Maybe it was because of the way it was cooked or maybe because it was our first Thanksgiving living outside the US, but the Turkey we made our first year in Taiwan was amazing. We had a local friend find us a turkey that year. He went to a turkey rice restaurant and asked if we could buy a turkey. They wanted to sell us a 44 kg turkey! We convinced them to sell us a smaller size. Little did we know that would mean we would get half a turkey. Literally, they took a chainsaw and cut the 44 kg turkey in half and we were presented with the right side.
When my husband brought this giant side of a turkey home, he was pretty proud. Right up until he had to break the thing down and get rid of the neck. Cooking this thing cook creativity. We had a slow cooker and a toaster oven. Since cooking a turkey in a toaster over would take days, we opted for the slow cooker. This made the best roasted turkey I have ever eaten. Here are the steps:
- Defrost turkey completely.
- Line the bottom of the slow cooker with several loose foil balls. These will support the turkey and turn the slow cooker into a roaster.
- Surround foil with carrots, celery, onions & garlic. Don’t worry about how these look. They are just to flavor the turkey, not to serve.
- Add chicken stock so that it covers half way up the depth of the foil. Don’t add too much as the turkey will produce moisture too and you aren’t trying to braise the thing.
- Rub your turkey with butter and spices (basil, sage, garlic, onion, parsley, etc.)
- Place your turkey in the slow cooker. Cook on high for 6-8 hours until the internal temperature of the turkey is 180°F.
- Allow the meat to rest 15-30 minutes before carving.
We ended up with a wonderfully juicy roasted turkey, with lovely golden color. This turkey was so good that this year my husband and kids are asking me to do our Thanksgiving turkey in the slow cooker again.
TIP: If your turkey is too large for the slow cooker, do it in sections. We roasted the dark meat part of the turkey the night before and simply reheated it. The turkey was still juicy and wonderful.