Obviously we're going off topic here, but last year we basically had a mini-Butterball helpline on BCB. It spawned out of someone throwing out the idea that they didn't like Thanksgiving because they felt there was no way to make a dry turkey. Out of that we had some great discussions and I believe several people were assisted in cooking up a really solid holiday bird. So in the spirit of Thanksgiving, anyone want to pass along their holiday tips, tricks and recipes?
The first two that I'll pass along were the subject of talk last year, and that is making a turkey that isn't dry.
- Suggestion #1: brining a turkey. Basically this is the process of soaking a turkey for anywhere between 12-72 hours in a salt water solution. What this does is it breaks down the meat and makes it more moist and tender. You can brine the turkey in a few different containers, a big roasting pot, a clean 5 gallon utility bucket, a cooler. Glad now makes extra large heavy duty ziploc bags that would work. You'll need to keep your turkey cool, so you'll either need to clear enough room in a fridge or use a cooler and often replenish it with freezer packs (freeze a few water bottles and toss them in from time to time).
Here is some more info and some turkey brine recipes:
- Suggestion #2: Get under the skin. This is a great way to keep your turkey moist. Before you put the turkey in the oven make a cut in the breast skin on both sides of the turkey. Then slide two fingers between the skin and the breast meat as far down towards the leg/thigh as possible, gently pulling the skin away from the meat. You just want to separate the skin from the meat, but you still need the skin to rest on top to keep the meat from charing. Then take take squares of butter and put them between the skin and breast meat, maybe four to six squares of butter per side of turkey. You can also put some pieces of onion, garlic, shallots, scallions, apples, whatever you want between the skin and the meat. Once you're done with this just have the skin rest back in place, trying to cover up where you made cuts in the turkey skin.
Other tips, baste your turkey regularly and if you're going to fry a turkey, properly measure the oil and don't fry the turkey in the garage unless you want a house fire.
Other suggestions, tips, recipes?