Your best tip for the perfect turkey ...

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by Special-t, Nov 22, 2009.

  1. Special-t

    Special-t Enthusiast

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    Nov 22, 2009

    I'm baking/roasting a turkey for the first time in so many years that I've forgotten the tricks to making it moist and delicious. Any help would be appreciated. What spices should I use? What do I put under the skin? Start or finish with breast-side down? What should I put in the cavity instead of stuffing?

    Thanks!
     
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  3. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Nov 22, 2009

    My parents did the breast side down by mistake one year...it was a juicy bird...they did it every time after that but would flip it half-way through cooking...the skin gets messed up so you don't end up with that 'picture perfect' bird but it IS juicy...Now my sisters or I do Thanksgiving so no more upside down turkeys for mom and dad!

    I don't brine or deep fry...I do start the bird off at a high temp--maybe around 425 for 1/2 hour...it 'seals' the juices in and then I turn it down to the regular roasting temp...Use a thermometer- more reliable than the 'minutes per pound' guidelines.

    I'm putting sage and rosemary from my garden UNDER the skin and basting every half-hour with stock/drippings. Oil or butter on the skin before popping in oven-Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper blend.

    Let the turkey rest for 1/2- 1 hour before carving.
     
  4. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Enthusiast

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    Nov 22, 2009

    We're not cooking this year, since we're having dinner with DD's boyfriend's family, but we've used a recipe similar to this for several years: http://www.bigoven.com/123945-Ultimate-Turkey-recipe.html. You put the stuffing under the skin, which takes a little maneuvering, but the butter in the stuffing bastes the bird as it cooks, and the meat is very moist.
     
  5. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Nov 22, 2009

    Butter...and a LOT of it. I use ginger, mustard and poultry seasonings over the top of the bird, then use my hands to spread (or glop, really) a ton of butter (the real stuff) all over the bird (under the skin and in the cavaties too). I start off high like czacza, then turn it down, and baste every 45 minutes or so. I always get compliments on how juicy my turkey is...even after it's sat out for a while.
     
  6. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Nov 22, 2009

    I bake mine in a brown paper bag..no kidding. I got the receipe off of a morning radio show I listen to all the time. I did it the year before last for the first time. It was the best turkey I've ever eaten!
     
  7. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    Nov 22, 2009

    We inject ours with a mix of cajun spices. Yummy!
     
  8. Special-t

    Special-t Enthusiast

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    Nov 22, 2009

    Such great ideas! The brown bag sounds interesting, but knowing my luck it will burn. I have rosemary in my garden, so I'll be doing that for sure. I bet I can get sage at the grocery store. The link to the recipe is interesting too, the stuffing must keep it moist because it says to cook breast-side up, which would seem risky to me after what I've read about breast-side down.
     
  9. TeacherSandra

    TeacherSandra Enthusiast

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    Nov 22, 2009

    I go the easy route and my turkey comes out so moist!

    I alway use a cooking bag. Salt & pepper the bird. Add 1 tbsp. of four in the bag and shake; add the bird breast side down, tie the bag, cut slits on top of the bag and bake according to the weight of the bird.

    The directions, bags and ties are included in the box; I think it's by Reynolds.
     
  10. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

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    Nov 22, 2009

    Cook it til it falls off the bone! My grandma's never makes it whole to the table - we never have that picture perfect turkey. But it is so moist and yummy and melts in your mouth.
     
  11. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Nov 22, 2009

    Special-t~ you sprinkle the bag with water and it helps keep the bag from burning.
     
  12. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

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    Nov 22, 2009

    We use those as well... we use olive oil on the bird.

    Although we watched good eats about turkeys very interesting.
     
  13. Special-t

    Special-t Enthusiast

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    Nov 23, 2009

    The cooking bag interests me ... I wonder though if the skin turns out crispy or soft?
     
  14. Dzenna

    Dzenna Groupie

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    Nov 23, 2009

    I swear by the cooking bag! The skin is crisp, meat is moist and the turkey cooks faster.
     
  15. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

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    Agree... 2 bags come in a box.
     
  16. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    Nov 23, 2009

    I inject it with Cajun butter and we deep fry it. That is our favorite way.
     
  17. Hartlepool

    Hartlepool Rookie

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    Nov 23, 2009

    My best tip for the Turkey....is to run as fast as you can south , or diguise yourself as a Bald Eagle....or tell the humans you have bird flu !
     
