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Turkey Help

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
So I don't have a mom or any one to call and I have a few questions and would love some input.
This is my second time cooking a full bird. Last year was the first time. Last year everything came out great and all at the same time but I am still nervous about it.

Heres what I plan to do this year. I saw Emeill do this on Martha a few days ago, so did DH and the first thing he said was thats how we are doing our bird. He used butter, cooked bacon peices, fresh rosmary thym and sage mixed it all together and put it under the skin. Then he used the left over bacon grease and brushed it all over the bird. He then poured a cup of chicken broth into the roasting pan but he said you could use water or wine. I was thinking of doing 1/2 cup of broth and 1/2 cup of wine. I ust don't know what kind of wine. He never said. Then I plan on stuffing th ebird with cut up onions, garlic, carrots and celery. I also thought mabey and apple and a cinnimon stick would be nice. Also inside will be fresh herbs, again the rosmary, thym and sage. I will also put any left over vegitables in th epan around the bird. Does this sound good or am I way off base here. Should I not use the apple and cinnimon? Would it be too much. Also for th egarlic should I crush it or just put the whole glove in. Would preroasting the garlic bennifit at all?

Next question, cooking it. I know to bast every 30 minutes but doesn't heat escape from the oven? Do cheese cloths really help. I have heard to roast the bird breast side down for the first 1/2 of cooking than flip it to brown the top. Does this method really make the breast meat juicy? How does the bird lay in the pan with breast side down. I would think it would roll onto its side. I only have one of these cheap foil pans and no rack for the bird. A friend did tell me to cut carrots lengthwise and use them as a rack in the bottom of the pan to help elevate the bird. How long should the bird cook. I have one that is 10.74 pounds. I know what temp it should reach and have a thermometer. I also know to let it sit for 30 minutes after cooking and before cutting to let the juice redistribute.

I am so confused. Its alot of pressure. We save all month to really go all out for this one meal and I don't want to ruin it. Basicly we have to eat this food for the next week. So I have to make sure it goes okay. Any and all advise from anyone who has cooked like this for years would be greatly apreiciated. DH thinks I am nuts for worrieing so much but its a big deal for me.
post #2 of 11
I've yet to attempt a turkey! I'm still trying to master the art of Christmas hams There are a lot of wonderful cooks on here with some great tips/recipes! I'm more of the baking type! I hope someone comes along soon that can help you! The recipe sounds AMAZING!!! Do let us know how it turns out!
post #3 of 11
We've fried our turkey in peanut oil for the last 3 years. It turns out really good and so so juicy!!!! It sounds like you have things under control for your bird!!!
post #4 of 11
I know just how you feel! I cook dinner every day, but the big holiday turkey dinners make me nervous.

I say you ought to do exactly what you did last year since it turned out so well. I brined a turkey one year and it was very moist but too salty. I think I might try it again this year but with a lot less salt. (If you brine, make sure to use a food safe container - no paint buckets or other containers from a hardware store even if they are new and clean. Food in non-food-safe containers is very dangerous.)
post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 
This is pretty close to what I did last year the only difference will be th ebacon and adding a liquid to the roasting pan. The turkey I got came from work and is already brined. This year Trader Joes is offering prebrined so thats what we got. We had heard that brining was a good way to go but did not want to take on the added challenge. Its nice that it comes that way. Should I rince it before I prep it? I also have heard that you want to let the turkey sit out and get to room tempeture for about 2 hours prior to cooking. Why do I need to do that? Is it safe to do?
post #6 of 11
Get yourself a meat thermometer and remove the turkey when it hits 180 degrees. I'm doing this from memory, but I think it's about 20 minutes per pound (any good cookbook should tell you this). It might be more if stuffed, or it might be 20 when stuffed.

It sounds like you are entirely over complicating it. I don't watch the pros as they make things too hard, particularly if you are haven't made a lot of birds before.

If you use wine, pick a white one that you like to drink and use 1/2 cup for your recipe. I would think a white zin, not too fruity rhiesling or other german white wine would work. They might add a little fruity taste to the bird.

I just lay fresh sage in the bottom of the roaster - it permeates the bird as an aromatic. No need to stuff it under the skin.

I neither baste or turn my turkeys. You cover them with a loose tent of foil until the last 45 minutes to an hour then remove the foil so that the skin can crisp up.

And I think that butterball has an online site where you can ask questions, and also a 1-800 number to call for help if you get stuck.
post #7 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by KarmasMom View Post
Heres what I plan to do this year. I saw Emeill do this on Martha a few days ago, so did DH and the first thing he said was thats how we are doing our bird. He used butter, cooked bacon peices, fresh rosmary thym and sage mixed it all together and put it under the skin. Then he used the left over bacon grease and brushed it all over the bird. He then poured a cup of chicken broth into the roasting pan but he said you could use water or wine. I was thinking of doing 1/2 cup of broth and 1/2 cup of wine. I ust don't know what kind of wine.
Remember the old rule...white with poultry and red wine with red meat. So a nice white wine would work here. Just remember to cook with a wine you would drink. Since the wine taste concentrates with cooking, if you start with a bad wine, it just gets worse.
Quote:
He never said. Then I plan on stuffing th ebird with cut up onions, garlic, carrots and celery. I also thought mabey and apple and a cinnimon stick would be nice. Also inside will be fresh herbs, again the rosmary, thym and sage. I will also put any left over vegitables in th epan around the bird. Does this sound good or am I way off base here. Should I not use the apple and cinnimon? Would it be too much. Also for th egarlic should I crush it or just put the whole glove in. Would preroasting the garlic bennifit at all?
I put onions, carrots, celery orange slices and apple slices inside my bird. I would not put the cinnamon stick inside the bird. That would overpower the other herbs and maybe add an off taste.

