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Old 10-21-2009, 10:01 PM   #1
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What size turkey

New to DO cooking-- can someone tell me what size turkey would fit into a 9 qt 12'' oven. We will be a family of 10.
Thanks for your help.

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Old 10-21-2009, 10:59 PM   #2
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For that sized crowd, I'd choose a 20 to 22 lb. bird. Mkae sure that it's completely thawed. Then remove the giblets and neck from the body cavity and the flap of skin that covers where the neck used to be. Rinse the bird uder cold water and dry inside and out with paper towels. Place the giblets and neck into a 2 quart pot, cover with water, and bring to a simmering boil. cover and let it cook over low heat.

Use that handy plastic legg-hold thingy that is already in the bird to hold the drumstick ends in place. Fill the cavity loosely with stuffing, if you are cooking the stuffing in the bird. Next, fill the neck hole with stiffing and sew the neck skin to the brest with white, pure cotton thread. Again wipe the bird down with a paper towel. At this point, you can do all kinds of things with the bird. You can stuff rosemay leaves under the skin, or a compound herb butter unter the skin, or you can just rub oil or butter all over the outside of the bird. I take about 2 cups of the turkey broth from the boiling sauce pan, let it cool and season it with salt, pepper, and sage to taste, then inject it all over the breast, in the thighs, and into the drumsticks. Fold the wing tips under the back and place the turkey on a rack, and into a shallow roasting pan. My oven is preheated to 450' F. I place a meat thermometer in the thickest part of the breast, taking care not to let the tip touch any bone. Put the bird into the oven and let it roast for 15 minutes. I then turn down the heat to 400, loosely cover the breast with a tent of aluminum foil, shiny side out, and put it back into the oven. I roast it for about 12 minutes per pound. When the time goes off, I check the meat thermometer. It's usually reading about 145 by then. I baste the bird with pan juices to get some of that flavor on the skin. Know that basting doesn't make the meat any juicier. It just rolls off the skin after depositing some flavor solids onto it. Remove the tent and place back into the oven. Roast for 15 minutes more and check the thermometer, again baisting. REmove the turkey when the meat thermometr reads 155' F. Let it sit on the counter for twenty minutes. Teh final temperature will read 165' F., which is perfect.

Remove the stuffing, front and back. Cut off the whole legs at the hip joint. Remove the wings at the body joint. Cut the hwole breasts off of the bird by sliding the knife downward, along the breast bone. Slice the breast meat against the grain so that every piece has some of that crispy skin. Place the breast slices on a large platter so that they resemble the unsliced breasts, and surround with the legs, which have been seperated at the knee, and the wings. Place the stuffing into serving bowls. Make gravy from the remaining meat juices, both from the roasting pan, the cutting board, and the pot.

This will make the most tender and juicy turkey you have ever eaten, becuse you removed the bird at 155' F.

I have barbecued my turkeys over charcoal, roasted at 325, at 290, at 450, at 375, and the way I described above. In every case, when the bird was removed from the heat at 155, the turkey was incredible. Cook it to a higher temperature and the meat begins to toughen and dry out. If you wait until that little pop-up timer goes off, the meat is so overcooked that it's like eating compressed sawdust.

There are others here who have differing methods for preparing a turkey, and each swear by their own methods. Cooking in a bag steams the bird. Deep frying transferes heat very quickly to the meat and results in wonderfully crisp skin. It also shortens cooking time, as does cooking over a devided bed of charcoal on a covered kettle grill. But no matter how you cook it, if you take it off of the heat when the meat temperature reads 155, your bird will be better.

Oh, and one more thing. On the back of the bird, just behind where leg joins the body, you will find a chunk of meat on either side of the back, in a little hollow. These are called the oysters and are the best meat on the bird. They are bite-sized pieces. Call your favorite someone, be it one of you children, or you spouse, or best friend, favorite uncle, or... well, you get the picture, into the kitchen and share one of the oysters with them. It's a great little tradition that makes that person feel very special indeed.

Seeeeeeya; Goodweed of the North
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Old 10-22-2009, 01:12 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hhoenig View Post
New to DO cooking-- can someone tell me what size turkey would fit into a 9 qt 12'' oven. We will be a family of 10.
Thanks for your help.
Depends a little on whether you have a round or an oval DO. I don't think of a DO as a usual pan for doing turkeys although I guess you could do a small one that way. I don't know exactly what size bird would fit in a 12" DO; but you will not get a 22 pound bird in one for sure. (I'm guessing that a 10 lb. turkey would be about as big as you could go.....maybe not even that??)
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Old 10-22-2009, 06:47 AM   #4
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Would seem cooking a turkey in a DO will result in a moist but steamed or stewed bird.
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Old 10-22-2009, 07:50 AM   #5
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I agree that you will be steaming the bird. If you don't have a roasting pan, or use for one other than Thanksgiving, maybe you can look into getting the foil roasters they sell in supermarkets. If I were to go that route, I would use 2, one inside the other for a little more stability.
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Old 10-22-2009, 05:33 PM   #6
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I feel so dumb. I didn't recognize DO as dutch oven and just gave a technique for roasting the bird in an open roasting pan. Of course a 22 lb. bird wouldnt' fit in the DO. You might be able to debone the meat and stuff most of it in, and make something like turkey tetrazini, but that's not rosted turkey. I'c possible cook a couple of cornish game hens in a 12" dutch oven as that's all that would fit, and they would have to be small hens. You certainly would be hard pressed to feed 10 people from the contents of a 12" DO. I have one and it's great for many things, like baked beans, or you could make the turkey dressing in it, or the mashed potatoes.

Sorry for my goof.

Seeeeeya; goodweed of the north
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Old 10-22-2009, 05:51 PM   #7
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You can cook a very small turkey in a DO. You cannot feed 30 people with what will fit into a DO. The rule of thumb is a half pound of turkey per person. So you would need a 15 pound turkey to feed 30 people. I'd recommend going bigger to have leftovers.

As was recommended, get a foil roasting pan and roast an appropriately sized turkey. Use a cookie sheet under the foil pan for support.

You cannot properly roast in a DO, even with the lid off. You need a low sided pan to roast.
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Old 10-22-2009, 08:53 PM   #8
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Thank you all for your replies. Goodweed of the North, I am going to try your technique. Have a great holiday everyone.
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Old 10-22-2009, 09:09 PM   #9
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Please remember that a 15 lb Turkey (or whatever) does not/will not yield 15 lbs of edible meat...Have a good Thanksgiving!!

Enjoy!
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Old 10-23-2009, 09:02 AM   #10
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I make dressing on the side, and stuff my bird with aromatics: onion, celery, carrots, lemon/orange, bay leaf, s&p. Just cut into big chunks.
I also do a compound butter between the skin and the breast meat, using sage, thyme, pepper, rosemary
and because I can't leave it alone, I like to baste with stock, shooting it inside the bird as well as on top.
The oysters are reserved for the carver, uh, that's me!!!!!! I don't carve it at the table. I take the wings, legs/thighs off, then the breasts. I slice the breasts across the grain on a cutting board. I remove some of the dark meat from the bones, but there's always someone that wants a whole leg.
I throw in a half an onion stuck with a couple of cloves, some celery and carrots, and a bay leaf into the simmering neck stock while the turkey is cooking. I use some of the liquid for basting, and some for the gravy, and some to moisten the dressing,
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