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Old 11-25-2011, 06:00 PM   #1
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No Brown Bits at Bottom of Roasting Pan?

Wondering if someone more experienced than I can tell me why, during and after roasting a 19-lb. (not frozen, free-range) turkey, there was a lot of fat and some pan juices but virtually no brown bits/"crackles" in the pan bottom; it was hard to make tasty gravy. Anyone else have this experience?

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Old 11-25-2011, 06:14 PM   #2
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Wondering if someone more experienced than I can tell me why, during and after roasting a 19-lb. (not frozen, free-range) turkey, there was a lot of fat and some pan juices but virtually no brown bits/"crackles" in the pan bottom; it was hard to make tasty gravy. Anyone else have this experience?
Hm... Maybe it was because the skin wasn't seared? Seared skin usually sticks on pans, and you can deglaze it with some cooking wine to make a flavorable, reduction gravy.

What did you use to flavor your turkey? My father and I rubbed some butter on it, and we added garlic, onion powder, salt, pepper, poultry seasoning, a bit of wing sauce, and some roasted garlic chicken stock. I also made a mirepoix bed of carrots, onions, and celery to go under and around the turkey.
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Old 11-25-2011, 06:26 PM   #3
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No Crackles

PurpleChef: I think you may be on to something. I used a slow-roast method from Christopher Kimball's "The Cook's Bible," roasting the bird for an hour at 350 degrees and then for seven more hours at 200. The skin definitely wasn't seared. Want those brown bits next time...I'll try another way. Thank you thank you.
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Old 11-25-2011, 06:27 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Girl49 View Post
Wondering if someone more experienced than I can tell me why, during and after roasting a 19-lb. (not frozen, free-range) turkey, there was a lot of fat and some pan juices but virtually no brown bits/"crackles" in the pan bottom; it was hard to make tasty gravy. Anyone else have this experience?
What temperature(s) did you roast it at?

Did you add water or stock to the pan?

I assumed you used a rack.

I cooked 2 very good quality fresh birds this year and one was a terrific fond producer and the second not so much. So maybe it depends on the type of turkey you use.
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Old 11-25-2011, 06:29 PM   #5
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What temperature(s) did you roast it at?

Did you add water or stock to the pan?

I assumed you used a rack.

I cooked 2 very good quality fresh birds this year and one was a terrific fond producer and the second not so much. So maybe it depends on the type of turkey you use.
Oh, yeah. Using a rack keeps the meat from touching the pan, so of course you wouldn't get much cooked bits on the pan.
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Old 11-25-2011, 06:30 PM   #6
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I definitely think it's the temp.

Your skin shouldn't stick to the pan since it's on a rack but you need high heat to create the fond.

You need to use a rack or the bottom of your turkey will just stew in fat and juice. A rack doesn't mean you won't have fond (browned bits).

CI used to endorse a 450 followed by 375 method. That's pretty tried and true and is what I use.

Poultry, IMO, doesn't benefit from low and slow unless it's just dark meat.
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Old 11-25-2011, 06:49 PM   #7
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No Fond

Purple and Jenny: Good points all. Re: flavoring, just brushed on melted butter. Used a rack. Followed the "Maw's Thanksgiving Turkey" recipe from "The Cooks Bible..." Maybe I should have referred to more recent CI stuff? Sounds like higher heat is better in this situation. Also, used "Giblet Pan Gravy for a Crowd" CI recipe, and although not bad, it wasn't nearly as rich and flavorful as is gravy made right in the pan, like my grandmothers used to do. I'm chalking this up to experience and aiming for better results next year!

Quick note: CI's Classic Green Bean Casserole recipe was a huge hit.
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Old 11-25-2011, 07:04 PM   #8
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I roasted mine right in the roaster, not on a rack. I cooked at 350 (convection) and it took 2 hours and 15 minutes for a 16 pound bird. There was very nice drippings and nice dark fond, made for a very rich gravy.
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Old 11-25-2011, 07:31 PM   #9
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I do not get much in the way of brown bits in the bottom of the pan when I roast a turkey. That happens for me when I roast beef or pork. I think it is the difference in the temp and the type of fat.

I get the dark rich gravy by making a peanut butter roux and then using a rich turkey stock to thin it and make the gravy. It takes about fifteen to twenty minutes to really toast the flour in the roux. This is pretty much what my grandmother did but she did it in the bottom of the roaster and I do it in a sauce pan. Also if you asked my grandmother about making a roux she would probably have looked at you funny and changed the subject. After all she was just making gravy.
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Old 11-25-2011, 09:02 PM   #10
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Gravy

Aunt Bea: By "peanut butter roux," I assume you mean a nutty brown-colored roux? o:) And you're so right....my grandmothers never used such terms but simply made fabulous gravy. And oh, if I could make a pie crust like my paternal GM. Not a fancy cook, but a highly skilled one. I didn't know how good I had it!
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