Thanks for joining me for “Turkey Talk!”

November 21, 2018

Thanks for joining me for “Turkey Talk!”

I am so happy I was able to share some of my knowledge and foolproof recipe for roasting a juicy turkey (or any other bird) every time!

To aid in your Thanksgiving preparation or what I hope becomes your weekly roasted meal, here are a few of my top tips:

  • Allow ½ pound of meat per person. A typical 12-16 pound turkey will feed 4-6 adults allowing for some leftovers.
  • If not purchasing a fresh bird from your local butcher or farmer, allow 2-3 days for the frozen bird to thaw in the refrigerator. If it’s still frozen when you are ready to cook, run under cool water.
  • Prepping a turkey can be messy. As you rinse the bird and remove the gizzards, be mindful of juices and keep counters and sinks clean to avoid any cross-contamination or growth of bad bacteria. Wash hands frequently. Your cell phone is one of the dirtiest appliances. Clean it daily.
  • Preheat the oven to 325° for a traditional slow roast. If you are cooking a whole chicken or a breast or smaller fowl like cornish game hens, try my technique of heating oven to 425° to start and put the bird in uncovered for 30 minutes then turn oven down to 325° for the remainder of the roasting time.
  • Pat bird dry and place in your roasting pan breast side up. Salt & pepper the bird’s cavity.
  • Prep butter paste: For a 12-16 pound turkey you will need 1 Cup softened butter, 4 T each chopped fresh rosemary, chopped fresh thyme, 1 T grated lemon peel, 6 large garlic cloves chopped. Mix all ingredients into butter. OR ADD 1 ½ T Sleepers FOWL seasoning to softened butter.
  • Loosen the skin on the bird and get the butter paste under the skin and slathered on top, in cavity and all around. When complete, salt and pepper the bird and if you are not filling cavity with stuffing insert a chopped lemon, green apple, onion and a few more garlic cloves inside.
  • If you are stuffing your bird, remember DO NOT PACK TIGHTLY AS STUFFING EXPANDS! And remember that while the turkey needs to cook to 185° at the thickest part, the stuffing must achieve 165° at the center---this takes time and can result in an overcooked and dry turkey. Also, DO NOT STUFF IN ADVANCE because of the threat of food poisoning is very high. This must be done right before the turkey goes in the oven. Consider making a “dressing,” which is southern for stuffing on the side! To make sure it’s as moist as stuffing, add a cup or more of broth or bouillon to the bread before placing in the oven.
  • Roasting times vary according to the size of your bird but a good rule of thumb is at 325°, a typical 12-16 pound bird will roast in 4 ½  - 5 ½ hours. Basting the exterior starts after about an hour and should happen every 30 minutes or so as your bird excretes its juices.
  • Allow at least 30 minutes for your bird to rest before slicing.

Remember, while cooking a feast is enjoyable, the real pleasure happens outside the kitchen while enjoying the company of friends and family. Plan accordingly and you will be able to relax and have as much fun as your guests.

 



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