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How To Cook Turkey In South Africa: African Roasted Recipe

How To Cook Turkey In South Africa: There is no lack of imagination or flavours to experiment with while cooking a delectable turkey feast in South Africa. Incorporating the complex and varied flavours of South African cuisine into your turkey recipe can produce a delectable culinary experience. In this article, we’ll take you through the step-by-step process of cooking a turkey in South Africa, infusing it with local spices and traditions. Get ready to embark on a gastronomic journey that will leave your taste buds dancing with delight.

Tips For Choosing Turkey In South Africa

Choosing a turkey in South Africa, or anywhere else for that matter, requires some careful consideration to ensure you get a quality bird that suits your needs. Here are some tips for selecting the right turkey:

  1. Choose the right size turkey for your guests, considering the number of people you plan to serve.
  2. Choose between fresh or frozen turkeys for flavor and convenience, as fresh turkeys require immediate use and require thawing time.
  3. Consider your budget. Turkeys come in different price ranges, so choose one that fits your budget while still meeting your quality standards.
  4. If possible, choose a turkey from a reputable source, such as a trusted local butcher or a well-known supermarket. Knowing the source can give you confidence in the quality and handling of the bird.
  5. Identify turkey origin, antibiotic/hormone-free raised, free-range/organic labels, and free-range/free-range options.
  6. Examine the turkey for smooth skin, plump meat, and firmness.
  7. Choose a turkey based on cooking equipment size, oven, roasting pan, and refrigerator for storage.
  8. If you opt for a frozen turkey, plan ahead for the thawing process. A general rule is to allow 24 hours of thawing time in the refrigerator for every 2.27 kg (5 pounds) of turkey.
  9. Some brands are known for their quality turkeys. Research and read reviews or ask for recommendations from friends and family to find a brand you can trust.
  10. Don’t hesitate to ask the seller for advice or recommendations, especially if you’re unsure about which turkey to choose. They can provide valuable insights and may even be able to help you select the best turkey for your specific cooking plans.
  11. Plan turkey purchases in advance for holiday meals, as demand can be high.
  12. Some Stores offer specialty turkeys, like heritage breeds or smoked turkeys, for unique meal options.

Ingredients Needed In Cooking Roasted In South Africa

1 whole turkey (size depends on the number of servings required) For the brine:

  • 4 liters of water
  • 1 cup salt
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • A few sprigs of fresh herbs (such as rosemary and thyme)

For the marinade:

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • Salt and pepper to taste

How To Cook Turkey In South Africa: African Roasted Recipe

How To Cook Turkey In South Africa: African Roasted Recipe

You can accompany your South African-style roasted turkey with traditional sides like chutney, yellow rice, braai (barbecue) dishes, or roasted vegetables.

Brine the Turkey:

a. Water, salt, brown sugar, lemon segments, minced garlic, and fresh herbs should all be combined in a big pot. Until the sugar and salt are dissolved, heat the mixture. Let it to totally cool.

b. Pack the turkey into a sizable container that can accommodate both the bird and the brine, such as a food-safe plastic bag. Make sure the turkey is completely submerged in the brine by pouring it over. Place the bag or container in the fridge for at least 12 to 24 hours after sealing. The turkey will become more delicious and moist as a result.

Prepare the Marinade:

a. In a bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, paprika, ground coriander, ground cumin, ground cinnamon, ground ginger, salt, and pepper. This will be the flavorful coating for the turkey.

Preheat the Oven:

Preheat your oven to 180°C (350°F).

Remove the turkey from the brine and rinse.

Take the turkey out of the brine and rinse it thoroughly under cold running water. Pat it dry with paper towels.

Apply the Marinade:

Brush the entire turkey, inside and out, with the prepared marinade. Make sure to get into all the nooks and crannies. This will add flavor and help the skin crisp up during roasting.


a. Place the turkey on a roasting rack in a large roasting pan. Cover the turkey loosely with aluminum foil to prevent excessive browning of the skin at the beginning of cooking.

b. Roast the turkey in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes per pound (450g) or until the internal temperature of the thickest part of the thigh reaches 75°C (165°F). Remember to remove the foil during the last 30-45 minutes to allow the skin to brown and crisp up.

Rest and Serve:

Once the turkey is done, remove it from the oven and let it rest for about 20-30 minutes before carving. This allows the juices to redistribute, resulting in a moist and flavorful bird.

Serving Your South African Turkey

Side Dishes

South African meals are incomplete without delicious sides. Consider serving your turkey with pap (a maize porridge), chakalaka (a spicy vegetable relish), and creamy potato salad.

Wine Pairing

South Africa is renowned for its wines. Pair your turkey with a South African wine, like Pinotage or Chenin Blanc, for a perfect match of flavors.

How To Cook Turkey Stew In South Africa

In South Africa, making turkey stew can result in a filling and savoury lunch. This dish can be prepared from scratch with turkey parts or with leftover turkey from another dinner. This is a straightforward recipe for a turkey stew in the style of South Africa:


  • 500g (about 1 lb) of turkey meat, cut into bite-sized pieces (you can use leftover roast turkey or fresh turkey pieces)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cups chicken or turkey broth
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh parsley or cilantro for garnish (optional)


  1. Heat the Oil:
    • In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat.
  2. Sauté the Onions and Garlic:
    • Add the chopped onions and minced garlic to the pot. Sauté for about 2-3 minutes until the onions become translucent and fragrant.
  3. Add Turkey and Spices:
    • Add the turkey pieces to the pot and cook for a few minutes until they start to brown slightly.
    • Sprinkle in the ground cumin, ground coriander, ground paprika, dried thyme, bay leaf, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Stir well to coat the turkey with the spices.
  4. Add Vegetables:
    • Add the diced red and green bell peppers, chopped tomatoes, diced carrots, and diced potatoes to the pot. Stir everything together.
  5. Incorporate Tomato Paste:
    • Add the tomato paste to the pot and mix it in with the other ingredients. Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.
  6. Pour in Broth:
    • Pour the chicken or turkey broth into the pot, ensuring that it covers all the ingredients. If needed, add more broth or water to achieve the desired consistency.
  7. Simmer:
    • Reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and let the stew simmer for about 30-40 minutes or until the turkey is cooked through and the vegetables are tender.
  8. Adjust Seasoning:
    • Taste the stew and adjust the seasoning with more salt and pepper if necessary.
  9. Serve:
    • Remove the bay leaf from the pot.
    • Ladle the South African turkey stew into bowls, garnish with fresh parsley or cilantro if desired, and serve hot.

In Conclusion, Cooking turkey in South Africa offers a culinary adventure, allowing to explore diverse flavors and experience the magic of South African cuisine in your own kitchen. Enjoy a succulent, flavorful turkey infused with the country’s essence.

FAQs About How To Cook Turkey In South Africa

1: Can I use any type of turkey for this recipe? While you can use any type of turkey, it’s recommended to opt for a fresh bird for the best results.

2: What is the significance of the marinade in South African cooking? The marinade is essential as it infuses the turkey with the rich and complex flavors of South African cuisine.

3: Can I adjust the level of spiciness in the marinade? Absolutely! You can customize the level of spiciness by adjusting the amount of chili and other spices in the marinade.

4.Are there vegetarian alternatives for the main dish in South African cuisine? Yes, South African cuisine offers a variety of vegetarian dishes, such as bobotie (a spiced baked dish) or butternut and lentil curry.

5: What are some popular South African desserts to serve after the turkey meal? Popular South African desserts include malva pudding, milk tart, and koeksisters. They’re a sweet way to end your meal on a high note.

Source. scoutafrica.net

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