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Turkey covered or uncovered?

post #1 of 34
Thread Starter 
Every Thanksgiving my wife and I have a "discussion" as to whether the turkey should be roasted wrapped in foil or uncovered. What do you folks think?
post #2 of 34
Made a turkey this past Sunday.

First of all, BRINE IT OVERNIGHT! Makes for a delicious, juicy turkey.

Then.....get some sage and thyme leaves, and some sliced garlic, and some butter patties. Insert these under the skin on the breast side, being sure to push some down to the leg joint.

Season the cavity of the turkey with garlic powder, poultry seasoning, salt, and pepper.

Then, if your gonna stuff it, do so. If the stuffing is not going in the turkey, fill the cavities (both the front and back one) with quartered onion, rough chopped celery, rough chopped garlic, and a quartered apple. Tie or skewer it shut.

Put it on a rack in a roasting pan, breast side up. Put in a pre-heated 450 oven for 15-20 muniutes.

Take it out, and turn it on one side, and baste with butter. Put it back in the 450 oven for another 15-20 minutes.

Take it out, baste it again, and turn it on it's other side, baste again, and put it back in the 450 oven for another 15-20 minutes.

Take it out, leave it on the same side, baste it some more, and turn down the oven to 325 or so. Throw some onions, celery, whole garlic cloves, and mushrooms in the bottom of the roasting pan.

Put it back, let it go about 45 minutes or so, basting it once or twice. Then take it out, leaving it on the same side, baste some more, and sprinkle some salt and garlic powder on the skin.

Put it back, let it go about 15 minutes more, then take it out. Turn the bird back on it OTHER side, baste it, and put it back in for about 30-40 minutes, basting once or twice. Take it out, baste it, do the salt and garlic powder thing to that side, and put it back still on the same side for another 10-15 minutes.

Take it out, turn it breast side up, baste it, and do the salt and garlic powder to the breast side. Also, at this point, check where you are with a meat thermometer.

Put it back, give it another 15 minutes or so breast side up (depending on what you get for a temperature reading). When you get a temp of 160-165 in the thigh, take it out, cover it with foil, and let it rest for about 1/2 an hour.

In the meantime, make your pan gravy, smashing the vegetables, adding some white wine and chicken or turkey stock over high heat on the stove top to de-glaze. I mix up some potato starch (corn starch will do) with some COLD stock, and then use that as a thickener.

The above method for cooking the turkey is the Julia Child Method of roasting a chicken. The idea is, that if you cook the bird breast side up the whole time, the breast gets done and dried out before the legs and thighs get done enough. By cooking it on its side and doing the flipping method, the legs and thighs cook more evenly, and the breast cooks slowly and last. I found it works just as well with turkey, though turning a large turkey is a bit cumbersome, but just deal with it. The salt and garlic powder helps to get a nice golden brown, crispy skin at the low temperature with out it getting burnt.

The timing above was for a 13 lb turkey, unstuffed (except for the apple and veggies). Adjust for the size of your bird and/or if you decide to stuff it.

It was awesome, and in fact, we are having leftovers tonight.

I also made a wild rice and goat cheese stuffing that was cooked outside the bird in a seperate dish. That was really goos as well.

So I guess the bottom line is.....UNCOVERED.
post #3 of 34
UNCOVERED!

You may want to "tent" the breast with aluminum foil to prevent burning. Remove for the last 1/2 hour of cooking.
post #4 of 34

Quote:







Originally posted by STEVE IN MASS:
Made a turkey this past Sunday.

First of all, BRINE IT OVERNIGHT! Makes for a delicious, juicy turkey.

Then.....get some sage and thyme leaves, and some sliced garlic, and some butter patties. Insert these under the skin on the breast side, being sure to push some down to the leg joint.

Season the cavity of the turkey with garlic powder, poultry seasoning, salt, and pepper.




To this point, right on...all of the above will help get a better than average moist turkey

I rub down the outside of the bird before seasoning, then loosely put the same veggies in the interior... reason being, now it goes in a pre-heated water smoker, using soaked apple wood for flavor. After the coals die down to below temp, in then goes in a roasting pan in the oven to finish cooking. As far as foil..., at this point "sometimes" need to tent he wings and top of drumsticks, and sometimes the whole bird, until the last 20 minutes or so of cooking. Since I "don't" believe in "poking" holes in a hot bird (juice loss ya know), a standard meat thermometer has been in it the whole time, so it's easy to keep track of as you baste.

Did run across a show that after prepping the bird as above, covered the whole bird, in 4 layers of cheesecloth soaked in a butter/herb/wine basting sauce. Just leave it on the whole time, basting as normal, and was "very" impressed with the results. Sometimes I need to cook two, as “some don't care†for smoked turkey Will be trying this method.

