This year I thought I would try cooking my Christmas day roast turkey using the cheese cloth method. I think I first saw this method demonstrated on the food channel, but I really can’t remember which program this was on. So I found this method explained in one of Martha Stewart Roast Turkey Recipes ( she has more than one!).
In her recipe, she stuffs the roast turkey with a bread-based stuffing. I, however, prefer to cook the roast turkey stuffing separately as a side dish. I find stuffing the turkey and then cooking this effectively is a bit challenging. I make a stuffing made with a base of sausage meat and bacon.
The idea behind the cheesecloth method is to keep the muslin that is draped over the turkey moist with a mixture of butter and white wine. In turn, the turkey remains moist as it cooks, unexpectedly the turkey skin does brown underneath the cheesecloth.
I used a small white turkey in this recipe, but the method would work just as well with a larger turkey. I’m not sure if this is the best roast turkey recipe, but the results are pretty good and the method is simple and easy to follow.
Roast Turkey Recipe – Ingredients
300ml white wine
1 small onion
6 cloves garlic
Salt and pepper
2ft x 2ft piece of muslin
Remove the giblets from the turkey and set these aside.
Pat the turkey dry with paper kitchen roll, and place the turkey onto a roasting tray.
Chop up the clementines, onion and apple into quarters, place these with the garlic cloves into the cavity of the turkey and around the turkey.
Season the turkey with salt and pepper sprinkled into the skin.
Place the butter and white wine in a pan and heat gently until the butter is melted. Add the muslin (cheesecloth) to the pan to soak up the wine and butter mixture.
Drape the muslin all over the breast and legs of the turkey.
Place the roast turkey into an oven preheated to 180C for 2 hours 25 minutes.
Every 30 minutes baste the cheesecloth with the butter and wine mixture. The cheesecloth start will turn black but underneath the turkey will be protected from drying out. After 1 hour 30 minutes roll back the cheesecloth from the turkey legs as they need longer to cook.
The turkey is cooked once the internal temperature reaches 77C or 170F, when the temperature probe is placed in the thickest part of the thigh, but avoiding the thigh bone.
Roast Turkey Gravy Recipe
lettuce (couple of handfuls of leaves)
1 bunch spring onions
4 stems celery
2 garlic cloves
2 bay leaves
10 allspice berries
1 tablespoon dried mixed herbs
Juices from the roast turkey
450ml white wine
2 liters water (I use water that vegetables have been cooked in).
Place all the ingredients into a large pan simmer for about 1/2 hour.
Strain into a clean pan through ice cubes to remove fat.
Simmer rapidly until the gravy mixture has reduced to the desired consistency.
Serve alongside the roast turkey.