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Old 11-23-2004, 07:10 PM   #21
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Amber, ran across this and was wondering if this was what you were thinking of?

Roast Turkey with Sausage Gravy

Salting the turkey and refrigerating it for 24 hours lets the seasoning spread throughout the meat and keeps moisture in. You get the benefits of brining, but it takes up less space in the refrigerator. To keep the breast area of the turkey moist, cover it tightly with aluminum foil to deflect heat and slow the cooking.

1 (12-pound) fresh or frozen turkey, thawed
4 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
2 cups chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
8 rosemary sprigs
12 thyme sprigs
12 sage sprigs
3/4 teaspoon black pepper, divided
5 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth, divided
2 (3.5-ounce) links sweet Italian turkey sausage, casings removed
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon water

Remove the giblets and neck from turkey, and reserve them for Homemade Turkey Stock. Rinse turkey with cold water; pat dry. Trim the excess fat. Sprinkle 4 teaspoons salt over the turkey and in body cavity; refrigerate, uncovered, 24 hours.
Preheat oven to 325°.

Rinse the turkey with cold water; pat dry. Stuff body cavity with onion, celery, herbs, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Lift wing tips up and over back; tuck under turkey. Tie legs together with kitchen string. Place turkey, breast side up, on a roasting rack in a roasting pan. Insert a meat thermometer into meaty part of thigh, making sure not to touch bone. Sprinkle turkey with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Cover breast with foil. Bake at 325° for 2 hours, basting turkey with 1/3 cup broth every 30 minutes. Remove foil; bake an additional 1 3/4 hours or until thermometer registers 180°, basting turkey with broth every 30 minutes. Remove turkey from oven. Cover turkey loosely with foil, and let stand for 30 minutes before carving. Reserve pan drippings. Discard skin.

Cook the sausage in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until browned, stirring to crumble. Drain and set sausage aside.

Place a zip-top plastic bag in a 2-cup measure. Pour drippings into bag; let stand 10 minutes (fat will rise). Seal bag, and snip 1 bottom corner. Drain into a medium saucepan; stop before fat reaches opening. Reserve 1 tablespoon fat; discard remaining fat. Cook reserved fat and flour in roasting pan over medium heat 1 minute; stir constantly with a whisk. Add drippings, 3 cups broth, and sausage. Combine cornstarch and water; add to pan. Bring to a boil. Cook 2 minutes or until thick; stir constantly.

Yield: 12 servings (serving size: 6 ounces turkey and 1/3 cup gravy)

CALORIES 353 (28% from fat); FAT 11.1g (satfat 3.6g, monofat 2.8g, polyfat 3.1g); PROTEIN 54.5g; CARBOHYDRATE 4.8g; FIBER 0.2g; CHOLESTEROL 144mg; IRON 3.2mg; SODIUM 603mg; CALCIUM 45mg;

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Old 11-23-2004, 10:47 PM   #22
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I like this rub:

Nick Stellino's Roasted Turkey with Herbs

8 tablespoons chopped garlic
3 teaspoons salt
3 teaspoons black pepper
4 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary 4 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
1 (12 to 14-pound) turkey
3 recipes vegetarian stuffing (see link)
4 tablespoons olive oil

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Place the garlic, salt, pepper, rosemary and sage on a cutting board and chop and blend them together with a knife. Loosen the skin on the turkey, pushing with your fingers around the breast, thighs and back. Stuff 2/3's of the chopped seasoning mixture underneath the skin over the thighs, legs, breast and back. Use the handle of a plastic spatula to run under the skin and help distribute the seasoning. Stuff the turkey with the vegetarian stuffing, being careful not to pack it too tightly. Brush the turkey skin with the olive oil and rub with the remaining seasoning mixture.
2. Place the turkey in a roasting pan and cook for 3 1/2 to 4 hours, basting every 1/2 hour with the pan juices, until the internal temperature of the thigh reaches 165 to 170 degrees F and the juices run clear. If the turkey begins to get too brown, cover it loosely with a sheet of aluminum foil, shiny-side-up. Remove the turkey from the oven and let it rest, loosely covered with foil, for 10 to 15 minutes before carving.

Adapted from Nick Stellino's Glorious Italian Cooking: G.P. Putnam's Sons; Copyright 1996 West 175th Enterprises, Inc.

Brought to you by allfood.com

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Old 11-25-2004, 05:38 AM   #23
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If you don't have a rack or a large baking rack (such as to cool cookies on) you can cut up some onions, carrots and celery and put them in your roaster under the turkey.
I also vote to NOT use the disposable pans for the safety reason listed above, and also I think you would have a hard time deglazing the thing for gravy, if you did manage to get the turkey out without spilling all of the juices.
I can resist anything, but temptation. Oscar Wilde
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Old 11-27-2004, 09:18 PM   #24
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I hope this thread stays "up" for a while...you guys have some literally "great" ideas and "tweaks" on brining and cooking turkeys that I'd like to try out...

