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Old 11-01-2016, 08:06 AM   #1
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Let's Talk Turkey

OK I'm surprised there is not a thread for this, must not have searched as carefully as I should. I think I have a new take. I just reserved a turkey from a local farm, and yes I have agreed to cook Thanksgiving Dinner (major stuff, I am a little bit nervous).

So I've done a grocery store turkey before, and I am pretty good with Dariana Allen's sourdough apple stuffing. I know a lot of folks don't like in bird stuffing, but I kind of want to go with it. My big concern is that this isn't a brine injected big Purdue bird, this is gonna be a free range turkey. I am picking it up on Tuesday, I plan on brining it for at least 24 hours. I have my stuffing recipe solid, don't know what else to do. Particularly concerned about basting the last thing I want is a dry turkey.

Any thoughts cooking friends?

Yrs,

Efox

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Old 11-01-2016, 08:15 AM   #2
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Good morning, Efox. We would have gotten around to it before turkey day

I haven't done a free-range turkey (the prices here are astronomical), but the bottom line is that overcooking causes dry meat. Basting will not help prevent it; whatever liquid you pour on it will slide right off and not penetrate the meat at all. I quit basting years ago. I do always stuff my turkey, though. We really like it that way.
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Old 11-01-2016, 08:24 AM   #3
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I agree. Overcooking causes dry turkey.

Also, over brining is not a good thing. I put my turkey into the brine at bedtime the night before and it goes into the oven late the following morning. 8-12 hours is plenty. Use the appropriate quantities of salt and water.

As much as you like the idea of in-bird stuffing, that makes it easier to overcook the turkey. With in-bird stuffing, all the stuffing must reach a minimum temperature of 161F to be safe.
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Old 11-01-2016, 08:34 AM   #4
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Basting will not help prevent it; whatever liquid you pour on it will slide right off and not penetrate the meat at all.
Yup here is the worry, and I am GotGarlic, totally gonna stuff our turkey.

I am a little worried about using a free range bird. I am gonna brine it before we cook it for at least a day. I dunno what to do other than brining, and stuffing. I just worry it will come out dry.

Our goal is to get the turkey up to 165 degrees, and then let it coast for a bit. My dilemma is also whether to bring it up to temperature quick or slow.

I'm also considering when stuffed wrapping the entire bird in Aluminum foil. Keep the moisture in.
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Old 11-01-2016, 08:45 AM   #5
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Yup here is the worry, and I am GotGarlic, totally gonna stuff our turkey.

I am a little worried about using a free range bird. I am gonna brine it before we cook it for at least a day. I dunno what to do other than brining, and stuffing. I just worry it will come out dry.

Our goal is to get the turkey up to 165 degrees, and then let it coast for a bit. My dilemma is also whether to bring it up to temperature quick or slow.

I'm also considering when stuffed wrapping the entire bird in Aluminum foil. Keep the moisture in.
It's a big, dense piece of meat. Low and slow is the way to go Once it's up to 165, it's done. Letting it stay in the oven after that will only increase the risk of it drying out. If it's at least 10 pounds, it will need to rest for about a half hour before carving.

Wrapping it in foil will keep evaporating moisture in the foil, but not in the meat. And you won't get crispy skin that way.
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Old 11-01-2016, 09:01 AM   #6
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15 pounds. I have some time to play with it, seriously thinking of a 300 degree oven, low and slow, right? I was a little tempted to precook the stuffing. I kind of feel that is unnecessary. I'm thinking very hard of injecting marinade, cider vinegar, melted butter and garlic.
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Old 11-01-2016, 09:05 AM   #7
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Cut brining to 12 hours, increase cooking time at a lower temp, 300 and might be a long cooking, cut cooking at 165 degrees and let sit for 20 minutes.

thoughts?
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Old 11-01-2016, 09:14 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by erehweslefox View Post
Cut brining to 12 hours, increase cooking time at a lower temp, 300 and might be a long cooking, cut cooking at 165 degrees and let sit for 20 minutes.

thoughts?
Sounds right. Remember, the stuffing needs to get to 165F too.
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Old 11-01-2016, 10:20 AM   #9
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We always, when we lived in England, had a large turkey - 20lbs more or less - for Christmas Day. I used to rub butter, salt and pepper all over it, and then cover the whole breast with a stiff flour and water paste, and take it off about 20 mins to 1/2 an hour before it was done to brown off the breast before serving. Then I'd let it stand for about 15 mins before serving. I always stuffed it with sage and onion stuffing in the cavity and chestnut stuffing at the wishbone end. That's what my Dad used to do, and I learned it from him. In Italy, turkeys are small, like chickens. Not the same thing, so here I make turkey breast involtini - turkey breast flattened out with stuffing rolled up in it. Not the same by any means, but it does for two people!

I' ll be thinking of you all on your Thanksgiving Day, and wish you all a happy day.

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Old 11-01-2016, 10:27 AM   #10
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I'll probably do another smoked bird. Whether we have a roasted one is undecided. We do dressing instead of stuffing. Just remember, the best part of T-Day is the after dinner, Dagwood style turkey sandwich!
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