Overcooked, bland, and dried out turkey is very common around homes. With practice it is possible to cook turkey perfectly using traditional methods but it is always a fine line between perfect and overcooked. Using sous vide turkey always results in uniformly tender turkey that is very moist.
The FDA states that turkey is safe when it is held at 136°F / 58°C for over 63 minutes, or 140°F / 60°C for over 30 minutes. This is very easy to do with sous vide and almost impossible to do with traditional methods.
However, even though it is possible to cook sous vide turkey at temperatures below 140°F / 60°C we have found that the texture is very different and tastes "raw". To avoid this we recommend turkey breasts cooked at 140°F / 60°C to 147°F / 63.8°C for 1 to 4 hours and legs or thighs cooked at 147°F / 63.8°C for 4 to 8 hours.
Often times around Thanksgiving there are great deals to be had on whole turkeys as well as turkey thighs and breasts. However, you can only eat so much roasted turkey with gravy so I like to try different sous vide recipes with them.
Here I used some turkey thighs and combined it with the Jamaican jerk paste from our new sous vide book. I use sous vide turkey thighs since they are a great way to have moist, juicy turkey without having to keep an eye on them. I can also sous vide them while I'm working and they're ready when I get home and I just have to quickly sear them and make any sides. Hopefully this is one more sous vide recipe you can add to your mid-week cooking arsenal.
Everyone loves turkey at the holidays but few seem to make it during the year. This is a real shame because it is a flavorful, healthy meat, and when cooked with sous vide turkey is incredibly tender. I saw some nice turkey breasts at the store the other day and decided to cook them sous vide, sear them up, and serve them with a cucumber and cherry tomato salad fresh from our garden. Here's the sous vide recipe so you can make it yourself.
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