Steve, question....say we're talking a 15lb bird, how do you keep turning it without using something that is poking holes in the turkey at every turn??? I would like to try this with some chicks, but when I tried it was very difficult to turn

GF finally found the "Nonstick Roasting Pan with V-Rack" I've been looking for... Big enough for two hens, very large turkey, etc...Too bad my sinks aren't a "lot" bigger for cleaning

From one of her Chef's Stores on-line... $10.95/free shipping/on clearance

post #5 of 34
Dude....I have heard of that cheesecloth method as well.....in fact, I think my Mom used it one Thanksgiving, and it worked nicely.

As far as poking holes turning it......the first turn is easy (from breast side up to on it's first side), as the bird generally isn't too hot yet, and you can do it with your hands.

For the later turns, I use two large forks.....but NOT into the meat.....one goes in the front cavity, the other goes thru the skin flap on the back cavity, and some asbestoes fingers... ....(or clean dish rags) help out. Lift, rotate, and plop back down, without peircing the meat itself. As I said, a bit cumbersome with a big bird, but I manage.

As far as the meat thermometer, I am pretty good at judging as to when I'm getting close just by look, feel, wiggling the wings and drumsticks, and timing, so generally, it will only get poked once with the instant read thermometer, and that is in the thigh portion, so I'm not loosing all that much of the juice from multiple holes....
post #6 of 34
BTW, nice pan.....I have one that big, but it is oval and enameled, so you loose some space, especially with my seperate adjustable V-rack in it. And I know what you mean about the size of the sink.....

You find the non-stick okay on the stove top to make gravy in? I guess if you are using wooden spoons, (like ya should anyway), it would be fine. But doesn't the rack scrap/gouge/nick the non-stick finish?
post #7 of 34
Quote:
Originally posted by STEVE IN MASS:
You find the non-stick okay on the stove top to make gravy in? I guess if you are using wooden spoons, (like ya should anyway), it would be fine. But doesn't the rack scrap/gouge/nick the non-stick finish?
I've used it several times, and making gravy (2 burner style) have had no problems (yes wood only). My first concern was popping or warping at high heat, doing this. No problems....it is thinner than her commercial non coated Nicromium T304S Titanium Surgical Stainless Steel cookware, but then again everything else is but the iron skillets Do miss the little "niblets" you get from the non coated pans though for de-glazing, just don't get as much with the non stick.

As far as the rack, it was designed for the pan and has very little movement. It's coated in something different than the pan, very thick and smooth, have had no problems with scratching, and like the pan, a breeze to clean. Heck for $11, couldn't pass it up. I would have paid that much for the rack if I had a pan big enough for it to go in. Have them large enough, but not deep enough to be safe going from the smoker to the kitchen, also like the French handles

Wonder how many lbs of Lasagna I could make in that thing
post #8 of 34
They still got 'em? If so, please PM me the website, cause I'd be interested.....as ya said, at that price......

Thanks....
post #9 of 34
My Grandmother used to drape cheese cloth over the breast of the turkey and baste over it when I was kid, totally forgot about that until you mentioned it.

I've used a cast iron skillet for high heat/rotate the bird roasting. Well seasoned pan and start on stove top to make sure it hot and sizzling the bird before it goes in the oven. Doesn't warp, doesn't stick, really brown outside and lot's of nuggets in the pan for gravy (including the head of garlic I threw in).
I did this with a 21 lb turkey once except used a large roasting pan. Will enlist some help if I ever try that again although might have been easier if the bird didn't completely fill the pan.
post #10 of 34
Fry it.
post #11 of 34
Quote:
Originally posted by Vinny:
Fry it.
Fry This!
post #12 of 34
Turkey-Lifting Leverage
Lifting a hot turkey from the roasting rack onto the carving board can be a messy, precarious maneuver. Try using two sturdy, long-handled wooden spoons. Insert the bowl ends of the spoons into either end of the bird's cavity so that the handles stick out. Grasp the handles, really choking up on them so your hands are right next to the turkey, and lift the bird off the rack (which you may have to hold in place with the help of a passerby in the kitchen).
post #13 of 34
What kind of Turkeys do you guys buy? I only buy fresh and the best brand I have found to be is..... I'm gonna wait and see what you guys get
I find that, with decreased brining strength and a lower oven temperature, the method works just as well for large or small birds.
post #14 of 34
Quote:
Originally posted by Marksharky:
Turkey-Lifting Leverage
Lifting a hot turkey from the roasting rack onto the carving board can be a messy, precarious maneuver. Try using two sturdy, long-handled wooden spoons. Insert the bowl ends of the spoons into either end of the bird's cavity so that the handles stick out. Grasp the handles, really choking up on them so your hands are right next to the turkey, and lift the bird off the rack (which you may have to hold in place with the help of a passerby in the kitchen).
I got these big turkey lifters, with turkey lookin' handles and two big prongs on each of the lifters. Son gave them to me for christmas or a birthday one years. Work great.
post #15 of 34
And, I know Marksharky the food snob will disagree, but you can't beat a butterball.
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