancetta rashers over the top. Basted when I remembered. Foil on for all but last 30 min. My mil brings a good quality Turkey from her butcher which prob makes the biggest difference.

An American friend used to absolutely swear by deep frying her turkey. Said it wasn't greasy at all but was very moist. Was a bit shock but secretly wanted her to invite me to thanksgiving to have it!!!!

Am trying to imagine the size of deep fat fryer for that one!

You could brine an old tire and it would taste moist. Try brining op, and you won't go back I promise!

AmberLeaf Wed 26-Dec-12 20:29:35

I had a frozen one about 6kg.

Mine came out very nice this year.

I put 2 halved onions, some sprigs of thyme, lemon thyme and 2 halved clementines inside.

I made a butter with crushed garlic, finely chopped rosemary and some dry spices, mixed it all and put it under the whole breast [used a wooden spoon to seperate the skin from the flesh] used about half a pack of butter.

back bacon over the legs.

I used to do the breast upside down first method, but didnt this year.

The seasoned butter really made a difference.

InExitCelsisDeo Wed 26-Dec-12 20:32:52

Another one here who cooks the turkey in the bottom oven of the Aga overnight.

Lovely and moist.

FrankincenseWippery Wed 26-Dec-12 20:35:49

I've done mine the same way for the past three years and it's always perfectly moist. It's my spin on Heston's recipe and appears to be muppet proof.

Tis even my recipe that's recipe of the week on here. Should've read the small print!

I bought a £96 one which has enough meat on it for 13 people for 2 days plus enough for dd and I another ten days so I think that's cheap. I only buy free range meat though.

I squeeze half a pound of butter under the skin, cook it upside down, then brown the breast skin for the last half hour by turning it back up. The key then is to take it out an hour before needed and cover it lightly in tinfoil so it stays very moist. Mine was amazing.

Floralnomad Wed 26-Dec-12 20:40:04

We had 2 of the M &S turkey breasts ( very large ,one fed 9 of us easily) and they were really lovely .

lubeybooby Wed 26-Dec-12 20:42:06

I do a bit of everything

Brine it

shove loads of butter under the skin

put a lemon and an onion inside the cavity

cook upside down (on the breast)

make the foil around it really secure and leave it the feck alone til the last 30 mins.

Loshad Wed 26-Dec-12 20:44:05

Bought a giant local turkey c10.6 kg this year. Smeared about 3 oz of butter on breast, added a couple of slices of bacon, wrapped in foil until last hour of cooking when i basted it a couple of times, was fab and not at all dry. TBh think it is down to the quality of the bird, cheap ones can be yucky

Arithmeticulous Wed 26-Dec-12 20:46:31

Buy a chicken wink

I can't imagine all sitting round a chicken on the 25th and trying together excited by it! grin

slhilly Wed 26-Dec-12 20:49:56

I tried the butter muslin trick but to no avail. Back to goose next year, to maybe rib of beef

coocooItsSoddingXmasAlready Wed 26-Dec-12 20:57:40

Free range bronze from farm down the road, roasted on the breast for the right amount of time.

Can't stand the taste of a brined turkey - eeuuchhh

No brining here but nice and juicy - lots of butter, bacon on the breast, and a bit of cider poured into the tin. Stuffing under the breast, onion, garlic and lemon in the cavity, bit of garlic and bacon and rosemary stuffed into slits in the leg meat (like you do with lamb). Yummy.

Jacksmania Wed 26-Dec-12 21:09:28

Holy cow, so many replies! Thanks all, will have a read as soon as I can thanks

CharlotteBronteSaurus Wed 26-Dec-12 21:12:37

didn't have turkey this year
but when i have done, it has been a £££ organic free range bird. I don't normally buy into all that organic business, but do think it makes a difference with poultry
lots and lots and lots of butter all over the skin, then a layer of bacon
and a sausagemeat stuffing between the skin and the breast

QueenofPlaids Wed 26-Dec-12 21:13:21

I bought a free range bronze turkey Tom our local butcher. We are both reasonably good cooks, but I can't deny it made a difference. Wasn't cheap though - about £70 for 6kg turkey, streaky bacon, chipolatas and sausage meat stuffing.

