Turkey Day is coming up and thousands of birds will get roasted, fried, grilled, or smoked this year. Whether you’re a veteran or newbie home chef, you know that having a moist, evenly-cooked turkey is the true measure of your Thanksgiving kitchen skills. So what are you gonna do to achieve this?
The traditional method of roasting has undergone a few makeovers, with a few tricks and hacks to make your turkey more flavorful, quick to cook, or well-done. In this video from Kitchen Conundrums, chef Thomas Joseph walks us through cooking a turkey that will end up juicy. What’s his secret? He wants you to flip the bird!
Upside-Down Roasted Turkey
- 1 fresh turkey – approximately 18 lbs.
- 1 unsliced loaf of bread
- 1 stick of unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons salt
- 2 teaspoons black pepper
- Spice blend (optional)
- Stuffing (optional)
- Butcher’s twine
- Roasting pan
Warm it Up
Preheat oven to 425°Fahrenheit.
Level Your Bread
Level the top of the bread loaf by cutting off the top hump, making it flat.
Slice and Butter It
Slice the bread loaf lengthwise, ensuring that it’s still connected at the middle seam. Open its “flaps” and place it inside of the roasting pan with the inside facing up. Butter the inside of the bread loaf, covering both sides thoroughly.
Mix the salt and pepper together and sprinkle both the inside and outside of the entire turkey. If you have your own spice blend, you can season it with that as well.
Tip the Wings
Fold the neck skin under the body of the turkey. Then rotate and tuck the wing tips so they rest under the breasts.
Tie it Up
Tie the legs together with a small piece of butcher’s twine.
Flip it Over
Take your bird and flip it onto the top of the bread in the roaster. The top side should now be facing downwards and the underside should be face up. Season the bare portion of the turkey.
With the legs first, place the turkey onto the lowest lying rack in the oven. Cook for 45 minutes and then remove pan from the oven.
Cut the Temp
Lower the oven temperature to 350°Fahrenheit.
Flip it Again
Using a tool like a long spoon or spatula, prepare to flip the bird again by inserting the utensil into its cavity. Grab the other end of the turkey with a clean cloth or other utensil. Thomas uses a small hand towel to maneuver the opposite side. Carefully turn the bird over in the pan, breast side up.
Roast it Again
Place turkey in the oven neck first (if your oven is large enough), and cook for an additional 90 minutes. Baste the meat every 15 to 20 minutes until cooking time is complete and turkey is golden brown.
Remove from oven. Check the temperature of the turkey by inserting a thermometer into the thickest part of thigh. It should read 165°Fahrenheit to ensure thorough cooking. Let the turkey rest for at least 30 minutes before carving.
Thomas notes that you should cook your turkey according to temperature and not the size of the bird or cook time. Hence, be sure to check the final temperature, making sure the thermometer is not touching bone. For those of you who stuff the bird, increase your roasting time accordingly by about 30 to 45 minutes. How do you cook your bird each Thanksgiving? Would you try flipping it? Share in the comments!