There’s a definite chill in the air these October evenings. That, combined with Canadian Thanksgiving, makes us crave roast turkey, roast chicken, roast potatoes, roast anything in fact!
The only part of the feast we don’t crave is spending hours in our kitchen making it. For those of you with no time to slave over a hot stove, our Easy Way to Roast a Turkey guide is for you.
And for those with no oven, fear not! Our No Oven, No Problem! tips for roasting mean you can still prepare a home style roast chicken from your oven-less Chinese kitchen…
Before you begin, make sure you thoroughly thaw your turkey. Nothing spoils a feast like a bout of food poisoning! Either thaw in the fridge over a few days, or place in a bucket of cold water and change the water every half hour until thawed.
1. Take the turkey out of the fridge about an hour before you want to start cooking. Remove the packaging and the bag of giblets. Set the bird breast-side up on the roasting rack and let it sit. This helps the meat cook more evenly and also dries out the skin for crisping.
2. Pre-heat the Oven to 230°C/ 450°F - Position an oven rack in the bottom third of your oven.
3. Rub the bird with some salt and pepper and butter before putting it in the oven. (For easy roasting, leave the bird unstuffed or just place a halved lemon and garlic cloves in the cavity. This means the meat will cook more evenly with less monitoring.)
4. Pour two cups of broth or water into the roasting pan. Place the turkey in the oven and turn down the heat to 175°C/350°F.
5. The rule of thumb for cooking a turkey is approximately 13 minutes per 450g or pound. So a 5.5kg Norbest Turkey should take around 2.5 hours to cook. However, as ovens vary, start checking the temperature of the bird half way through cooking to see how quickly it is cooking. Check the temperature in the breast, outer and inner thighs.
6. Remove the turkey from the oven every 45 minutes to baste. Tilt the pan and use a turkey baster or spoon to scoop up the liquids and drizzle them on top of the turkey. In the last round of basting, pour the melted butter over the top of the bird to give it a deep brown skin.
7. During the final temperature check, each part of the bird should be at least 75°C/ 165°F. If it’s lower than that, return to the oven for another 15 minutes. Cover the breast meat with foil to prevent it overcooking and drying out.
8. Take the bird out of the oven and tilt it so that all the juices run out. Lift the whole bird on to a cutting board and leave to stand for half an hour. This will give tenderer, tastier meat.
9. When carving the bird, first remove the wings and then the thighs before slicing the breast meat.
10. Pour yourself a well-deserved drink and tuck into your delicious dinner!
Pot roasted chicken doesn’t give the same crispy skin as oven roasting but the tender meat and fabulous flavors more than compensate. And did we already mention that you don’t need an oven!?!
1 Turkey or Chicken
A heavy pot with lid large enough to hold the bird
2 Tbsp. Bridel Butter
Several sprigs of rosemary
1. Use the heaviest pot you can find, preferably enameled cast iron, with a tight fitting lid. It must be large enough to fit the bird inside with the lid on.
2. Heat the pot at a medium-high temperature until hot!
3. Melt two tablespoons of butter and add salt, pepper and any other spices to this mix.
4. Pour the butter mix evenly over the bird and rub into the skin.
5. Place the bird breast side up in the pot alongside garlic cloves, onion chunks, rosemary sprigs and lemon wedges.
6. Cover the pot tightly with the lid and turn the heat down to low.
7. Allow the bird to slow “roast” for at least 2 hours. This gives you time to pop to the pub, fir in a quick gym session or head to the shops for anything else you may need.
8. Check the temperature of the bird before removing. The breast meat and thighs should all be at least 75°C/ 165°F before serving.
9. Transfer the cooked chicken to a plate. Reduce the remaining juices into delicious gravy.
10. Tuck in!