I don't subscribe to the breast down idea (unless it's a humongous bird), so we just covered it in streaky and basted regularity. A thermometer's great though - ours was ready 45mins early. It would have been dry if we'd left it in for the time calculated using the traditional method.

Oven also needs consideration. We have a very good fan assisted oven. When I was a student (and tbh when I bought my house) I had a cheap non-assisted oven. Much more basting / turning over and checking needed if you're oven's not so good IME.

Finally I cook it a little cooler than chicken - say 170 - 180 vs 190.

anniebunny Wed 26-Dec-12 21:14:40

Cheap Tesco frozen turkey, Nigella brined for a day and a half and roasted until it reached 74 C on my Thermapen probe thermometer (so hot enough that I'm happy no one will get food poisoning from a cheap turkey that's been out of the freezer nearly three days but not so hot that it's overcooked). Twas lovely yesterday and still lovely today. Try it!

beingginger Wed 26-Dec-12 21:16:48

I cooked mine in champagne and chicken stock. Plus an orange carrot celery and an onion. It was amazing really moist and juicy. No fat or butter needed. Will definitely cook the same way next year.

Bonkerz Wed 26-Dec-12 21:35:03

Turkey crown here. Covered in butter and bacon and put in pan with pint of veg stock (knorr stock pot). Basted every half hour. Cooked low heat from 6-10. Rested for 1 hour then sliced (fell off bone) and left in veg stock covered in foil and towel to keep warm x xdelicious

Jacksmania Thu 27-Dec-12 17:00:39

So if you let a turkey rest for an hour, does it not get cold then? Who wants to eat cold turkey?
And do you let it rest breast up or down?

And which part is the turkey crown?

I did a cheap (€9.99) turkey crown from Lidl, and it came out better than the posh free range bird I got a few years back from the farm at the end of our road! I just stuffed some butter under the breast skin, and roasted it at 180 for a couple of hours, with loads of basting. It was (and still is, there's loads left) really moist and full of flavour. Not entirely sure how that happened!

ViperInTheManger Thu 27-Dec-12 17:05:49

I cooked a turkey crown for the first time this year and was concerned it would be dry as the breast is often the dryest but it was lovely.

I put stuffing in the neck end, smeared it with about half a block of softened butter then lay streaky bacon over that, roasted it for recommended time, foil came off for last half hour, then covered and rested before carving.

Arisbottle Thu 27-Dec-12 17:11:28

We brined ours, was delicious

Jacksmania Thu 27-Dec-12 17:17:06

So brining appears to be the way to go.

Still don't know which part of the turkey the crown is.

AmberLeaf Thu 27-Dec-12 17:27:46

Crown is the breast.

ihearsounds Thu 27-Dec-12 17:29:17

Only thing I do is, put a bit of water in the bottom of the tray, chuck in some herbs and a few veg - carrot, celery, onion, parnsip and garlic.. Make sure it is properly covered in loads of tinfoil and cook on 180. I check after about one hour and 15 mins, and then check every 15 minutes after that. When nearly cooked (juices are white not clear) I whip off the foil, cover in honey, whack up the heat so it quickly browns off.. Take out of the oven, cover in foil and rest.
Basically I cook it the same way I do a chicken lol.
Resting time depends on the size of the bird. After about 15 minutes, you can take it out the tray, wrap in foil and will keep warm.
It's never let me down that way. Been doing it for 15 years, ever since a chef showed me how to do it properly instead of cooking the life out of it overnight as been taught by family.

WhenAChildIsBawnTigga Thu 27-Dec-12 20:35:32

Binfullofgibletsonthe26th here is a picture of an American fryer used for turkeys They don't take long.

Brine them or get one boned and rolled and cook with some kind of liquid under the trivet.


Good god that looks like an instrument for sterilizing medical equipment!

I don't think I've bought enough oil in the 20 years I've been supermarket shopping to fill it....

XBenedict Fri 28-Dec-12 13:01:46

Mine was really nice year - I surprised myself! Jamie's cranberry butter under the skin and clementines in the cavity, baste with a little white wine - yum!

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