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How do you cook a turkey?

Last post Mon, Nov 19 2007 9:47 AM by Kate. 18 replies.
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  • Tue, Nov 6 2007 12:44 PM

    • Pat
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on Tue, Mar 6 2007
    • Colorado
    • Posts 14,463

    How do you cook a turkey?

    I roast mine with a minimum of fuss (put it in the pan, put it in the oven)  but with the holidays right on our doorstep, I'm curious about other methods. I make a simple cornbread stuffing with celery, onions, giblets and lots of sage, but the last couple of times I've roasted a turkey I baked the stuffing in a separate pan. The turkey gets done faster that way and I didn't notice any dryness or lack of flavor.

    Anyway, how do you fix yours?  

     

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  • Tue, Nov 6 2007 12:52 PM In reply to

    Re: How do you cook a turkey?

    The easiest way... head to Mom's. Big Smile 

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  • Tue, Nov 6 2007 1:44 PM In reply to

    Re: How do you cook a turkey?

    I've read a lot about brining the bird, but have never bothered to try this method.  Seems like a lot of fuss and a lot of expense... (Alton Brown's recipe:  http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recipes/recipe/0,,FOOD_9936_8389,00.html

    We watched the neighbor deep-fry their turkey one year.  They forgot to turn the huge fryer off and burned down their detached garage and scorched the siding on their house.  That must have been a very expensive turkey that year.... 

    I use a Reynolds Oven Bag.  I purchased a bunch of them for 10 cents each at a reclaimed freight outlet, a few years ago.  You don't have to baste the bird, it cooks a little faster and stays moist - also keeps the oven and pan clean.  I use a lasagna pan with handles (a 13x9 cake pan would also work for a small turkey), instead of a roaster to hold the turkey.  It takes up a little less space than the roaster, should I need oven room for dressing and other baked dishes. 

    I put chopped onion, carrot, celery, sage (fresh or dried, or dried poultry seasoning mix), parsley (if there's some still growing in the garden), salt and pepper in the bottom of the bag.  This seasons the drippings, which are then used for gravy and/or stock.  I also put a little onion, sage, salt and pepper in the turkey's cavity (where you normally put stuffing), and that helps flavor the bird.  I make stuffing separately, not in the turkey.

    I made a 10-pound turkey last week and got 1 quart of broth from the baked turkey, and another quart from cooking the carcass.

    ~Gingerbread

     

  • Tue, Nov 6 2007 1:57 PM In reply to

    • Amy B
    • Top 200 Contributor
    • Joined on Wed, Jul 18 2007
    • Chicagoland
    • Posts 253

    Re: How do you cook a turkey?

    I'm pretty low tech too.   I do fresh herbs and sometimes butter or olive oil under the skin like Ariana, but my stuffing is the same as yours minus the celery (the one food my husband hates) and giblets but with apples and walnuts.  I like to do stuffing both in and out of the bird. 

    I also pull the bird out before it is officially "done" according to the thermometer and let it stand.  This allows the juice to redistribute and it does continue cooking internally.  My brother the chef does his this way too, and that way we can avoid the terminally dry turkeys of our youth. 

    Chicagoland Chic
  • Tue, Nov 6 2007 2:23 PM In reply to

    • Edey
    • Top 25 Contributor
      Female
    • Joined on Mon, Sep 10 2007
    • Los Angeles County, CA
    • Posts 3,869

    Re: How do you cook a turkey?

    I do mine just like Ariana, except I don't put as much broth in the pan. I've have also used the bag, but one year forgot to get them so just went back to the open roaster with a piece of foil over the top.  Worked out just as well.

    The worst one I did was in a roaster, which I bought so I could have use of the oven for pies and side dishes. It didn't cook it work very well. I followed the instructions that came with it and the turkey turned out like sawdust. The book said the temperature should be 375 degrees for six hours, which I knew sounded like too hot for too long, and I was right. I'm going to try it again, (because of a faulty oven), only this time maybe in the bag and with a lower temperature. Or maybe I will try to cook the pies in it instead. Supposedly it can be done that way. I'll find a use for it one way or the other. E

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  • Tue, Nov 6 2007 3:40 PM In reply to

    • Pat
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on Tue, Mar 6 2007
    • Colorado
    • Posts 14,463

    Re: How do you cook a turkey?

     There really seem to be a lot of different ways to roast turkey! The best one I ever made was when I used a boiling water bath canner because I didn't have another pan big enough for it. It was so tender and moist that it literally fell apart when I tried to get it out of the canner - at least parts of it. It was still whole enough to carve, but not the model picture of a roasted turkey! I think it was because the sides of the canner were so high that it held in the moisture and flavor. I should do that again... but next time, I'm using a rack so I can lift it out.

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  • Tue, Nov 6 2007 3:56 PM In reply to

    Re: How do you cook a turkey?

    I've been cooking only a turkey breast the last few years and I do it in my oblong crock-pot.  I put an onion and a few celery stalks (cut in large pieces) in the cavity, and add about 1/2 cup of water or chicken broth to the pot.  I rub it with butter and sprinkle on seasonings (I like lemon-pepper on it best) and cook it on high about 4-5 hours.  You won't get the crispy, brown skin this way, but the meat is soooo tender and flavorful.  Saves plenty of room in my oven for everything else...Liz
  • Tue, Nov 6 2007 4:14 PM In reply to

    Re: How do you cook a turkey?

    LOL, I don't know - the stuffing's the best part of a turkey, if you ask me.  And that I bake separately as everybody here eats plenty of it - along with their ham, go figure...Liz 

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