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Old 11-20-2006, 10:19 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PA Baker
Thanks everyone! I think I'll probably do a compound butter with some fresh herbs. Usually I'm more interested in the sides than the actual turkey but this year I'm excited to try the bird, too!

Elf, thanks for giving me the idea to get a fresh organic turkey.
I have only cooked fresh birds, so I can't tell you the difference, but I don't brine mine. I do use a compound butter, massage the breast under the skin all the way down tothe legs, and then lay a butter-soaked cheesecloth on the breast until the final half hour of roasting. I've never had a dry bird!

PM me if you'd like the recipe for my Creole Butter. It doesn't make the turkey spicy, it just gives it a lovely "warm" glow. -- and really juicy!

I'm sorry not to be making it Thursday!
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Old 11-20-2006, 10:26 AM   #12
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The brine will work very well. But just to give you more options:

You can also inject the bird with a flavorful turkey stock made from boiling the neck, and giblets. You would add onion, celery, and carrot to the boiling broth and season with at least salt. I would also add sage, black pepper, and thyme to the stock. After it is well flavored, let it cool and inject it into the breast meat and the thighs in several locations. Let sit for 30 minutes to allow the injected stock to distribute itself. Use the remaining stock for making gravy and to add flavor to the dressing.

Rub the skin with your favorite compound butter or some good EVOO, place a meat thermometer in the thickest portion of the breast, with the tip located next to the thigh joint and not touching the bone. Cover the breast meat with foil, and place the bird into a preheated oven at 375 degrees f.

Allow 12 minutes per pound. Remove the foil 20 minutes before the expected completion time. Then, check the thermometer every 15 minutes or so and remove the bird when the temperature reads 155 degrees. Let rest for 20 minutes before carving. The bird will be very well flavored throughout and very juicy. Remove the whole breasts and slice against the grain. Arrange with the thighs and drumsticks on a platter and serve.

Just another good way to roast your turkey. Very easy and wonderful results every time. No need to baste or fuss with the turkey after placing in the oven. And the dressing is made outside the bird, in a casserole dish.

Seeeeeeya; Goodweed of the North
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Old 11-20-2006, 10:49 AM   #13
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it's gonna be yummy!!!
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Old 11-21-2006, 03:46 PM   #14
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KElf,
What is the taste difference in using the apple juice? That sounds good. Do you dilute the apple juice?
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Old 11-21-2006, 05:49 PM   #15
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Interestingly, brining doesn't seem to have caught on here on this side of the pond! I have conducted a straw poll amongst my friends (quite a few of whom are keen cooks) and none of them have ever brined a bird before cooking.

PABaker: I always buy fresh, organic birds. I put butter under the skin and criss-cross thin rashers of bacon (I think in the US that our bacon is more like what you call Canadian bacon) across both sides of the breast and down to the top of the legs. I remove the rashers about 20 mins before the end of the cooking time, in order to allow the breast to brown evenly.

I don't stuff the bird, preferring to cook it separately from the turkey or goose. I put a lemon cut into halves, into the cavity.

I've never been disappointed with the turkey!
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Old 11-22-2006, 08:42 AM   #16
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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.
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Old 11-22-2006, 08:58 PM   #17
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Quote:
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
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Old 11-27-2006, 09:49 AM   #18
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So now I'm curious. How'd you cook it, and how did it turn out?

Seeeeeeeya; Goodweed of the North
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