Nov 20, 2006

Weekly Recipe: My Favorite Turkey

I love moist turkey and this is the moistest I've ever tasted! I've been using this method for years now, but it takes quite a bit longer to cook at this low temperature, so give yourself plenty of planning time.

I soak all my meats in salt water first to remove the blood. 30 minutes up to several hours is fine. If you can't find a container big enough to soak your whole turkey, you might consider using a cooler, and then washing it well. It also greatly enhances the flavor.

Time: ~1 hour per pound, plus one more hour (your bird's weight + 1 hour, less for small birds)

Rinse turkey thoroughly, including cavities, and pat dry with paper towels.

Stuffing is optional, but internal temperature of stuffing should remain at 165 deg. if stuffed.

Rub outside of turkey with olive oil and any other seasonings desired.

Place breast side down on rack in roasting pan, with thermometer in meatiest part.

Place in preheated 300 degree oven and roast for one hour (this kills any bacteria).

Reduce temperature to 180 or your oven's lowest setting above that. Roast 45-60 minutes per pound (3 times longer than standard). The larger birds require 60 minutes per pound. It doesn't hurt anything to cook it for several hours longer after it's done, in case your timing's off.

Roast until the meat thermometer reaches 180 deg.

No basting required! Lots of juices for gravy. Be prepared that it will be so tender that the bones may fall off when you cut it!

Warning: Some digitally controlled ovens have an automatic cut off time. You may want to consult your owner's manual about this, or set the alarm to check on it in the middle of the night! If your oven just uses a dial, you're good!


Anonymous said...

Brining (soaking in salt water) doesn't remove the blood, it uses the process of osmosis to pull salt and water into the cells and make the turkey much more moist and works a little bit as insurance against over-cooking. Many cooking TV shows advocate this method for cooking turkeys (America's Test Kitchen on PBS, Good Eats on The Food Network). I've done it a couple of times and it definitely makes a big difference.

Lindon said...

I enjoy reading recipes because my mom was not exactly the homey type. We ate out a lot thanks to my Dad liking good food. Mom was a great Christian woman but not a great cook...her motto was "It's the fellowship, not the food that matters".

(Just a side note: She did not use any 'white' food in her cooking even back then such as sugar, flour, starches, etc. that is why most of the cooking was so bland, etc. )

So, one year I decided to prepare the Thanksgiving meal. Everything went ok, until I found out much too late that you have to take all the stuff 'inside' the Turkey out first.

It is funny how recipes and instructions..even on the Turkey, take for granted that people actually know this. I know it sounds so ignorant of me but it is a perfect example of not having 'foundational' knowledge/truths that are crucial to life...and cooking turkeys.

Jen said...

That's OK, Lindon. Even as a seasoned turkey cook, I've forgotten to do it more than once!

Anonymous said...

Take a look at my brown bag turkey. I think it will add to your technique!