Originally Posted by In the Kitchen
I remove the rashers about 20 mins before the end of the cooking time, in order to allow the breast to brown evenly.
I recently saw clip from Alton Brown who mentioned browning bird for 30 minutes at 500 degrees and then putting foil on top of bird and baking at 350 degrees. You do it the opposite. Why do you put the lemon in the cavity? Does it add flavor? also do you salt and pepper before cooking? I wonder how garlic would taste on the turkey? Too much for such big bird? Also I have turned the bird breast side down and gotten good results. Breast stays moist. May do that tomorrow? does this sound like I am getting ready to go up in the shuttle? Have to have everything ready w/o our stores being open.
I've cooked the bird breast-side down, and breast-side up. It makes no difference. What does give a perfectly juicy and tender bird every time is removing it from the oven when the thermometer reads 155 ' F.
If you look at a turkey cooking on a covered grill (remove the cover of course), you will see that the juices, as they get hot tend to boil just under the top skin. I believe that the hot liquid rises as there is no boiling liquid on teh sides or bottom of the turkey. When the bird is taken out at the correct temperature, and allowed to rest for twenty minutes, those same juices that were boiling just under the top-skin redistribute themselves throughout the meat. I have been watching the temperature closely for years and always have a perfectly juicy turkey. When I roast chicken, I do the same thing, and the bird is so juicy that when you bite it, it will squirt you.
Because of much experimentation, and the results I get, I am convinced that final temperature is the single most important parameter in cooking a turkey. I have brined, and not brined. I have barbecued them, roasted them, and had them deep fried. In all cases, when the bird was removed from the heat source at the proper temperature, the meat was perfect.
Brining is used to infuse flavor elements into the meat. The same is true of injecting the meat with stock or broth. But they don't really make the bird any more juicy or tender. The muscle tissue is already filled with fluid, in the individual cells. The flavorings transmit themselves until they are equally distributedin the added liquid, and in the muscle cells. And the bird flavor is altered. But the overall anound of liquids remains approcimately the same within the bird. It may absorb a little. I wonder if anyone has weighed a bird before and after brining to compare how much water was absorbed into the meat. Also, I would think that if more water were absorbed, it would dilute the natural flavor.
Just some things to think about.
Seeeeeeeeya; Goodweed of the North