Making Turkey after 20 years, please help :/

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trill42

Joined: Jan 11
Posts: 131

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Posted: 16 Nov 2012, 07:17
I would love to hear ideas about how to make the turkey moist on the inside and nice and golden brown on the outside. I was told to use a bag, but wouldn't that make the outside soggy?

Thanks!
JustADreamer

Joined: Feb 12
Posts: 62

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Posted: 16 Nov 2012, 10:05
I am taking a cooking class right now... I have a few suggestions for you, but some of them aren't the healthiest. But, this is how a lot of chefs do it.

1.) Brining your turkey before you bake it. You can brine a turkey using just about any liquid and a little salt. Letting the turkey soak in that liquid will help it to retain moisture.
2.) Baking the turkey breast side down for the first part of cooking. This will allow the breast meat to stay moist while the dark meat cooks for a bit.
3.) Never baste your turkey too early! Basting early will actually dry out your turkey. Basting early draws moisture out of the turkey. Only baste for the last part of the cooking time, even the last 30 minutes.
4.) Coating your turkey in a small layer of some sort of fat. Lipids repell water and help to hold the moisture in. You don't have to use butter or anything with tons of saturated fat. A light coating of canola oil would work fine.
5.) Don't over cook the turkey! Check the temperature in the thigh of the turkey. When it gets to 165... Stop.
6.) Once the turkey is out of the oven, let it rest for a few minutes before slicing.

I hope this helps!
L3@H
~*Alta alatis patent...*~
trill42

Joined: Jan 11
Posts: 131

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Posted: 16 Nov 2012, 10:11
These are awesome! Thank you Smile I was thinking about Brining but didn't know how much salt to use. (saw it on TV) but this gives me choices. Thanks again!
hollipop

Joined: Jan 11
Posts: 36

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Posted: 16 Nov 2012, 10:51
My mother always bakes her turkey in the bag, and the turkey skin is always just right, with a little bit of crispiness--definitely not soggy!
Like JustADreamer suggested, my mom only bastes it during the last half hour of cooking.
Hope your turkey turns out great!
*Holly*

Believing you can is half the battle!
PeeFat

Joined: Jan 10
Posts: 521

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Posted: 16 Nov 2012, 11:01
I don't just stuff the inside of the bird. I stick my hand between the meat and skin and separate. I put stuffing between the skin and meat over the breast and even down and around the thighs.
I put it on a rack in a roasting pan. Starting with dry skin, I rub butter and then season. I tent with foil and cook. For the last hour I remove foil and baste every 15 mins.
When done, I'll remove the stuffing. Take the pan drippings, remove some fat and make gravy.
By this time 20-30 mins has passed and its safe to cut the meat without having all the juice run out. Let the juice in the meat redistribute before cutting.
For my stuffing I dry out ancient grains 100% bread in the oven sauté diced celery and onions in butter. Mix them together and season with thyme, sage salt and pepper.
I eat healthy most of the time so using butter and making gravy isn't going to make me feel guilty. This isn't an every day meal and it's ok to live a little once and a while.
trill42

Joined: Jan 11
Posts: 131

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Posted: 16 Nov 2012, 11:16
Wow, that sounds really good. I think I'll keep this for the seasoning and gravy suggestions as well. I was thinking about how to do the gravy. My mom makes the gravy by simmering organ meats, so adding the turkey fat as well sounds perfect.
PeeFat

Joined: Jan 10
Posts: 521

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Posted: 16 Nov 2012, 11:25
Take the bag of organs and simmer real slow in salt free chicken broth. You can add onions and carrots some celery if you wish. Let it cook down then strain. This is the base for your gravy. It should reduce by half or more to make the flavours concentrated. Using some of the pan juice with a little fat is added to that broth. Just make sure the broth is a no salt added brand, or it will be too salty after it reduces.
You can add all the fluid in a blender add a little flour and blend well. Then put in pan heat slow and stir until it thickens up.
trill42

Joined: Jan 11
Posts: 131

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Posted: 16 Nov 2012, 12:01
Haha! THANK YOU! I knew she made it from organs, but didn't know HOW to make it.. Thanks again, I will be trying this definitely Smile
PeeFat

Joined: Jan 10
Posts: 521

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Posted: 16 Nov 2012, 12:11
I learnt all this from my mom. She taught me how to cook when I was old and tall enough to use the stove. I didn't particularly like having to learn how to cook, but love it now more than you could imagine. I'm single and cooked myself a 23 lb turkey for our Canadian Thanksgiving in October, then went to my parents house to celebrate with the whole family.
trill42

Joined: Jan 11
Posts: 131

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Posted: 16 Nov 2012, 12:26
Oh sweet, Didn't know you were Canadian Smile I'm in NH so you probably get the same weather we do if you're on the east.
mwessinger

Joined: Aug 10
Posts: 184

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Posted: 18 Nov 2012, 05:42
I no longer cook turkey in the oven, but still have a few tips. First, prep your turkey for the oven, but for about half an hour before you place it in the oven place a large bag of ice over the breast. (A gallon resealable storage bag works well for this.) Remove the ice and loosely form a cover of aluminum foil over the breast. Remove the oil about 1/2 to 2/3 of the way through cooking so the breast will brown. Since white meat cooks quicker than dark, the cooling with the ice and then covering with foil slows cooking of the breast, thus allowing the turkey to cook more evenly, and thus moist white and dark meat.

But, like I said above, I no longer use the oven. For year I would deep fry the turkey. Last year, and my plan for this year, is to use only the turkey breast and smoke it. Good luck.
ndubbs87

Joined: Dec 10
Posts: 40

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Posted: 18 Nov 2012, 06:04
I would highly recommend Alton Brown's "Romancing the Bird" recipe (food network). http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/good-eats-roast-turkey-recipe/index.html

Basically you brine the turkey over night, stuff it with aromatics instead of stuffing, bake it at 500 for 30 minutes to crisp the skin, then cover the breast and cook it at a lower temp to keep it juicy. I've used this recipe for the past 5 years and it definitely makes a delicious bird! I never used to like white meat but now it's my favorite and many people have asked for my recipe. Also, the drippings are so flavorful that you barely need to add anything to make gravy. I can't wait for Thanksgiving! Good luck!
trill42

Joined: Jan 11
Posts: 131

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Posted: 18 Nov 2012, 07:13
I wasn't online yesterday, so missed some posts. Thanks again for the suggestions, this helps quite a bit.
eKatherine

Joined: Aug 12
Posts: 1,286

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Posted: 19 Nov 2012, 15:34
If you buy a fresh turkey, it might not be brined. Look at the ingredients on the label. If there is salt, brining it will only make it even saltier. Frozen turkeys are generally always pre-salted.



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