Let's Talk Turkey: Gobble Gobble!
First of all, tomorrow is exactly 1 week from Thanksgiving. By now, I hope you have written a production list – see yesterday’s Tip of the Day post – set the table, invited your guests, completed your grocery shopping and the menu is on lockdown! And of course, the turkey is defrosting or brining (if applicable) as we speak. Wherever you find yourself in the countdown, let’s focus on the grand centerpiece, the turkey!
Defrosting: It is crucial that your bird is thoroughly and safely defrosted (all the way through the center) before it goes in the oven! If you can get your hands on a fresh and never frozen bird, go for it and save yourself some time (and real estate in the fridge). If not, the safest way to defrost your bird is on a baking sheet (to catch any juices) in the refrigerator for at least 2 days. Depending on the size and state of bird, make sure you consult with your store’s poultry specialist for an exact timeframe. As a side note, some stores can defrost a turkey for you if asked during pre-order. Never hurts to ask!
Before Cooking: Remove the turkey from the fridge 1 1/2 hours before cooking so that it has a chance to safely come to room temperature. Note: do not apply heat to expedite this process.
Cooking: There are thousands of recipes that all claim to have the most deliciously moist and flavorsome turkey, but the truth is, mine is the best. All joking aside, turkeys are best cooked in their purest form! Simply put, treat your turkey simply and make sure you remove it from the oven the second an inserted meat thermometer in the thigh registers 165ºF. Once removed from the oven, it is critical you allow the bird to rest for at least 25 – 30 minutes while covered with foil to retain the heat. This way, all those delectable juices redistribute back into the bird and not on your cutting board. Heck, that makes a mess anyway!
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Cheers to starting a new tradition around The Table Together!
Founder and true believer in the power of bringing people around The Table Together!