From Thanksgiving to Christmas, turkey is a must when it comes to holiday meals, but it can be tricky to prepare.
Poultry meat is delicate. It is composed of soft, lean muscles that cook fairly quickly, but are low in fat. We then tend to have meat that is cooked, but a little dry. Here are our secrets on how to cook your poultry to perfection and delight all your guests!
Consider cooking it on a spit
When meat is skewered, it cooks evenly. The heat is properly distributed throughout the cooking process and the meat will be much less dry than in a traditional oven. But you have to admit, not everyone is equipped for this type of cooking!
Marinate the meat
In order to have very tender meat, ideally, you should marinate it. It will absorb all the moisture from the marinade and its flesh will be very soft. You can marinate it in lemon juice, olive oil, and honey for example.
Baste the meat
If you can’t cook the turkey on a spit, baste it abundantly and frequently. Basting it with the juice the meat gives off will ensure it has a soft texture and a very rich taste!
Put water in the oven
To prevent the meat from drying out too much, you can add water to the drip pan, which is a hollow plate that you put in the oven. Steam will form and moisturise the turkey. Tenderness guaranteed!
Try using a slow cooker
The best way to get tender meat without investing in rotisserie equipment and without basting the meat every ten minutes is to cook it in a slow cooker. This slow, low-temperature cooking process results in the most tender meat possible.
This method allows the rubbery collagen in the meat to turn into velvety gelatine. This transformation takes place at a temperature between 65° and 70°. The gelatine will melt and mix with the cooking juices to create a very tasty sauce.
To do this, simply place the ingredients in the pot (meat and onions) and let them sear for a few minutes. Then add water or broth halfway up the turkey.
Close the lid to prevent steam from escaping and set the temperature to the lowest setting. Let the heat penetrate the meat. At the end of the cooking time, don't hesitate to add a little broth to get a richly flavoured sauce!
Don't forget to plan gourmet accompaniments for an unforgettable and above all, very gourmet Christmas Eve!