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Old 11-13-2007, 09:01 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by BreezyCooking View Post
LOL! What a travesty.

Does anyone besides me remember when Thanksgiving wasn't such a darn frou-frou affair? You had the turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes (& sometimes white as well), several green veggies, canned cranberry sauce, & a few different pies for dessert.

No one complained if the white meat of the turkey was dry (although it more often than not wasn't), there was no "Emeril 'BAM'" in any of the sides, & no one was trying to outdo anyone else with a "gourmet" side dish. Lord, I miss that when I talk to or visit friends. Thanksgiving seems to have evolved into some sort of competition.

Luckily, I do recreate the old days somewhat. We have our organic free-range turkey (my only nod to somewhat "new" food - lol), but I usually make basic Pepperidge Farm stuffing, creamed garlic spinach, plain baked & buttered sweet & white potatoes, good old green bean casserole, & yes, PERISH THE THOUGHT, Pillsbury Crescent Rolls!!!! Send me to hades right now - lol!!

It all turns out good, homey, & without all the frou-frou that I feel so often sucks the life out of holidays these days.
Again I agree with you. The onbly thing I was trying to accomplish with this thread was to let everyone know how easy it is to make a really good turkey by cooking to the right temperature. All of the other things, in my opinion, are just there to make people think the TV chef's know what they are doing, to make them seem somehow more competant. Turkey is very easy to do right. No fuss, no bother.

Seeeeeeya; Goodweed of the North
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Old 11-13-2007, 09:38 PM   #32
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I think the whole trick is to pull turkey out before it hits the temp suggested as it cooks another 10-15 degrees after you pull it.I also think the bigger the turkey the better the chances it will be dry.I have made the bigger ones with adding a bit of water to bottom of pan every so often.Not to say Im a master with turkey I think its so easy its hard.Im thinking this year instead of cooking 1 huge turkey I will cook 2 smaller ones I think the quicker they cook the more moist(I hope) they will be.Last but not least keep some warm chicken or turkey stock if the turkey is dry just slice cover with some stock and cover pan with foil and warm a bit in oven.It will be really moist after that in fact it will be really moist.Thats how you save a dry turkey. I still dont know if the bag is better it seems to be as it holds the moisture in.I think stuffing cavity with onions,oranges and lemons also helps with the moisture.Dang it.I think if we cooked them more than once or twice a year we would be better at it.
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Old 11-14-2007, 01:04 AM   #33
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Most turkeys come with a plastic gizmo that holds or ties the drumsticks together near the cavity opening. I've always used it because it seems like a good way to hold the stuffing in the cavity.

It seems to me that by pulling the legs and therefore thighs together against the carcass, a bigger mass is created for heat to penetrate and cook (more so if the bird is stuffed).

Has anyone experimented with cooking a turkey without doing so i.e. "spread eagle style"? Or go a step further and cut the skin between the carcass and the thighs, exposing the inner thighs?

Would that help the legs and thighs cook at the same rate as the breast?

Any thoughts?
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Old 11-14-2007, 08:07 AM   #34
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Oh no, Goodweed - I didn't mean that with reference to your turkey-cooking survey - I meant in general: magazines, tv cooking programs, etc.

For instance, husband & I were in Border's Books the other day & I was leafing thru some cooking magazine that, of course, had a huge Thanksgiving spread outlined that was really over the top. We started laughing because we figured if we wanted to have that - even for just the 2 of us - I'd have to start cooking NOW, it would probably cost around $500 easy, & I'd be too exhausted on the big day to even watch the Macy's parade on tv.
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Old 11-14-2007, 12:31 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BreezyCooking View Post
Oh no, Goodweed - I didn't mean that with reference to your turkey-cooking survey - I meant in general: magazines, tv cooking programs, etc.

For instance, husband & I were in Border's Books the other day & I was leafing thru some cooking magazine that, of course, had a huge Thanksgiving spread outlined that was really over the top. We started laughing because we figured if we wanted to have that - even for just the 2 of us - I'd have to start cooking NOW, it would probably cost around $500 easy, & I'd be too exhausted on the big day to even watch the Macy's parade on tv.
It's truly sad to me that every good thing, like Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, even Mother's and Father's day, and all the rest, are manipulated by big buisness, which is assisted by the media, to increase their "bottom line". I know that profit is required for keeping a business afloat and solvent. But when money, or creating the perfect meal, or giving the perfect gift, etc., becomes the sole focus in life, the events, personal relationships with family, freinds, spouses, and faith become lost. And these are the things that really bring happiness. I would rather serve a simple meal, and spend my time playing pick-up sticks with a 7 year-old niece, than presenting the perfect meal with every side-dish imaginable. The latter would certainly get me oohs, and ahhs, but then my memories would be about a momentary boost in ego, rather than the continuing love of that 7-year old. And anyone who knows me knows that I value bringing joy to my family more than any other thing in this world.

That's not to say that if I'm responsible for bringing the turkey, that I'm not going to make it the best turkey that I can, but simply, that I'm going to do that in such a way that I have more time to be with, and do things with those I love.

Seeeeeeya; Goodweed of the North
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Old 11-14-2007, 12:49 PM   #36
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This comment relates more to Turkey tasting rather than the way to cook a Turkey.
I figure this will also contributes significantly to the final product, perhaps belongs to another forum.

According to Cook's Illustrated November 2007, they sampled 8 different brands of Turkey including kosher, fresh, frozen, basted, etc. etc. All turkeys were cooked according to their Roasted Brined Turkey recipe (Nov./Dec. 2004), which I don't have. These are the results of their assessment.

Brands highly recommended: RUBASHKIN'S AARON'S BEST (kosher, $1.99 per pound) and WALTER HATCHERY HERITAGE BREED (Frozen, $7.14 per pound)

Brands recommended: BUTTERBALL (Frozen basted, $1.49 per pound) and JENNIE-O (Fresh basted, $1.49 per pound)

Brands Recommended with reservations: EMPIRE KOSHER (Fresh kosher, $2.69 per pound), SHADY BROOKS FARMS (Fresh, $1.29 per pound), GOOD EARTH FARMS ORGANIC PASTURE_RAISED (Shipped frozen from Winsconsin farm, $2.49 plus shipping) and DIESTEL FAMILIY TURKEY RANCH (Frozen, $1.99 per pound)

They also explain that the higher content of fat in the meat will result in more flavor and moisture, therefore, the older the animal, the taste will improve.
Commercial animals grow so fast, they hardly develop flavor so producers use basting as an alternative to improve this. Koshering is another way to improve flavor since salt is a natural enhancer and helps retain moisture.
IMO, the article is very interesting and helpful.
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Old 11-14-2007, 12:49 PM   #37
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Total agreement & kudos Goodweed!!!

Now that's not to say that I don't try a new dish now & then for the holidays, but some of these "you MUST make this if you want to host an "in" holiday" just turn me.
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Old 11-14-2007, 12:59 PM   #38
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I brine and use Alton Brown roasting method. Foolprrof.

Basting does nothing to make turkey meat moist. Skin is a very effective moisture barrier. You need to get under the skin to moisten the meat. Basting helps make the skin brown up but it lowers the oven temp and prolongs cooking time, which can actually dry out the breast meat.
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Old 11-17-2007, 01:50 AM   #39
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I have put some of the turkeys fat from other places on it under the skin on the breast.
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Old 11-17-2007, 05:35 AM   #40
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You are right on the money once again Goodweed. As far as having moist turkey, I have seen (on one show or another) a chef dip cheesecloth into melted butter and then drape it over the chicken then continue to baste with more butter (every half hour or so). Has anyone tried that method?
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