It’s cheap, easy to cook and a healthy replacement for other meats such as lamb or pork. However, turkey often gets a bad press dues to its perceived lack of flavor and tendency to dry out. Here are a couple of tips to avoid both these issues, which will suit both the organized and spontaneous (i.e. drunken) cooks out there.
One of the easiest ways to imbue turkey with a whole new layer of flavor and taste is to marinate it in advance. Marinades for turkey can include ingredients such as wine (a popular one), lemon juice, vinegar, herbs and spices.
A quick easy way to marinate is to make random holes with a fork, then place the turkey in a cooking bag, pouring in the pre-prepared marinade over the top. You should make sure the bag is securely closed, then leave it overnight in the refrigerator.
Then, the next day all you have to do is scrape off any excess marinade and cook the turkey as normal. As turkey recipes go this is extremely straight forward, and yet it enhances the flavour a huge amount.
An important safety tip though- do NOT reuse the marinade to baste the turkey. That way food poisoning awaits.
Of course, there’s also the crucial time when you’ve come home from the pub and desperately need something to eat in a vain attempt to stave off the morning’s hangover. Being drunk, there will of course be only one thing you crave, a good old fashioned kebab. Only the truly well-prepared will have marinated in advance.
So, here’s what you do. Mix together 2bsp of olive oil and ketchup, and a tablespoon of white wine vinegar, black treacle and Dijon mustard. Skewer 1lb of diced turkey thighs, alternating chicken with red pepper and red onion. Then brush the skewers with the ketchup/mustard mix you’ve already prepared.
Grill for eight to ten minutes, turning regularly, then serve in warmed up pitta breads.
Scoff right now, trying not to get the marinade all over yourself, and congratulate yourself on what a great cook you are, even after a few pints.
Did you know…
There’s a common myth that turkey will make you sleepy. There is some scientific backing for this theory. Turkey contains a chemical called tryptophan, which is related to the production of serotonin in the human brain, which helps us sleep. The story makes a lot of sense. After all, when you’ve tried your mum’s roast turkey at Christmas dinner, you do always feel very sleepy.
However, in actual fact turkey recipes don’t contain any more tryptophan than any other meat dish. In fact you’ll find more tryptophan in cheddar cheese (No word on whether that’s why you have all those freaky dreams if you eat too much of it).
So turkey is totally innocent when it comes to it’s attempts to tranquilize you. The real, scientifically approved reason why you’re tired after Christmas dinner is because it’s a meal with a lot carbohydrates in, like roast potatoes. Also, all that booze you drank. Again.
Charles Reybreck is a freelance writer working with Lean On Turkey. He is a recently convert to healthy recipes after having spent most of his life hunched over a keyboard eating Pringles.