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Old 10-02-2006, 01:11 PM   #1
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Thanksgiving Turkey

Well, this weekend is Thanksgiving Day (Monday the 9th) which means turkey!

We have always had the standard turkey with stuffing inside. However, not long ago I had seen an episode of Good Eats with Alton Brown and he was talking about the stuffing drying out the turkey. I have the recipe from his show's website and was wondering what you all think about it? The episode was called "Romancing the bird (A Good Eats Thanksgiving).

Is it better to roast covered or uncovered? And, how long does it take to thaw out a 15pound turkey and what is the best method for this process (i.e. do you let it thaw in the fridge, or on the counter)

Thanks!

Keith

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Old 10-02-2006, 01:20 PM   #2
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That's a very good recipe. I always cook the stuffing outside the turkey. The best way to defrost a turkey is over several days in the fridge. Or, in a large container (bathtub, sink, plastic tub, etc. with cold running water.

AB also did another show where he described a method for stuffing a turkey so it would still cook up moist. It involved preparing the stuffing and heating it in the microwave before putting it into the bird. Look up the FoodTV recipe for details.
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Old 10-02-2006, 01:21 PM   #3
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His point not that stuffing itself dries out a turkey, but that if a turkey is stuffed, you must ensure that the stuffing reaches an internal temperature of 165 for it to be safe to eat. Remember, it's bread soaked with raw poultry juice.

In order for the stuffing to get to 165, the turkey needs to cook longer than it needs to for the meat to get done. In other words, the turkey will be dry and overcooked by the time the stuffing is safe to eat.

One solution is to remove the stuffing when the turkey is done and put it into a baking dish and finish cooking it in the oven (to 165).

Me, I prefer to fill the cavity of my turkey with aromatics and stale bread soaked in white wine and make my stuffing with the giblet broth and bake separately.
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Old 10-02-2006, 01:42 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crestman
Well, this weekend is Thanksgiving Day (Monday the 9th) which means turkey!
Really!

Is Thanksgiving different in Canada?
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Old 10-02-2006, 01:48 PM   #5
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AB's recipe is a good one. I also make my stuffing/dressing outside the bird. I fill my cavity with a cut apple, cut onion, and sherry (makes the BEST gravy - except if there are children involved - they want your basic gravy and their tastebuds really don't appreciate sherry - yea, I know this for a fact and felt terrible that I totally ruined my son's Thanksgiving - he's never been the same )

Anyway, I make a shield for my turkey breast that I make before the turkey goes in the oven with aluminum foil. Make it to fit the top of the bird, breast only, remove it keeping the curved shape. When the bird is starting to brown too fast or has sufficiently browned just place the shield over that part only.

I also like to stuff under the skin some butter and some of those same herbs, lemon, and orange slices. It looks awesome when the turkey is done and adds more flavor to that white meat.

Another great way to add flavor is, like I used the sherry above, is to use apple juice to baste with. Gives a great flavor to the gravy and turkey.

Oh, and as many people that post to this you will probably get that many variations on how to cook a turkey
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Old 10-02-2006, 01:51 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vagriller
Really!

Is Thanksgiving different in Canada?
ok, I snikkered just a tad - and I will also say that until I started hanging out on the internet about 7 or 8 or so years ago, unless you have some Canadian friends, one would have absolutely no reason to know this.

They celebrate their harvest, just like our original Thanksgiving was for, only the Canadians did not invite the Pilgrims.
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Old 10-02-2006, 01:58 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kitchenelf
ok, I snikkered just a tad - and I will also say that until I started hanging out on the internet about 7 or 8 or so years ago, unless you have some Canadian friends, one would absolutely no reason to know this.

They celebrate their harvest, just like our original Thanksgiving was for, only the Canadians did not invite the Pilgrims.
Yep, googled it. Thanksgiving in Canada is the second Monday of Oct. It makes sense though, if you mwait much longer up there people get snowed in, right?
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Old 10-02-2006, 02:10 PM   #8
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Yep - their harvest is definately before ours and can you imagine carrying all that food on snowmobiles?????

I have to add that I remember when I asked the exact same question in the exact same startled way!!!!! lol Brought back the memory of that silly joke - Does England have a July 4th?
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Old 10-02-2006, 02:15 PM   #9
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I'm wondering about how on earth you could eat a Thanksgiving meal on a Monday and waddle into work the next day!

I'm also a stuffing-outside-the-bird person. I stuff the bird with a quartered navel orange & 2 Tbsp or so of rubbed sage. It makes a lovely gravy, and I use the drippings to saute the onions/celery for the stuffing.
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Old 10-02-2006, 02:33 PM   #10
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Thanks for all the replies!

If you don't mind, I'll ask a couple more questions.

I will give AB's recipe a try and do some stuffing on the side. Now, can someone tell me where I might find candied ginger and allspice berries? I have used "normal" ginger on occasion, and have also used allspice, but not in berry form.

Could someone give me a low down on doing gravy based on AB's recipe?

Thanks again!

BTW - jkath, we usually do the dinner on Sunday... :-)

Keith
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