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Thread: Turkey question

  1. #1
    Le Patineur et sa Petite Lulu
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    Turkey question

    We just bought a 15 pound turkey. How long should we have he turkey sit out to thaw? Does the turkey have to come to room temperature before cooking, or will that make the turkey tough?
    Daniel and Little Lulu

  2. #2
    Sal-Kowabunga!
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    Danny, Danny, Danny......

    Watch out or the food police will come arrest you! Heavens, you might get food poisoning from letting Tom T. "sit out!"

    If you're still up and serious about wanting turkey tips, check out epicurious turkey school:

    http://eat.epicurious.com/bonappetit...ey_school.html

    Just for laughs, or more info (or just to kill more time!), check out foodtv.com or Martha Stewart or even the Butterball web sites.

    Hope you and Lu and Kevin and your friends have a nice T-day!

  3. #3
    On Edge Piel's Avatar
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    Daniel and LuLu,

    You should thaw your turkey in the fridge. NEVER allow it to come to room temperature before cooking or allow it to thaw on the counter (the perfect conditions for bacteria to grow=a very sick Daniel and LuLu). A day and a half should be enough time for a 15# turkey. If it hasn't thawed enough in the fridge by early Thanksgiving morning place it (still in the wrapper) in a container of cold water and change the water frequently until thawed. Remove all of the packaging and the "extras" (after rinsing they can be boiled for stock to make gravy, some choose to leave the liver out of their stock) that are inside and rinse well inside and out, again using cold water. Rub the outside of the turkey with a mixture of butter, olive oil, kosher salt, and freshly ground pepper. Also salt and pepper inside of the cavity. If not stuffing you can place celery, onion, and herbs inside for added flavor. Roast according to the directions on the package. The little plastic thermometer that comes on the turkey usually pops up after the breast has overcooked. It is better to use an instant read or one that can be left in while baking inserted in the thickest part of the thigh but not touching bone. When it reaches the temperature suggested on the package , insert the thermometer slightly more if the temperature doesn't fall it should be done. The leg joint should move easily when the turkey is fully cooked. If the breast starts to brown too quickly cover with some oiled foil or cheesecloth that has been soaked in broth, stock, or white wine. It is safer not to stuff, but if you do make sure the stuffing is cool before placing in the turkey and do not pack the stuffing in. There needs to be some space for the turkey to cook thoroughly. Remove the stuffing and leftover turkey from the carcass as soon as dinner is over, before storing leftovers in the fridge.

    Enjoy!

  4. #4
    Sal-Kowabunga!
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    Hi Piel,

    Boy, you're more adamant than I am about the food poisoning issue! LOL

    Alton Brown, he of Food Network "Good Eats," claims that "stuffing is evil." Actually, gotta agree on that one too. Not just 'cuz of the food police issues. It just plain dries out the turkey breast meat and it doesn't NEED to be any drier than most of us get it! Oh well, AB (see above) believes the cure for that is brining. In fact, the Turkey Gospel according to AB is available on the epicurious site. Hey, I haven't checked out Butterballs 2003 version of the turkey gospel.............mmmmmm.....gotta go!

    Maybe I'll just cook up some dressing....it's only 1:30am!

  5. #5
    On Edge Piel's Avatar
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    Jo, I love Alton's show! I experimented with brining last Thanksgiving. My family loved it but I thought that it made the turkey taste odd. All of the TV chefs, etc. recommend it so maybe I should try it again. Alton is very interesting, I really like his scientific approach to cooking. Also, Christopher Kimbell of Cook's magazine, and for baking Rose Levy Bernbaum (sp?). I enjoy Martha but have found a lot of her recipes don't turn out as well as some others.

