How to Bake the Perfect Turkey
As many prepare for the holidays, no doubt turkey is on their minds. Will it be overdone, underdone, too dry? If you have the honorable task of fixing the bird, cheer up.
A good friend of mine elected me to bake the turkey this year by bringing one to my front door. Her excuse was "You work from home and don't have to fight traffic". I smiled, she sneered as she handed me the bird.
I used to dread baking turkey due to the white meat (breast area) being so dry. Found out, it's how you bake the bird that makes the difference. Let me explain. Most of use are taught to prep the bird (unwilling victim) and bake the crap out of it somewhere in the 375-425 deg.F. range. Instead do the following S-L-O-W cook method.
1) Ensure that there is everything is removed from inside the bird. Wash it with vinigar or lemon juice.
2) add any spices you like to a 1/4 cup of olive or canola oil. I like to use thyme, crushed red pepper, black pepper, ginger, powder, onion powder, garlic powder, basil. I don't use salt, you can if you must. stir iinto a past.
3) Apply the oil spice mixture to the whole bird. Place in a covered roasting pan.DO NOT ADD WATER. I did once and had turkey soup.
4) Preheat over to 450-500F (that's right, 500F)
5) When the oven is ready, place the bird in the 500F over for approximately 30-40 minutes. This is to sear the skin. This will help keep moisture in.
6) Set the oven to 250F and let the bird do its thing. I use the 20min per lbs rule (a 12 lbs bird is 4h). Add about another 30-45min at the end and check the core temp with a thermometer.
The result-- moist bird through and through, even the white meat! There should be plenty of drippings to make gravey.
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