Thursday, 30 December 2010

How to cook your Christmas turkey in the dishwasher and live to tell the tale

So, a week before Xmas my oven decides to stop working. All the local shops can't deliver a new one for 6 weeks, and I have 7 for Christmas dinner... aarrrgghhh!

So what did I do? I turned to trusty Twitter and Facebook for an answer. After posting out my plea, I received back many ideas:

  • microwave it
  • BBQ it
  • deep fry it
  • cook it in the dishwasher
Yep, that's right, cook it in the dishwasher.

Now, I admit that one of the other three options must be easier than the dishwasher suggestion, but come on - when have I backed down in the face of a challenge? The dishwasher it must be!

I told the family and they looked at me aghast. "Cook the turkey... in the dishwasher....?" All except Leigh, who said "What a great idea for a blog post!" (glad to see she inherited my nose for drama ;) )

And so, on Xmas morning we duly got out the turkey:

Well, to be honest it was a Chapon not a turkey as such, but it once had feathers and laid eggs so I'm not quibbling :)

The recipes I found online said to wrap it in stemaing bags - we didn't have any so we extra quadruple wrapped it in thick turkey foil while we were running the dishwasher through on empty to make sure it was clean.

Then into the dishwasher it went:

Here's the turkey in it's home for the next few hours:

It was a 3.5KG bird, so we put it through 4 cycles at the highest temperature (75 deg) - checking it after each cycle to see if it really was cooking. Leigh was on standby with chicken nuggets if it didn't, and Shaun mentioned many times how glad he was having fish that could be cooked in the microwave (wuss!)

After 4 cycles, we unwrapped it and took a look:

It was cooked! OK, it was a bit pale and anaemic looking, but nothing a quick blast in the microwave grill and copious amounts of gravy couldn't sort out.

Most importantly, it tasted yummy - moist, flavourful, and very definitely edible - with not a trace of detergent to be found ;)

The rest of the Christmas dinner was cooked in the halogen oven we borrowed, in pans and in the microwave, so it was a bit of a 'take it as you find it' affair, but all in all it worked well and everyone had a lovely Christmas dinner, as well as having created a bit of a talking point!

 They tell me I'm brave to have tried it on such an important meal; there's a thin line between bravery and stupidity; I'm not sure which side I'm on LOL!

So for those of you who thought it couldn't be done - it can! For those of you who thought I wouldn't do it - I did! And for those of you who want to try it - do it! It really didn't take much longer than cooking the traditional way, and the end result was most pleasant.

What would you have done with your Christmas turkey if your oven broke a few days before Christmas?

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  1. I never doubted that you'd do it - but I didn't think it would work on such a big lump of meat! Well done you. I wouldn't have risked it I have to admit. I would have taken the legs off and put the whole lot into the pressure cooker.

    We had pheasant this year, an English tradition. Turkey is an American tradition. OK a pheasant will fit in a saucepan - but next year it's goose for us - the real English xmas dinner. Luckily I have 2 ovens!

  2. Nice one Nikki, ever resourceful in the eye of the lack of delivery men!

    I'll go with brave on choosing to cook such an important meal in such a way, as its a well documented (once you look it up online...) method of cooking. Its basically steam cooking, so hence why it creates moist, tasty but visually anaemic food. I think your Christmas bird is proabably on the limit for this method of cooking, wouldn't want to try it with red meat - possibly pork, certainly not steak.

    I doff my hat in cooking admiration, and am sure many French chefs will now do so as well. Probably can't buy a dishwasher now within 20Kms/6weeks either of this blog post, let alone a cooker!

  3. Zanussi - the appliance of... the brave!

    I think there must be something in the genes of all mothers. I remember my own mother using a can opener as a hammer, butter knives as screw drivers and spoons to help me change my bike tyres!

    My Dad must have caught on from Mum as he used to make Christmas Baubles out of old Christmas Cards (they were pretty good too)and I can remember him many a time using Vim as toothpaste in times of emergencies!

    Come to think of it, I've used LPs to measure things (6" edge to hole, 12" edge to edge, obviously!) when a ruler cannot be found...behaviour breeds behaviour indeed.

    Great post, only the brave Nikki!


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