    I don't like stuffing in the turkey. We always fix "dressing" on the side:

    cubed toasted white bread
    saute onions, celery, and fresh sage in butter until tender
    combine with bread cubes
    moisten with liquid that has drained from the turkey while roasting, adding chicken stock (if canned ONLY Swanson's, the others taste like boullion-yuck) to moisten
    add fresh ground black pepper and more sage to taste
    heat a skillet on top of the stove with vegetable oil in it until sizzling, pour in dressing and bake at 425 until done and crispy on the outside, about 30 to 45 minutes, sometimes I add pecan halves and pork breakfast sausage to the onion /celery mix, this is also good with chicken or pork

    Piel

  6. #6
    Salchows and Shimmies!!!
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    Rule of thumb in the fridge is 4 pounds per day from what I've been told, so you might want to get it there now. It won't spoil in the fridge.

  7. #7
    Le Patineur et sa Petite Lulu
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    Turkey question

    Thank all of you for your advice. The turkey is thawing in the fridge. We are going to stuff the turkey. Stuffing is my favorite part of the dinner. We got those plastic cooking bags. They have worked very well in the past. Kevin's mom used to cook her turkey in a paper bag. My mother, however, use cut a large piece of cloth from a T shirt and cover the turkey with that when cooking. Anyway, happy holiday.
    Daniel and Little Lulu

  8. #8
    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    It's always interesting to hear how other people cook these
    traditional meals. It's amazing how many changes there are.

    My sister in law rubs mayonnaise on the bird and sticks him in a paper bag to bake.

    My brotherinlaw fries the turkey whole in one of those huge
    southern fryers out on the deck.

    My mother in law likes a stuffing that is mostly hamburger flavored with poultry seasoning (I don't like this one).

    We stuff the turkey because it's my family's favorite part of the meal. We keep the turkey moist by basting every half hour with a combination of turkey stock made from the neck and giblets and some melted butter. We always use a fresh turkey, raised locally, so that when we get it, it has never been frozen. This saves all the worry about whether the temperature is the same throughout the bird when you start cooking. The flavor is better too, and you can buy them without all the innoculated flavored Crisco, like in the ButterBall. I seal up the bird with aluminum foil.

    As to the stuffing, we crumb the bread so fine, it looks like it was ground. I make the sausage from ground pork, spices and herbs, and then fry it out with the onions and celery to make sure it is cooked. I let it cool before we stuff. Stuffing also has celery, salt, pepper, salt, pepper, sage, marjoram, parsley, thyme, moistened with turkey stock.

    Happy Thanksgiving to Daniel and Lulu. I hope Lulu enjoys her turkey. and to everyone else.

    Doris

  9. #9
    and... World Peace! Tonichelle's Avatar
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    mom said you can also go to http://www.sunset.com and they will have all the tips you could ever possibly need!

  10. #10
    Sal-Kowabunga!
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    I just love hearing how other people do holidays!

    My brother once brought a smoked turkey to Thanksgiving. My daughter (she was about 10) said it looked disgusting and was "burned." We persuaded her to at least taste it. She not only went back for more, she demanded we take leftovers home with us. Then at Christmas, she wanted to know where the burned turkey was. (Sorry kid, we had ham that year.) This year SHE is doing the turkey. She is not as ambitious as her uncle, so unless she ponies up big bucks, no smoked turkey this year.

    Brined turkey is not high on my list of favorites, but I certainly can see the logic of it. Maybe the addition of other flavorings to the salt is needed to make it taste better? I never bother, since I usually buy frozen and most brands seem loaded with turkey broth and assorted other stuff.

    Foodies have been overloaded with Thanksgiving tv shows. I just love it, even if I will never actually try all those recipes. Hey Toni, tell Mom I will check out her web site suggestion.

  11. #11
    ~ Figure Skating Is My Passion ~ Ladskater's Avatar
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    I just forgo the whole event and buy a roast of beef. Less mess.

  12. #12
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    Heres is a nice site for recipes
    http://allrecipes.com/help/sitetour/default.asp
    If your lucky to have cold weather at this time put the turkey outside in the cooler to thaw and to chill drinks before serving.
    Last edited by serenity; 11-26-2003 at 08:43 AM.

  13. #13
    Salchows and Shimmies!!!
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    JOH: Brining does not make the turkey salty, it makes it juicy. Remember the principle of osmosis from high school science/chemistry? It allows the cells of the meat to essentially swell up and become really juicy and tasty. YUM!!!

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