As an aside, I've "cold dissolved" the sugar and salt for the brine, as well as "hot dissolved" it, and find myself somewhat better pleased with the "hot dissolve" method...probably because (I think!) this loosens up the "oils" in the rosemary, parsley, sage, thyme, oregano, marjoram, or whatever other "hobby horse" I'm riding that day and the salt allows these oils to get into the meat (again, I'm closer to a "cook" than a "chemist")

Now mind you, I've not done it with "twin turkeys" or chickens, or in any sort of double blind method that I can categorically state that anything pulled through for me for any given reason...

I expect some of my mistakes with salt were covered over with the addition of maple syrup (I prefer this over brown sugar, but again, cannot "prove" anything either way!)(but "too much salt" is in fact a bad mistake, in my opinion!)

I wash the carcass, more or less immediately before stuffing, and haven't yet tried the "air drying" concepts...because I can't quite reconcile how this goes (can anyone explain?)...you could hardly leave the "work" sit on the counter for 12 hours in the air, and leaving it uncovered in the fridge for 12 hrs will probably "de-humidify" it badly, let alone you want it "warmed up" towards, albeit not "at" room temperature when you stuff it and start it...

The reason I washed the bird after brining was to avoid any "patches" of salt or "seasoning" in any given places, and just to "clean it out" positively...again, this is probably just "me being me", which I can agree is a bit of a tedium I have to live with, and prevents me from ever having successful pastry, for instance, as I will always "ditz with" things rather than move on...so if you guys are on to something in "air drying" and "not washing", and nobody is dying of beri-beri, or whatever, after eating your efforts, then obviously you are right and I'm wrong, and make some posts so everyone else can move ahead!

Since you get a broiler pan when you buy an oven, this seems the easiest and most obvious method of cooking your turkey....a roasting pan is no great expense, and I've come to "like" my variant of using the rather cheap skewers to keep the bird off the bottom of the pan...and those "foil pans"...(trying to formulate something nice to say!)...are "heresies" that should be relegated to use when you are backpacking and shooting birds in the wild, and cooking them up for a hunter's supper...I can't see them being used in the home, for a dinner on a "Holy Day" like Thanksgiving or Easter or Christmas, let alone any occaision on which you'd make Turkey or Roasted Chicken...(maybe I'm just weird?)

I know, I know, I AM...

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Old 11-29-2004, 11:45 AM   #25
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Air drying.

It's the key to crispy skin. I take out of the brine and let sit in the fridge uncovered for approx. 2-3 hours, then take out and let sit on counter for 1-2 hours to get closer to room temp. Then cook.

I'm with you about 12 hours -- that would def. undo some of the brining's magic.
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Old 11-29-2004, 07:12 PM   #26
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Late for T'giving, but early for X-Mas...

IThe following is clipped from another post under a similar topic; I've had such spectacular results from FIRST brining THEN roasting "upside-down" that I'd recommend the combination to anyone...just be sure you have a carving board with a large-capacity `juice well'

I've just had my second spectacular result from brining the Thanksgiving turkey: Last year, the brined bird, stuffed with quartered oranges & basted with butter, and roasted at 325 F. upside-down for the first three-quarters of the time (then flipped breast-up to brown the skin), was so juicy that the first slice of breast meat produced a gusher of juice that over-flowed the cutting board "reservoir". I find it easiest to "turn" the bird by grasping the legs (or leg loop, if so equipped) with a protected hand, pulling the bird back- and up, and flipping it end-for-end.

This year, a brined bird, bisected behind the breast (to fit my smoker), was placed breast-side-down (no flipping) and un-stuffed with one leg/thigh, on the top rack of a cylindrical water-smoker. The water pan was filled with a 50-50 mixture of water an apple juice, and the charcoal was liberally sprinkled with water-soaked apple wood chips. The bisected bird cooked far faster than expected, and while not as over-flowingly juicy as last year's, was of spectacular texture- and tenderness. The white meat carved like prime rib, and words simply cannot do justice to the flavor- and mouth-feel...we're still looking at one another and gushing about "...the turkey..." (insert Homer Simpsonesque drooling sounds). The only bummer...as in prior tries, is that smoking renders the skin tough- rather than tasty...oh, well...
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Old 11-21-2005, 08:00 PM   #27
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Convection Ovens Are The Best!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We Used One On Sunday And The Turkey Just Fell Off The Bone. It Kept The House Cooler And Allowed Us To Use The Oven For Other Things. It Also Kept The Turkey Warm. I Would Recommend This For Everyone. We Also Have Used It To Cook Meatload, Ham And Beans We Even Baked Cookies In It. This Is A Must Have.
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Old 11-21-2005, 10:34 PM   #28
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I spent years, litterally, learning how to make my turkeys esceptionally moist and tender. I tried brining, not brining, cooking them breast-side up and breast-side down, covering with foil, tenting with foil, basting, turning on a rotiserrie, cooking in very high heat, then moderate heat until the little pop-up timer went off, cooking in a bag, cooking on a rack, grilling, etc. The result of all of this trial and error is as follows:

