After trying this method, you’ll never cook a turkey another way. It’s slow-cooked, so you don’t have to time it to the second, and the result is incredibly mouthwatering, melting meat. Plus, it’s just so easy to make! You pop it in the oven overnight, literally do nothing to it, and wake up to the magnificent Christmas day aromas and a perfectly cooked tender turkey. This method of placing it breast-side down (which is the key point) keeps the breast meat moist and bits, like wings and legs, crunchier. If you do make it, you’ll be a popular chef this Christmas!
- 5kg - turkey
- 2tbsp - coconut oil
- 1 - orange, quartered with skin on
- 2 - celery sticks, roughly cut to a length that will fit inside the turkey cavity
- 1 - brown onion, quartered with skin on
- 1 - carrot, roughly cut to a length that will fit inside the turkey cavity
- Optional Gravy
- 1cup - cherries, pitted
- Liquid from the cooked turkey
- Preheat over to 180 degrees (fan forced). Trim the turkey, clean the cavity, rinse it under cold water and pat it dry with a paper towel.
- Rub the turkey with coconut oil, then stuff the cavity with the orange, celery, onion, and carrot.
- Place the turkey BREAST DOWN on the tray. This is the most important thing to remember, as placing it breast-side down on the tray keeps the white meat moist and makes for a perfect turkey full of flavour.
- Pop the turkey into the oven and keep it there for 45 minutes at 180 degrees. This is important as it kills the bacteria and blasts the skin with heat, which kicks off the cooking process.
- After exactly 45 minutes, turn the oven down to 85 degrees and cook the bird low and slow overnight for 12 hours minimum and up to 16 hours. Any conventional time you are given for cooking your turkey according to its weight is multiplied by 3 for this slow-cooked method. (For example, a 5-hour recommendation becomes 15 hours using this method.)
- This turkey will not only be delicious, but it’s flexible enough in its timing to accommodate late-arriving guests, so you’re not stressing about cooking times and getting the bird on the table. You needn’t watch it or baste it, although you can if you want to. I usually check it every 4 hours or so just out of curiosity and to enjoy the aroma.
- A note on serving: because it’s cooked breast down, it is not as ‘pretty’ as a breast-up turkey when served. I solve this by carving it before it reaches the table, which makes life that much easier anyway. For the magnificent, moist, subtle flavour, it’s worth compromising on the aesthetic.
- Decant the liquid from the cooked turkey into a small pot and add the pitted cherries. Reduce the liquid to about half by simmering on low heat and occasionally stirring for 10-15 minutes.
- Serve it with the turkey as you would a gravy.