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turkey 101? please share your secrets for serving the juciy-est turkey for the holidays. thanks

asked by Miss Austins Grandma over 5 years ago
5 answers 954 views
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added over 5 years ago

I swear you could "brine" road-kill and it would taste moist and flavorful. If you brine your bird ahead of time and cook it to the temps recommended, you will be fine. Brining keeps the bird juicy and moist and flavors it from the inside by the salt penetrating the meat.

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added over 5 years ago

Ultimately fat is the key to what we consider moistness in meat - water plays a part, to be sure, but is not everything. The biggest problem with turkey is that they tend to be so large, which means more cooking time, which means plenty of time for all the fat to run off and the water in the bird to evaporate. Brining does make for a more flavorful bird, but if it's cooked too long it will still be dry.

Roasting upside-down on a rack in a roaster helps keep the white meat more 'moist' by letting the fat pool in the right parts of the turkey (flip it right side up for the last half hour or so to brown and crisp the skin, but not too long - the fat will run off again).

Oven-braising upside-down with some stock and white wine is pretty good - place on a rack in a deep roaster, add about a quarter inch of liquid in the bottom, rub the bird down with plenty of butter (get it under the skin, too, for even better results - you'll get less dry meat AND crispier skin), and make a tight cover of aluminum foil to cover the whole thing. You want just one tiny vent to keep the cover from bursting. All the liquid in the bottom of the pan makes for a great gravy after, too.

At the end of the day, though, splitting the bird (removing the backbone and cooking it spread flat) is probably toe best way to keep it moist - it greatly reduces cooking time, which helps keep the bird from drying out. Cook your stuffing separately no matter what method you choose, in order to keep cooking time shorter.

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added over 5 years ago

Check out last week's genius recipe. It is perfect. http://www.food52.com/blog...

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added over 5 years ago

I've heard a lot of different things, but I like to put cheesecloth (or any other cloth, really - I think my parents once used part of an old oxford shirt) over the breast, baste initially with some melted butter, then roast hot (450) for about 20 minutes. Then lower to 325 or 350 and baste periodically, take the cloth about about half an hour before it's done so the breast can brown. I've found this works!

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added over 5 years ago

Sorry, one more thing - this is a method that I've found is good with the stuffing in the bird. Stuffing is best that way anyway!

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