  18. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Nov 23, 2009

    I would say, don't bother basting. You lose oven heat which distorts the temperature, and the oils only go in a short way, so it isn't even effective. Leave the door closed and only open slightly if you need to check it at the end.

    Also, I cover the turkey loosely with foil, then uncover for the last 1/2 hour. It prevents over-browning.
     
  19. Dzenna

    Dzenna Groupie

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    Nov 23, 2009

    :lol:
     
  20. Special-t

    Special-t Enthusiast

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    Nov 23, 2009

    How decadent - I bet it's SO good!
     
  21. Special-t

    Special-t Enthusiast

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    Nov 23, 2009


    I'm going to the store right now to see if I can find a these bags.
     
  22. goopp

    goopp Devotee

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    Nov 23, 2009

    The first time I cooked a turkey I forgot to put foil over it at the beginning. I didn't put it on until about 1/2 way through when the skin had already browned. It was the juiciest turkey I ever had. I think by browning the skin it kept all the juices inside. I've done it every time since and always have moist turkeys.
     
  23. 3Sons

    3Sons Enthusiast

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    Nov 23, 2009

    Making sure you take out the bag of innards goes a long way towards making a better turkey.
     
  24. Dzenna

    Dzenna Groupie

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    Nov 23, 2009

    :lol:
     
  25. goopp

    goopp Devotee

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    Nov 23, 2009

    Sounds like you know from experience.:)
     
  26. Amanda

    Amanda Administrator Staff Member

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    Nov 23, 2009

    Yes, the cooking bag makes it so easy. :thumb: I also put butter and rosemary on it, stuff it with celery, and add a little bit of flour to the bottom of the bag. I've never heard of cooking it upside down. The bag is pretty foolproof though. The turkey is always moist and yummy.
     
  27. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Nov 23, 2009

    Of course, if you really don't cook, the best advise I can give you is let somebody else cook. :D
     
  28. wdwteach

    wdwteach Cohort

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    Nov 23, 2009

    I used to coat my turkey in olive oil and it was great that way. Very moist. This year we are smoking turkey breasts in the smoker outside. We tried them this summer and I vowed to make them for Thanksgiving! So good!!!
     
  29. Hartlepool

    Hartlepool Rookie

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    Nov 24, 2009

    Original post ; Tell the great American public that you ARE the most PERFECT Turkey and have all the solutions th their economic problems and will bring back the good times....bugger me the entire bloody nation would go vegetarian over night !!!!!!
     
  30. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

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    Nov 24, 2009

    I was going to post this the first thing... Let my hubby do it!!! If it was just going to be us we probably would have just got a frozen boneless turkey breast and made it in the crockpot!!! I guess this way we'll have my fave TURKEY POT PIE... oh but that's a whole 'nother thread what to do with leftovers.... LOL!!!
     
  31. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Nov 24, 2009

    Don't make turkey.

    I haven't actually cooked a turkey in years and years - in this house, the standard holiday bird is a duck.
     
  32. bonneb

    bonneb Fanatic

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    Nov 24, 2009

    To me the best tasting turkey is either 1) roasted breast side down so all the fat runs into the breast meat or 2) roasted in a roasting bag, or 3) basted every 20 min, breast side up, with equal parts butter and whiskey/white wine. Easiest is in the bag.

    But if you want a beautiful looking turkey, roast breast side up and baste like crazy. Yum!

    And don't forget the very best turkey soup comes from simmering the entire carcass for hours on top of the stove, then removing bones and adding your favorite veggies, barley, and potatoes! Yum!
     
  33. rachaelski

    rachaelski Habitué

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    Nov 25, 2009

    I baste with white wine. It makes a juicy turkey and great gravy.
     
  34. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    Nov 25, 2009

    That's my plan! I do love to cook but I'd rather cook anything BUT the turkey. If you mess that up then you are definitely in the doghouse LOL :lol:
     
  35. Special-t

    Special-t Enthusiast

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    Nov 26, 2009

    I cooked the turkey in a Reynolds bag - it turned out great. My favorite part was that I didn't have to baste. I literally just put it in the oven and forgot about it till it was done. And, I was able to cook it for an extra half hour (I like the turkey falling off the bone) and it didn't dry out.
    The skin was nice and brown - it looked beautiful. It was not as crispy as an uncovered basted turkey, but that was fine for my family because we don't eat the skin.
     
  36. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Nov 26, 2009

    Second year in a row for a successful brown bag turkey!
     
  37. TeacherSandra

    TeacherSandra Enthusiast

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    Nov 26, 2009

    Me too! I love those bags; been using them forever.
     

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