Thursday, October 30, 2014

Your Best Turkey - Ever


No matter if you are hosting your first Thanksgiving dinner or your tenth, these practical tips should help you turn out a terrific turkey, for the pleasure of your family and friends - and your own certainly. 
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Buy the Right Turkey - in the Right Size
Why not a heritage or organic? If you want to eat a healthy and delicious Turkey,  raised according to organic standards, and don't mind paying a little extra for it . They are for sure leaner and way more flavorful.  Fresh Turkey may not necessarily be better than frozen, which are snap-frozen immediately after butchering.  Frozen Turkeys are in fact fresher than “fresh” Turkey.  6 People will require ca. 8 - 10 lbs of Turkey (1 - 1 1/2 lbs per person). But leftovers are certainly appreciated too!

To Brine or not to Brine?
A lengthy article explains almost scientifically why or why not.     Just one sentence out of it:  “I don't brine my birds because I like my birds to taste like birds, not like watered-down birds. Salting your meat is nearly as effective at preventing moisture loss, and the flavor gains are noticeable.”  The whole tests can be found at the FoodLab of SeriousEats.com
http://www.seriouseats.com/2012/11/the-food-lab-the-truth-about-brining-turkey-thanksgiving.html

Cook Your Turkey on a Rack
Use either a V-rack or create a natural roasting rack for your Turkey:  onions, carrots, parsnip and celery on the bottom of the roasting pan. Racks allow hot air circulation around the whole bird so that it will get crispy all over.  Veggis add great flavor to the gravy.

Keep the Stuffing Separate
A stuffed turkey will take longer to cook, which could dry out the white meat.  Loosely fill the Turkey with parsley, onions and lots of herbs, and cook the stuffing separately.

Truss (Tie) Your Turkey
It helps to cook the bird evenly, such as many professional cooks. While it's not a necessary step in cooking a terrific turkey, it can be fun to show off your culinary skills. Just tuck the wings of the turkey under the body and tie the legs together with kitchen string to create a tight package.

Rub the Turkey with Butter
Before putting it in the oven, make sure the skin of the turkey is as dry as possible, and then rub it all around with butter. For an even moister meat, place pats of butter under the skin.

Get a Good Meat Thermometer
Check by inserting an instant-read thermometer in the thickest part of the turkey around the thigh. At 165 degrees F, the bird is done. It will continue to cook as it rests, so the temperature should rise another 10 degrees or so out of the oven.  Now cover your Turkey loosely with foil and let it rest at least 15 minutes before preparing for the table. 


More detailed tips on Turkey-Cooking can be found here:
http://whatscookingamerica.net/Poultry/turkeytips.htm

Enjoy!  Happy ThanksGiving

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