Quote:
Next question, cooking it. I know to bast every 30 minutes but doesn't heat escape from the oven? Do cheese cloths really help. I have heard to roast the bird breast side down for the first 1/2 of cooking than flip it to brown the top. Does this method really make the breast meat juicy? How does the bird lay in the pan with breast side down. I would think it would roll onto its side. I only have one of these cheap foil pans and no rack for the bird. A friend did tell me to cut carrots lengthwise and use them as a rack in the bottom of the pan to help elevate the bird. How long should the bird cook. I have one that is 10.74 pounds. I know what temp it should reach and have a thermometer. I also know to let it sit for 30 minutes after cooking and before cutting to let the juice redistribute.
I don't use cheese cloth...I use aluminum foil to cover the turkey. Or get one of those 'brown-in-bags". You place the entire bird inside the bag along with some flour and the wine/broth mixture and it will baste itself. As for the carrot rack, I've done that myself with carrots and celery and had great results.

A normal bird takes about 17-20 minutes per pound. There should be instructions right on the package. Just remember to remove the plastic bag inside the bird.

Quote:
I am so confused. Its alot of pressure. We save all month to really go all out for this one meal and I don't want to ruin it. Basicly we have to eat this food for the next week. So I have to make sure it goes okay. Any and all advise from anyone who has cooked like this for years would be greatly apreiciated. DH thinks I am nuts for worrieing so much but its a big deal for me.
Even though I've been cooking for more years than I will admit, doing the cooking for a big day is a big deal! So relax, it will work out!
post #8 of 11
Looks like everything is under control. Last year was the first time my wife did a turkey and she used the steps from the food network show 'Good Eats'. Turkey was very very good.

here is the link
http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/reci...6_8389,00.html
post #9 of 11
We do our turkey in the rotisserie (sp?), so I can't offer a lot of advice. But, I can suggest taking a deep breath and relax. Last years dinner was a success, right? So you know what you're doing. I freak out on holiday dinners too, so I can understand. Just read advice on here and it will be fine. Enjoy your holiday!
post #10 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by KarmasMom View Post
So I don't have a mom or any one to call and I have a few questions and would love some input.
This is my second time cooking a full bird. Last year was the first time. Last year everything came out great and all at the same time but I am still nervous about it.

Heres what I plan to do this year. I saw Emeill do this on Martha a few days ago, so did DH and the first thing he said was thats how we are doing our bird. He used butter, cooked bacon peices, fresh rosmary thym and sage mixed it all together and put it under the skin. Then he used the left over bacon grease and brushed it all over the bird. He then poured a cup of chicken broth into the roasting pan but he said you could use water or wine. I was thinking of doing 1/2 cup of broth and 1/2 cup of wine. I ust don't know what kind of wine. He never said. Then I plan on stuffing th ebird with cut up onions, garlic, carrots and celery. I also thought mabey and apple and a cinnimon stick would be nice. Also inside will be fresh herbs, again the rosmary, thym and sage. I will also put any left over vegitables in th epan around the bird. Does this sound good or am I way off base here. Should I not use the apple and cinnimon? Would it be too much. Also for th egarlic should I crush it or just put the whole glove in. Would preroasting the garlic bennifit at all?


I would not add cinnamon-I think thats too strong a flavor. I wouldn't add broth either as you will be adding more salt and the brine makes the bird salty already. I just use water. You don't have to add the veggies until the last hour or they will be really overcooked!!
I usually just rub the skin with cooking oil (like canola) and them season the skin.

Next question, cooking it. I know to bast every 30 minutes but doesn't heat escape from the oven? Do cheese cloths really help. I have heard to roast the bird breast side down for the first 1/2 of cooking than flip it to brown the top. Does this method really make the breast meat juicy? How does the bird lay in the pan with breast side down. I would think it would roll onto its side. I only have one of these cheap foil pans and no rack for the bird. A friend did tell me to cut carrots lengthwise and use them as a rack in the bottom of the pan to help elevate the bird. How long should the bird cook. I have one that is 10.74 pounds. I know what temp it should reach and have a thermometer. I also know to let it sit for 30 minutes after cooking and before cutting to let the juice redistribute.


I use a inexpensive foil pan and never worry about skin sticking/turning/using a rack etc..... If the turkey is brined it will be juicy. I baste about every 30 minutes using the juices from the pan. You have to be a bit carefull with the pan so you don't puncture it. I don't let it sit that long either after taking from oven as it cools down fairly fast.
I have cooked 2-3 turkey's/yr for I bet 15 yrs!! Feel free to draw upon my wisdom

I am so confused. Its alot of pressure. We save all month to really go all out for this one meal and I don't want to ruin it. Basicly we have to eat this food for the next week. So I have to make sure it goes okay. Any and all advise from anyone who has cooked like this for years would be greatly apreiciated. DH thinks I am nuts for worrieing so much but its a big deal for me.
I have a small (10.5#) turkey I am going to brine tonite and butterfly tomorrow then bake. BUT I had it in the sink today and while I was gone one of the cats chewed though the netting, the plastic and ate a fair amount of it (the hole is about three inches!!) Grrrrrr.
post #11 of 11
I have a 10lb turkey, am wiping with oil and seasoning before throwing it in the oven for 3 to 3-1/2 hours. I'm going to put the aluminumfoil tent over it after it cooks for an hour. Now, the basting thing---there are some people that don't baste after the initial first basting because too much heat escapes from the oven and the bird takes longer to cook.
anybody NOT baste? It's been over 7 years since I've made a turkey so my memory's going! H E L P!!!
www.butterball.com is a good website. Maybe I'll see if they have tips on basting...
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