You never want to encounter dry turkey in your holiday meals. One of the easiest ways to prevent this horror is to cook the big-arse bird with a precision cooker but, thanks to a large hole where its insides used to be, keeping a whole turkey submerged is usually quite the challenge. To overcome the buoyancy, you could chop the turkey into quarters, or you fill the cavity with stock.
Shamefully, this is not a solution I came up with using the power of my brain. No, this clever turkey workaround (ed note: turk-around) was put into this world by Cole Wagoner of Anova, whomst I met at a precision cooking conference. (You’ve never heard of a precision cooking conference? Let me assure you it is a very cool and happening event that very cool and happening people attend.)
Anyway. Cole and I were talking about precision cooking (obviously) and the subject of turkey came up. He casually, as if he were not a genius, mentioned his precision cooked turkey recipe, which calls for the cook to fill the hollow insides of the bird with two quarts of chicken stock, vanquishing the dreaded bird bob.
The bird stays completely submerged in a water bath for 24 hours, after which it is removed, patted dry, then crisped up in a 230-degree oven. Cole cooks his bird at 65 degrees Celsius, which is ideal for breast meat, but I bet you could crank it to 70 degrees for the sake of the thighs. I doubt the breast would dry out—it is, after all, in a very moist cooking environment (especially with all that stock).
Sous Vide Whole Turkey | Anova