Sunday, November 15, 2009


1.   WATER OR WINE.  Use white wine in place of water (broth) in the bottom of the pan to keep moisture in the turkey while roasting.  Or combine them.
2.  RACK?  No rack?  Use celery stalks, onions, carrots and layer the bottom of the pan and place your turkey on top.  It holds it up and flavors the drippings.
3.  Use medallions of seasoned butter under the skin or oil your hands and lift the skins over the breast and run the oil directly on the meat.  You may also season the oil before you do this.  Canola is  recommended.
4.  TENT and seal the turkey for the first hour at least.  I like up to 2 hours before I finally open up the bird. This will allow the steam to cook the meat without drying it out.
5.  HIGH HEAT to start?  450 degrees? Then revert to 325 degrees.  Well, do what you want, if you have prepared the turkey, it will be fine.
6.  POSITION IN THE OVEN.  Place on lowest rack.  The bird does best with a 6" clearance from the top of the oven.  I use an insulated cookie sheet under the roasting pan.  This insures an even heating of the bottom of the pan.  You are probably just fine without it.
7. WHEN TO UNCOVER? If you have tented the bird, you need to remove the cover for at least 40 minutes to over an hour at low heat of course.  Basting starts now.  Remember it does not keep moisture in but makes the skin more chewy.  
8.  IS IT DONE? Turkeys are done around 160 degrees in the deep part of the breast.  Alton Brown says there is carry over on the roasting so take it out of the oven to rest when the meat thermometer hits 151 degrees.  ITS STILL COOKING.  
My tried and true is if the leg is about to come off when you pull on it.  This means the joints have cooked enough that they are done and the meat is done too.
This reminded me of fish. If the platter is hot, the fish is still cooking on the platter after broiling or frying.
8.  Apples and apple cider can flavor your bird and the stuffing.
9.  See my other posts on turkey roasting.

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