Wednesday, December 29

An unorthodox way to roast a turkey.

(And yet another Daily Bread post. I'm dead gastronomic today, me.)

I think it was 1991. My dad & I (it was just the two of us living together) wanted to invite my dad's friend Terry round for Christmas dinner. But Terry couldn't leave his sick dog alone overnight, and giving Terry a lift back that night would mean my dad wouldn't be able to drink alcohol (on Christmas Day!), and it just wasn't going to happen. We couldn't rightly invite ourselves round to Terry's place, thus forcing him to cook a huge meal for us. Then my dad hit on an ingenious solution.

On Christmas morning, he roast the turkey until it needed another hour or so in the oven, took it out of the oven and wrapped it in towels to keep it warm, put it in the boot of the car, drove it and me right across London to Terry's place, and put it into the oven that Terry had waiting for it. For the whole journey, we were hoping that this compromise between cooking and travel wouldn't wreck the meat. And it didn't.

In fact, the turkey was fantastic: incredibly moist and tender; one of the best we'd ever had. Being wrapped in towels for a while seemed to have done quite a brilliant job. My dad & I have been joking ever since that we should try that method again sometime.

Well, this year, I did. Only without the car boot.

It was only a small turkey we had: it was going to need about an hour and three-quarters done the usual way. I made a rough guess, based on nothing, that two minutes wrapped in towels would be about equivalent to one minute in the oven. So I roast the turkey in foil for an hour and a bit, took it out and wrapped it in foil and some tea towels and a bath towel and left it for about half an hour or so, then put it back in the oven, without the foil, for another half hour or so, basting occasionally. I then got distracted by vegetables and left it in for at least ten minutes longer than I'd intended. Oops.

And the results were fantastic. Definitely the best turkey I've ever roasted.

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