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Recipe File: Classic Roast Turkey
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BlueMike
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2005 6:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As for the non-reactive container they are referring to, it generally means no aluminum or copper. Stainless steel and plastic work very well.

I generally prepare a turkey or turkey breasts every couple of months or so and have found that a 5-gallon paint-bucket works wonderfully. They can be found in almost any hardware or home-improvement store for under $10. And they come with tight-fitting lids which work very well when transporting the brined bird. These will handle a 10-18 lb bird with plenty of room for the necessary ice (since this will not fit into most people's refrigerator).

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2005 6:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

re: non reactive containers.

I am on my 2nd brined and grilled bird. A paint bucket from the hardware store does an excellent job. A different color than the buckets used for sample collection so you don't get them mixed up.

Ice bags are a no-no. Have you read what they contain? I know dilution is solution but I really don't want to take chances on poisonng my bird.
One last word on food safety, The basic mantra of the food scientist, Life ( campy, salmonella, etc. ) begins at 40 F and ends at 16O F. Ice and a lid will maintain this overnite. Remember to allow for the extra volume when preparing brine.
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2005 6:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Posting to say I pretty much went by this exact recipe. It was great! Too bad turkey has no taste but that's another matter.
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Paul
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2005 6:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't make the turkey for Thanksgiving, but I do make it for Xmas, and here's how I brine it:

Starting with a frozen bird (the kind you get for free from the supermarket around Thanksgiving), make the brine and pour it into your bucket. Remove the turkey from the bag and submerge it in the brine. Then add ice and your lid.

Put this somewhere like a garage (cool, but not cold) 48 hours before you want to cook the bird. Halfway through the brining, flip the bird.

You should have a gently thawed bird that's chock full of briney goodness.
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Karen
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2005 6:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Michael, I found 400 degrees to be way too hot. The turkey turned out fine, but there were no juices. The vegetables charred. We had nothing to make gravy with.

Did I misread something?
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Michael Chu



Joined: 10 May 2005
Posts: 1626
Location: Austin, TX (USA)

PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2005 6:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

re: juices

It's good that the turkey turned out fine... now to salvage the juices. If you have a large pan (one big enough for a 25 pound or larger turkey) then you'll probably need more than 1 cup of water to start in the pan. (The larger pan allows the water to spread out thinly and it will evaporate faster.) The exact quantity of water is not that important, just don't pour in a gallon or something. While checking on the turkey, if the water seems to be almost evaporated, add another cup (or more if you have a larger pan), to keep the drippings from burning. Don't worry too much about the liquid quantity even if almost all the water has evaporated, you'll be deglazing the pan for the gravy later. Just don't let it burn.
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2005 6:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

in the fresh vs frozen debate, one website discusses how fresh birds are aged to promote tenderness while frozen birds are not.

http://www.samcooks.com/flavor/turkey%20talk.htm

can anyone confirm this? I prepared a fresh turkey a few months ago (not brined), and it was fabulous! A couple of days ago i brined a utility grade turkey and it was dry and tough ( i also think i didnt defrost it long enough).

before i spend money on a frozen bird again, i will look for a fresh one.
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2005 6:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

To get the thigh and the leg to cook evenly and not dry out the breast meat I would suggest that you don't truss the bird. Stuffing the turkey is ok as long as the stuffing and the bird are either cold or at room temperature and stuff the turkey just before it is placed in the oven. NEVER put warm stuffing in a cold bird or stuff it the night before. Lastly remove the stuffing when the bird is done. It is true that stuffing will increase the cooking time. The bird must rest for about 30 minutes when it is removed from the oven so that the juices can be redistributed throughout the meat. Just flip it over on the breast during the resting period and the white meat will be moist.
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Lori
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2005 6:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know people don't usually think about turkey this time of the year (August), but since I love to eat turkey anytime, I thought I would post a few things I've found helpful.

I brine the turkey in a canner. (In case you aren't familiar with canning, a canner is a big metal pot, about 15" high and 18" in diameter--I'm estimating--used to sterilize and vacuum pack jars. It's made of enamel coated steel.) It does not fit in the refrigerator, so in the winter, I leave the canner outdoors out of the sun with the lid taped on.

