Updated: Jan 6
A magnificent roast turkey as the centerpiece of the menu for holiday gatherings is a much loved tradition. However, there are many other delicious ways to prepare a turkey and this recipe that is ideal for entertaining is one of my favorites. In my experience, this is one of those recipes that people always ask about, I am not sure if it’s the turkey or the sauce or the combination but it just works.
What is “Pulled” Turkey?
Basically, pulled meat is braised, that is to say, it has been cooked slowly in a sauce until it is meltingly tender and comes away easily from the bone, so that when cooled it can be pulled or shredded. As with all braises using bone-in pieces will add flavor and also results in a better texture. While the legs and thighs work best a smaller bone-in turkey breast can be used if you prefer.
What is the Best Method for Braising Turkey, Convection or Convection Steam?
When you read a recipe that says to cook something in a Dutch oven with a tight-fitting lid, then basically you are trapping steam in the pan that aids in the cooking process. The best modes to choose in a Convection oven are either Convection or Convection Bake as the circulating heated air maintains a consistent temperature in the pan.
If you cook this dish in the Convection Steam oven, choose the Combination Convection Steam mode, you don’t need to cover the pan but make sure the meat is submerged in the sauce. I usually check it halfway through the cooking time and if it is developing a crust then I turn it.
So basically the tight fitting lid on a pan creates steam or you can use the combination of heat and steam in your Steam oven. Two different methods but both are using the same science to cook the food. A low temperature and steam.
If you have a gas oven or an oven with an exposed heating element you will have better results if you move the pan slightly higher in the oven so it’s not as close to the direct heat from the bottom heat source. If the pan is too close to a strong heat source you risk evaporating all the liquids in the pan.
This is one delicious turkey recipe that works well for more casual entertaining as it can be kept warm in a crockpot or on a very, very low simmer. However, turkey pieces can be braised with stock and root vegetables similar to a pot roast, or with a little added flair with some apples and apple cider. I like this Moroccan-inspired braised turkey, which also works well for entertaining that is finished with this flavor packed fresh herb, and lemon sauce.
Remember delicious as that roast turkey and those turkey sandwiches are, there are many other good ways to cook this delicious bird. So while it's easier to find turkey at the market be adventurous and try a few new recipes.
If you have never made good use of your Convection oven, be sure to check out my next post in which I will explain how to orchestrate a complete holiday meal and have everything cooked to perfection. I have done this many times in large ovens and small ovens and it always works well, the key is understanding how to use Convection.
Larissa, Your Convection Enthusiast