It is possible to slow cook turkey and the results are usually beautifully moist and tender but there are a few things you should know about how to slow cook a turkey before you get started. Slow cooked turkey is one of the best crockpot recipes because it is so simple to do and slow cooked turkey is wonderfully succulent.
First of all, you will need to use a big crockpot if you are planning to cook a whole turkey in there. An oblong shaped one is best. Secondly, you will need a cleaned, thawed turkey. Putting a frozen turkey in the refrigerator is the best way to defrost it safely. You can thaw it in the microwave or under running cold water but thawing your bird in the refrigerator is safer, even though this method can take a couple of days.
Use your favorite seasonings to season the inside and outside of the turkey. Traditional seasonings for poultry include thyme, marjoram, and sage. Salt and pepper are good to use too and Cajun seasonings are nice with turkey as well. Rubbing on a layer of olive oil and then the seasonings is a good way to apply them. You should season the bird a day before cooking it to let the flavorings absorb into the flesh.
One great tip if you want to slow cook turkey is to separate the skin from the breast, without removing it. Apply some melted butter in there, as well as some thyme and rosemary. This gives the meat a wonderful flavor.
If you want to cook vegetables at the same time, you will need to chop them into big chunks. Very small chunks will turn to mush and disappear. Celery, carrots, red bell pepper, and fennel root all work nicely with crockpot turkey recipes. Toss the vegetables in olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Put a layer of vegetable chunks into the slow cooker and pour in some vegetable bouillon or turkey broth. The bouillon is to create steam so you do not need much.
Cooking the Turkey
Cook the turkey on low for six to twelve hours, depending on its size. The bird is cooked when the breast reaches 170 degrees F and the thigh reaches 180 degrees F inside. It is not necessary to baste a slow cooked turkey. It should stay moist, as long as you do not open the lid more than once or twice during cooking. You can baste the top of the turkey a couple of times with egg whites or light cream during cooking if you want the top to come out crispy.
When the turkey has finished cooking, remove it from the crockpot, and let it rest for fifteen or twenty minutes before carving it. This allows the juices to redistribute and the meat will be juicier as a result. The vegetables will be very tender and flavorsome too. If you like to make easy crockpot recipes then you will love turkey cooked in this way.
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