If you’re the kind of person who never fails to slip a fragment of eggshell into your eggs benny, the prospect of cooking a Christmas turkey for every person you care about can be daunting.
If you found yourself looking at your oven recently with a cocked head, wondering “So how do I switch this thing on?” then yes, buddy, we’re talking about you.
Speaking to Mamamia, the 47-year-old mum of three (and Christmas cooking extraordinaire) shared her go-to tips for dishing up a tender roast turkey, without fail.
1. Size matters
"You don’t have to buy an enormous turkey, just get one that feeds the right amount of people," Julie tells Mamamia.
"You may be tempted to buy a bigger one for the look, however, the bigger it is, the harder it is to cook and generally a lot goes to waste."
LISTEN: Alissa Warren speaks to Julie Goodwin about her life post-Masterchef, and parenting boys. Post continues after audio.
2. Get to work the night before
Making sure the turkey is tender has everything to do with soaking it, Julie says.
"Soak the turkey overnight in the fridge in Brine - a bath of water with some sugar and salt - this will help to keep tender when cooked."
3. Don't cook the stuffing inside the turkey
"Cook the turkey stuffing in a different dish rather than inside the turkey," Julie advises. "This will allow the heat to circulate in the cavity, cooking it more evenly and minimising the chance of the breast drying out."
Huh. We never thought of that.
4. It's all about the secrets herbs and spices
People, if you're going to get one thing bang on, make sure it's this:
"Make a compound butter with garlic, sage, orange zest, dried herbs (of your choosing) salt and pepper," Julie says.
"Place this under the skin in between the breast. It will baste the breast as it's cooking."
5. Have the al foil handy
Keep finding the turkey doesn't cook evenly, and has some not-so-pretty dark spots? No problemo.
"If the skin colours too quickly, use small pieces of foil to cover those sections to so it doesn’t burn before the turkey is cooked."
6. Know the signs
"But how can I tell if it's cooked all the way through or not?" we hear you ask.
"When the turkey is fully cooked, the juices on the pan will be clear with some lovely golden brown pieces (perfect for the gravy base), juices inside will run clear and legs will be loose in their sockets," Julie says.
Now go forth and impress your relos with the perfect turkey, friends!
You can purchase the Masterchef 2009 winner's latest book, Julie Goodwin's Essential Cookbook, for $40 right here.