Saturday, February 29, 2020

Upside Down Roast Turkey

Montana Flavor
Chef Shelly

So, I had heard this idea on one of those TV food shows then googled it.*  Apparently, its nothing new, where have I been that I only just learned this???

It made perfect sense, logically. Which means I had to try it for myself and see.  

Yup, it works!

The idea is roasting your turkey on its breast side instead of the backbone. The logic is that while the meat roasts, the juices are naturally drawn down thru gravity. Because white meat cooks faster than dark meat, the breasts have a tendency to dry out when cooked upright. Plus, when the dark meat is directly exposed to the dry heat, it cooks faster.

There are many ways to prevent dry white meat:
     - brining, cover breasts in cheese cloth, roast in a bag, etc.  

I've tried all of those but this one is the EASIEST to achieve moist breast meat with that CRUNCHY skin. This is the way I did my Upside Down Roast Turkey:

1. Pat your thawed turkey dry with paper towels, inside and out
2. Gently rub an herb compound butter under the breast skin 
     (I used herb clarified butter because I'm on a Whole30 diet with no dairy at the moment)
3. Rub the same compound butter all over the outside of the turkey
4. Place, on a rack, breast side down, in your roasting pan
    (I stuffed mine with 1/2 of red onion and 1 lime, quartered) 
5. Bake uncovered in preheated 350F Convection Oven (air)* according to size/weight
     (after 1.5 hours, rotate pan 180 degrees - the door is farther away from the fan so the meat facing the door gets less color, rotating gives more even color)
6. When cook time is 1 hour away from done, carefully remove pan from oven and utilizing silicone oven mitts (clean easier) flip the turkey onto its backbone so breasts are right side up.  At this stage, they will look nothing like they end up so don't be discouraged by the lack of color on the skin. Return to oven.
     (repeat the process of turning 180 degrees after 30 minutes.)
7. When an instant read thermoter inserted into thickest part of the thigh reaches 165F, and juices between leg & breast run clear, your done.
8. Remove, cover with vented foil and let rest for 20 minutes
9. Carve & enjoy.

Honestly, it was GREAT! It cooked faster than I anticipated, 20# in 3 1/4 hours.

Chef Shelly

* idea first seen on Food Network show "The Kitchen" 
* Convection baking vs. Conventional oven uses a fan to circulate the hot air in the oven. This provides a more even cooking process. Awesome for baking pastries, cookies, cakes, pies and roasting meat & veg.  Know that cooking times are faster and temp is hotter with convection so convert your recipes to 25F less  and 25% less time. This will depend on your ovens' calibration so watch & take notes for next time.

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