During warmer months, I buy just a turkey breast and brine it in a big
stainless steel pot that does fit in the refrigerator.

I roast the turkey in a Reynolds oven bag. It keeps the bird moist and seems to reduce cooking time.

One way to give a bird a tan is to baste it with balsamic vinegar 15 minutes before it's done. It does not affect the flavor.

Or I just roast a duck. (This is what I serve for Thanksgiving when it's held at my house.) It's more expensive, but it's so moist and tasty that it needs no special treatment except for the balsamic vinegar.
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2005 6:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MJB: I use that type of roaster oven every year. Follow the directions in the little book -- because the oven is smaller and tigher your turkey will not brown, but it will be amazingly moist, and falling off the bone tender. Plan to cut it up in the kitchen and serve with juice on a big platter.
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Joshua
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2005 6:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I brine my turkey and then before sending it into the oven, I use a disposable needle and syringe to inject stock and melted butter inot the turkey's breast and thighs. You might want to cover the end of the wings and legs with aluminium foil so that they do not charr. Covering with an aluminium tent in the frist 45 minutes helps.
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eltonyo



Joined: 02 Nov 2005
Posts: 88
Location: WA

PostPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2005 2:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i agree with most of the tricks mentioned in this thread, especially with a flipped turkey (in a V-rack) for the first part of cooking.... but in order to get a really nice crisp crust, i find that separating the skin from the turkey (carefully), and rubbing some herbed butter into the meat (under the skin), not only helps flavor the meat, but because the skin is pulled up from the bird, it will crisp up much better by rendering some of the fat.

i do the same with a roasted chicken, of course.

btw... i'm a newbie... nice ya got here! Smile
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 12, 2005 5:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have read all of the posts on roasting a turkey. I have been roasting them for 32 years. My mother-inlaw was a Penn. Dutch cook. She taught me to wash the thawed bird inside and out, pat dry and then rub butter inside and out, salt with coarse Kosher salt inside and out. At this point she always stuffed with her special holdiay stuffing, then she tied the legs back togetherr. Placing it then in a foil lined roaster she layed it in back side down. She then covered the breast and legs with good bacon and a heavy layer of foil. She roasted it on low heat about 300 thru the night before Thanksgiving or Christmas, putting it on about 10pm. She would get up and baste a few times with its own juices that leaked out in the roaster and close it back up with the foil everytime. The smell will have all those in the house floating thru the air like Wimpy on the old Popeye cartoons... At around 6 or 7 it is usually quite done (she checked by the looseness of the legs) she again kept it covered with the foil and the roaster lid. It would rest on the stove while the rest of the cooking got underway. By about noon she would warm it again in the oven and soon Thanksgiving was on the table in all of its glory. I don't remember one bad turkey or a dry turkey. It was always perfect. She always bought a Butterball. I have always cooked mine the same way and I have never had a problem. I have never eaten a brined turkey but I want to try it with a breast. I saw Emeril brine one and he had spices in his brine as well as Kosher salt. Happy Thanksgiving everyone! (Gwen in Indiana)
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artwoman1
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2005 6:34 pm    Post subject: larger birds Reply with quote

I am having 16 big eaters for TG. I have ordered a Kosher bird. It's already brined. How would you alter the cooking times for a 20 lb. bird? Do I figure by percentages? A 20 lb bird is roughly 40% larger than a 14 lb bird so is the time 40% longer? What do you recommend?

Also I loosen the skin over the breast and insert some the fat from around the cavity between the skin and the breast meat and it helps keep the breast moist. You can also insert herbed butter or herb the chunks of turkey fat.

I have used the rotation method before on a slightly smaller bird and found it very awkward to turn. Any tips?

I am going to make the turkey unstuffed this year and will remove the boniest part of the wing to place on top of my stuffing for a more in-the-bird taste. I'll let you know how that works.
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rymetime
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 17, 2005 1:50 am    Post subject: Any Truth to This? Reply with quote

I have heard it said that there is something in turkeys that contributes to drowsiness after eating. Does anyone know if that is fact, and if so, what is the name of the substance?
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