My sister and I share cooking duties. I usually have to "save" her turkey. I bring mine ready to eat.
In spite of all the techniques you may have heard about, I can garuntee you a juicy and tender bird if you follow these very simple directions.
Preheat the oven to 450' F.
1. Make sure the bird is thawed and brought to room temperature.
2. Dry the skin and brush with salted butter.
3. Place an accurate meat thermometer into the breast, with the point near the hip joint.
4. Put the bird on a rack and into a suitably large roasting pan.
5. Lightly salt the skin (no it won't dry out the bird).
6. Cover the breast meat with a tent of aluminum foil.
7. Put the turkey into the oven and set the timer for 15 minutes.
8. When the timer goes off, reduce the heat to 350 and reset the timer to go off about 30 minutes before you expect the bird to be done. Figure about 12 minutes per pound. Now don't touch the bird again until the timer goes off. No basting is necessary. Basting does not make the turkey any more juicy. It just increases the cooking time because you cool the oven when you open the door.
9. When the timer goes off again, remove the tent and check the meat thermometer. Check the meat thermometer every 15 minutes from here on out and remove the turkey when the thermometer reads 155.
Let the turkey rest a minimum of 15 minutes before carving.
To carve, use a sharp boning or fillet knife to remove the whole breast from the bone. Lay it on your cutting board and bias-slice across the grain. This insures that everyone gets some sking and creates very tender slices.
Our sides include sea-breeze salad, dressing made outside the turkey but with turkey broth, mashed potatoes made with canned milk and real butter (makes them very rich), sweet potatoes mashed with butter, brown sugar, cloves, and cinnamon, home-made whole-wheat bread rolls, turkey gravey, black ollives, a rellish tray, rutabbegas mashed with a bit of mollases, sugar, butter and salt (you have to try them
), pumpkin pie, cheese cake. and home-made egg nog.
Sometimes, instead of a pumpkin pie, we'll make the pie filling and pour it into a casserole dish. Then sprinkle a mixture of flour, oatmeal, brown sugar, salt, and butter over the top, like an apple crisp topping, and serve with whipped cream.
If you've never had rutabeggas before, just purchase the veggie. Peel it as you would a giant potato. It's easier if you cut it into sections first. Then boil until tender and flavor with salt, butter, mollases, and sugar to taste. They are really very tasty, if strange sounding.
As for the turkey, my method comes from literally years of experimentation, and trying all of the ways people told me to make the bird. I finally got fed up with dry turkeys and started thinking about what happens to meat as it cooks. Teh result of my work is that I now know that turkey is nearly foolproof and requires much less fuss & bother than most people would think. And if you wait for the pop-up timer to pop up, you end up with cardboard-dry meat. Use the meat thermometer and try my method just once. You will be pleasantly suprized at how easy it is to roast a turkey. The same technique works on the covered grill as well.
This turkey comes out so good, that I have been asked to make them for weddings.
Good luck to you, and remember, the most important thing to your success is to organize your tasks before hand.
Seeeeeya; Goodweed of the North