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Old 11-25-2003, 11:44 PM   #1
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Thanksgiving Turkey is too dry

This year I've been put in charge of the Thanksgiving Turkey and I could use some help. I plan to cook it the same way my mom has always done but I'd like it to be more moist. This is where I need help.

We're having a turkey breast. My mom always cooked it on a shallow roasting pan that has the draining rack thing. She would rub some butter on it and maybe put on salt and pepper. Can't remember if she put foil on and if so, at what point. I think she's done it both ways. We don't put any special seasonings in/on it or stuff it or anything. It's basically just a plain turkey. Can someone give some suggestions on how to make it more moist? Nothing is worse than a dry turkey. Yuck!

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Old 11-26-2003, 05:54 AM   #2
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you're doing just the breast meat part? good luck, it's going to be dry regardless, that's just how turkey breast meat is. just make a good sauce for it.
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Old 11-26-2003, 11:06 AM   #3
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Hi ibb - The key here is - if you plan on making it the same way your mom made it and hers was dry then yours is going to be dry too. You have to cook it different if you want it to be different.

BUT, ironchef is right - white meat is dry. Seriously, you might want to season with salt and pepper, rub with butter, then totally wrap several times in heavy duty aluminum foil. Bake at a higher temperature - say 450 - (i'm not sure how big the turkey breast is) so I'd say probably 1 1/2 hours. You have to decide when it's done since I don't know weight.

Then open the foil and let it brown in a really high oven - 500 degrees or slightly more.

Or you might try a roaster/crockpot type appliance. Unless you change the way you cook it it won't turn out any different. Sorry.
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Old 11-26-2003, 01:31 PM   #4
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good point elf about changing the cooking style...

you could always do the turkey "coq au vin" style. it will still be a tad dry, but not as much, and it will give your family something different
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Old 11-26-2003, 05:46 PM   #5
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Turkey breast is dry. But I found that slightly undercooking it improves both the sawdust texture and the moistness.

Jaques Pepin (my favorite TV chef!) once loosened the breast skin and placed pats of butter between skin and meat. Claimed it helped moisten the meat. I haven't tried that.

If you're cooking it "skin on" then brown it as "Elf suggests. Otherwise don't go for brown - or you'll get REAL dry!!
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Old 11-30-2003, 07:56 PM   #6
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Two years I made a turkey breast for Thanksgiving that was out of this world. It was well seasoned, moist and juicy - yum!

I seasoned it the night before cooking with Lawry's seasoned salt, freshly ground pepper, Bell's poulry seasoning and a little Accent. I also rubbed butter under the skin.

The next day, I cooked the 8 pound turkey breast in my Showtime Rotisserie for nearly 2 hours. The skin was black and crispy (no doubt in part due to the butter) but there was practically no juice in the bottom tray to make gravy. This is because all of the juice was still contained in the meat. And the seasoning went through the meat.

To this day it was the best turkey breast I'd ever had.

I recommend getting a Showtime Rotisserie.
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Old 11-30-2003, 10:15 PM   #7
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Hi docris,

Glad you mentioned how you cooked your turkey. We use our rotisserie ALL the time for a whole chicken. My son and I were wondering how it would cook a turkey - next year that is how we're doing it - I won't do the butter, I'll just season it like I do the chicken. Maybe next year it will finally be good!! :roll:
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Old 12-02-2003, 04:37 AM   #8
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Baste it with its own juices. :roll:
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Old 12-02-2003, 11:04 AM   #9
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LOL 503 - good suggestion! I'm just not sure how much "juice" the original poster would get from a turkey breast. I hope they come back and report their results for us!
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