Don't have all day to waste cooking a turkey tomorrow? Try this trick from Chef Matt Griffin at Fedora: cook the turkey in a salt crust for a quick, juicy bird.
Here's what you'll need:
- A 4-6kg turkey
- 4 tablespoons of butter
- 1/2 cup of honey
- zest from 1/2 a lemon
- 1 teaspoon of thyme
- 4 cups of egg whites
- 2 cups of peppercorns
- 32 cups of salt. Yeah, you read that right. 32 cups.
Wrap the wings in tin foil and coat the turkey in butter, both under and over the skin. Follow up with your choice of glaze (in this case, the lemon zest, thyme and honey), which will keep the skin from becoming overly salty. Insert stuffing, if applicable, and tie the turkey's legs together with twine so everything cooks evenly.
Then, whisk the egg whites in a large bowl until they become foamy. Put it in a large container with the salt and peppercorns and mix it all together. Add some water and mix well, until the salt mixture looks kind of like wet sand (about 4 cups). Spread a thick layer on a pan, put the turkey on top, and completely encase it in the salt crust.
Heat your oven to 200 degrees and put the turkey in. The salt crust will lock in the moisture and speed up the baking process - the turkey should be fully cooked in only an hour and a half. When it's ready, take it out and use a kitchen hammer to crack off the salt crust, and remove any excess with a damp rag.
The turkey won't have that perfect, glistening skin that an all-day turkey would, but once you carve it up, it will look just fine, and all in just an hour and a half. Not bad if you're short on time.