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A question about a recipe: Russ Parsons' Dry-Brined Turkey (a.k.a. The Judy Bird)

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I have a question about the recipe "Russ Parsons' Dry-Brined Turkey (a.k.a. The Judy Bird)" from Genius Recipes. Timing the Birds: I have a question: Does 3 days include the 8 hours uncovered in the fridge? In other words should I plan for 3 days PLUS 8 hrs prep? Deciding whether to have my turkeys delivered on Sunday or Monday? Thanks for the help.

asked by TJL 13 days ago

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cv
cv
added 12 days ago

The prep timing isn’t so touchy so stop counting the hours.

Let’s examine the original Zuni Café roast chicken recipe that the Parsons turkey recipe is based upon before we return to the turkey.

Judy Rodgers called for a 2.75-3.5 lb. chicken and recommended 1-3 days of salting prior to cooking (at least 2 days if using a 3.5 lb. bird). There is no wrapping the chicken in plastic, it goes straight into the fridge uncovered to dry out. It's easier to leave a 3 lb. chicken uncovered in a refrigerator rather than a 12-16 lb. turkey. Judy Rodgers naturally had the advantage of access to a restaurant walk-in refrigerator where the salted chickens could be left in place where they would not be disturbed. That's harder to do for a big bird in a household refrigerator.

Back to the Parsons turkey recipe riff.

Purely from a practical perspective I would attempt to take possession of the bird on Saturday. I’d deal with the salting at some point on Sunday at a convenient time for me and whatever football games I’m following.

Some time on Wednesday (again at my convenience) I’d dry out the bird and set into the fridge per his instructions. The recipe states at least 8 hours but it’s fine (maybe better) to go longer. Letting the skin dry out helps for a crispier skin.

I would have no hesitation letting the turkey dry out in the fridge 24 hours before roasting; I have roasted both turkey and chicken many times before this way.

A variance of the brining of hours isn't going to make a difference.

Your biggest concern would be to not overcook the bird.

Best of luck.

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