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Sunday, 7 October 2012

Cooking Turkey - a few tips from mama

The art of cooking Turkey is something that is passed down from generation to generation, we all know
Mom's Thankgiving Turkey is the best. So, I am going to share some tips from my mom and my husbands Great grandmother.
Try to get a fresh turkey, grain fed if possible.
If you are making bread stuffing, put it together the day before, so that the flavours mingle.
Always soak the turkey in a cold salt water brine for at least two hours before you cook the turkey - This is really a game changer. Clean your sink ( I use Blech before and after the soak) removed the neck and giblets and discard, unless your dressing calls for giblets. Rinse the turkey with cold water, then place the turkey in the sink and fill with ice cold water and 2 cups full of ice. Get your salt container {not the shaker} and pour up to 1/4 of a cup of salt onto the turkey. Make sure the turkey is completely covered with water. Every 15 mins remove some water add fresh cold water, ice and a good shake of salt. Soak the turkey in brine for 2 hours.
When that is finished remove turkey to roaster and stuff with stuffing.
Kitchen bouquet (a browning agent) is another vital part of the process, pour some kitchen bouquet on top of the turkey and rub it in all over {just like it is sunscreen}
Give a generous shake of salt then rub 2 tbsp of softened butter onto the turkey.
Place one cut up onion, around the legs of turkey.
One last step, take a 1/2 cup of chicken broth and pour it around the turkey.
Place in a 350 degree oven and baste every 1/2 hour. Cooking time will depend on the size of your turkey but most guide lines will be on the package the turkey came in. I cover my turkey for half the amount of cooking time and then uncover to brown and crisp the outside. If at any time the skin appears to be getting too brown lightly cover with tin foil.
Use a meat thermometer to ensure that the turkey is not over cooked. * This is a Must*
Remove from oven and allow to sit for at least 15 mins, this is a good time to make your gravy. Remember to use the water from your vegetables (except potatoes) when making your gravy, that combined with the juice from your turkey will make a delicious gravy.

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