The single most important property of a perfectly cooked turkey (or any other meat for that matter) is the final temperature of the flesh. Through careful observation, I found that the juices tend to spread to the surface and bubble just under the skin, top, sides, and bottom. I also found that basting helps to add flavor to the skin, but does absolutely nothing to enhance the tenderness, or juicyness of the final product. Also, cooking fast with high heat produced a crispier skin, but the flesh remained the same as when the bird was cooked at a slow 300 degrees.

The single constant that ensured a perfect turkey, whether on the grill, or in the oven, was that the meat thermometer read 150 degrees when I pulled the bird out of the heat. Let it rest for 15 to twenty minutes and the final temperature will read 165 or so.

When you take the meat to temperatures above 165, the protein begins to react to the heat, tightening itself and squeezing moisture from the meat. The tissue becomes tough and dry.

I have proven this to my sister, who followed everything Emerill said, and whose turkey was a disaster, in spite of cooking it breast side down. Her final temperature was wrong and the meat was tough and dry.

To prove this to yourself, take two boneless chicken breasts. Immerse one in boiling water for twenty minutes or so. Cook the other one in a little oil until the outside is lightly browned and the ineer flesh is no longer pink. Don't fry the breast any more than is necessary to get the meat white throughout.

Taste the two chunks of meat. you will find that the boiled chicken is dry and tough. Water boils at around 212 degrees F. It raises the meat temperature above 165. The result is not something I would enjoy.

The lightly fried chicken will be moist and tender. Seasoning will affect the taste, but not the texture.

So, forget the wive's tales, and the way your mother taught you to make turkey. Instead, use a bit of scientific method.

1. Oil displaces water. Spread a thin layer of fat (mayonaise, cooking oil, butter, etc.) on the skin. as the moisture steams out, the fat will soak in, creating that crispy skin you are looking for.

2. Protein reacts to both acidic environments and heat in the same way. The muscle strands curl around each other, tightening, and pushing moisture out of the muscle cells. So don't overcook the meat. Anything beyond 165 is too high. And the meat thermometer tip should rest near the thigh, breast joint, not touching the bone.

3. White meat cooks faster than does the oilier dark meat. Place foil over the breast for the first 2/3rds cooking time to prevent overcooking the breast meat.

4. Brines work through osmotic pressure, with water acting as the transport mechanism. The brine solution has a greater salt concentration than does the liquid inside the cells. Osmotic pressure causes the salt to be absorbed into the cells until the salt concentration is equal inside and outside the bird. The salt causes the cells to absorb more water, creating a juicier final product.

5. Convection ovens, by moving the air, keep hotter air moving against the meat surface, causing faster heat absorption, thereby reducing cooking time. I'm not sure that it really affects the meat texture, but I haven't studdied it beyond simple heat transfer properties.

6. Basting reduces heat temperatures inside the oven, lengthening cooking times. It does however, deposit flavor componants from the broth onto the skin, which coats the skin as the liquid dries, giving it a stronger turkey flavor. I pre-season the skin with herbs, and chicken soup base to achive the same flavor quality with no basting required. You can also use a variety of rubs and sauces to enhance the skin flavor.

I may seem a bit pompous in this post. I don't mean to be. It's just that I have seen the "pro's" on the FoodNetwork give just plain wrong info. I had to figure out what good technique was on my own, as everyone had their own "best" way to cook a turkey. I experimented, recorded results, and discovered the common demominator for great turkey. And that is simply no more, and no less than cooking to the proper meat temperature. It's really that simple.

Try it. I challenge everyone who reads this post to use a meat thermometer. If you do, I garnuntee that your bird will be a success. And if you cook at too low a temperature, and the skin isn't that crisp, reddish brown that you see in the comercials, well, you can get that with a propane torch, or under the broiler. But cook it in a 375 degree oven for the last hour and you will get the proper color on your bird.

And Rainee, I know you to make excellent barbecued turkeys that have made you somewhat of a hero on this site. I'm surprized that you didn't give similar info in your posts. Cooking in the oven is, after all, just another heat source, albeit, one without smoke.

Seeeeeeya; Goodweed of the North

No amount of success outside the home can compensate for failure within the home"

Check out my blog for the friendliest cooking instruction on the net. Go ahead. You know you want to.- http://gwnorthsfamilycookin.wordpress.com/
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