This is a revolutionary method from Mark Bittman, New York Times food writer. It takes a bit of courage to trust that it will really cook in 45 minutes but it is the most delicious turkey I have ever cooked. It’s so easy you could cook a small turkey any time.
Serves 8 – 12
1 x 4 - 6 kilo SPCA Blue Tick turkey
1 bulb of garlic, base sliced off
1 bunch fresh sage
I bunch thyme sprigs
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil or 50g softened butter
Freshly ground pepper and salt flakes
Heat oven to 220C degrees and oil a flat roasting pan.
Place turkey, breast side down, on a stable cutting board. Cut out backbone with a chef’s knife or poultry scissors. Turn turkey over, and press down on breast bone to flatten.
Position turkey, breast side up, on the pan with wings partly covering breasts, and legs protruding.
Tuck garlic, sage and thyme under turkey and between body and wings and legs. Drizzle with olive oil or spread with soft butter. Season well with pepper and salt.
Roast on a middle rack at 220°C for 20 minutes. Baste with pan juices and reduce heat to 200°C. If the turkey browns too quickly, reduce temperature to 175C.
Begin to check turkey's temperature about 10 minutes later for a small bird or 15 minutes if 5 – 6 kilos. Test for doneness by piercing the thigh meat with a meat thermometer. It is cooked when it reaches 85°C - check in a couple of places.
When cooked remove turkey from oven, place on a warmed platter, cover with foil and a cloth and rest in a warm place for 10 – 15 minutes to allow the juices to settle before carving. Carve the breast across the grain of the meat for the juiciest slices.
Serve with roast garlic cloves and pan juices.
Robyn Kippenberger has kindly donated this recipe to our SPCA Blue Tick Cookbook 'Made with Love’. All the royalties from this cookbook go to SPCA New Zealand. Buy your copy here.
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