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  1. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by lurvylurker View Post
    Thanks emason. I hadn't thought about basting! Do you add any spices or seasoning to your basting liquid? (I have some store-bought stock I can use, but it's a bit bland.) Or should I just baste with the plain stock, then add seasoning later when I make the actual gravy?
    You know, in all honesty, I probably do it differently each year. If I make a stock of the turkey neck (and maybe the giblets, but I'm not fond of giblets) I season it with salt and pepper and use aromatics like celery, onion, carrot that have been diced up. I probably add ground sage too. There is always plenty of stock, more than I need to baste with, so I just use what's left to make the gravy and I taste it again for seasoning before I serve.

  2. #22

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    OK then, I guess I'll just WING IT!!
    Thanks for your help! Wish me luck!
    just my two cents...

  3. #23

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    Good luck, of course. The secret is not to be intimidated. People have been roasting turkeys and making gravy for years. I believe anyone can.

  4. #24
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    I don't baste my turkey, and I've always had plenty of drippings for gravy. Some of the drippings get quite brown, but that just tastes wonderful in the gravy and adds colour. I make a roux with the drippings (which are mostly the fat rendered as the turkey cooks, and then add water to deglaze the pan and dissolve the other drippings. I season with salt and pepper, and I rarely have to add any stock, because there is plenty of flavour in the drippings.

    I do cover just the breast of the turkey in a loose tent of foil after it reaches the browning I want, because my oven is very small and it'll get too brown if I don't. I'd never cook my turkey covered, because it loses so much flavour as it poaches.

  5. #25

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    I don't do whole turkeys any more. I just buy the breast and legs separately, brine them, and roast like I would a whole turkey except that the light and dark meats go in the oven at different times. That way I avoid cooked legs/dry breast or done breast/underdone legs.
    My job requires me to be a juggler, but that does not mean that I enjoy working with clowns.

  6. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by Japanfan;

    The meat is so tender that it freezes well. I use some of the liquid for gravy and freeze what is left as it makes an awesome soup base.
    Do you stuff your turkey or cook the stuffing separately?

  7. #27
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    I guess I could just brine and baste it in syrop d'erable
    "The team doesn't get automatic capacity because management is mad" -- Greg Smith, agile guy

  8. #28

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    Has anyone grilled or fried a turkey?

    Fried Turkey is so good and juicy. For the last few years, my mom and me alternate between frying and grilling a whole turkey.

    This is the recipe I use for grilled turkey. You can also use marinade injections to really season the meat. Grilled Whole Turkey
    "“My bronze feels like gold,” said the bronze medalist Carolina Kostner

  9. #29
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    I've never used this for turkey, but I have for chicken, which is to dip the parts in yougurt, roll in bread crumbs, and bake, for faux fried chicken.

    I have to try this with tzatziki some day.
    "The team doesn't get automatic capacity because management is mad" -- Greg Smith, agile guy

  10. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by algonquin View Post
    Do you stuff your turkey or cook the stuffing separately?
    I stuff it. Apparently it's best to use less rather than more salt if you're going to stuff a bird. We used 1 1/2 cups salt for a 14 pound bird, I think I'll increase to 1 3/4 cups next time - Mr. Japanfan didn't realize I'd already adjusted the salt amount to the weight when he cut the amount - past birds have been just a touch more tender.

  11. #31
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    Many thanks to everyone for their suggestions

    I soaked the turkey in salt water to brine it, 12 hours for a 12-lb bird, and then brushed melted butter under the skin of the top of the turkey before baking. I covered the bird with cheese cloth and basted it every hour with a stock and butter mixture. I had chopped carrots, celery, onions, and leeks in the bottom of the pan sauteing in the stock mixture.

    For gravy, I put the sauted vegetables in a food processor and added it to the stock/juice from the pan heating in a saucepan; the veggies thickened the gravy.

    I had a lovely turkey dinner with potatoes au gratin and baked spaghetti squash, and there are two bags of turkey in the fridge and nine in the freezer for the next couple of months. Whew, first turkey down!
    "The team doesn't get automatic capacity because management is mad" -- Greg Smith, agile guy

  12. #32

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    Congratulations. Wheee - sounds like a great meal.

  13. #33

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    I'm salivating just reading your post!
    I'm glad it went so well.

  14. #34

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    We do upside-down for the majority of the cooking, then flip him with about 1/2 hour to go. That way, we don't have to baste or do anything to prevent over browning.
    AceOn6, the golf loving skating fan

  15. #35
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    How do you keep the breast skin from sticking to the pan and tearing when you turn it over?

  16. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by FigureSpins View Post
    How do you keep the breast skin from sticking to the pan and tearing when you turn it over?
    We have a non stick rack... a cheap one from Target of some other discount store. When we flip, we use a 2nd rack (not non-stick). Kind of like using a plate to flip a cake.
    AceOn6, the golf loving skating fan

  17. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by FigureSpins View Post
    How do you keep the breast skin from sticking to the pan and tearing when you turn it over?
    I use a rack and "paint" the bird with a mixture of olive oil, paprika, salt, and herbs before sticking it in the oven.

  18. #38
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    Thanks. My roaster is non-stick, but the rack definitely is not. I've used olive oil and herbs/veggies before, but there's always that little bit that sticks. Once the skin is broken, the juices are lost. I'll look for a pair of non-stick racks, thanks.

    FWIW, I always make stuffing on the side - I think that's "dressing," right? I started doing it because my ex-SIL was a vegetarian and that created another dish she could share at the table.

    Instead of stuffing the bird, I put in aromatics: onion, garlic, celery, carrots and lemons (rolled and poked.) Not only does it smell wonderful while it cooks, I use them in the stock pot after dinner. I really like chicken or turkey soup with lemon. My MIL always added cheese to give the soup a tang, but I use lemon now.

  19. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by FigureSpins View Post

    FWIW, I always make stuffing on the side - I think that's "dressing," right?
    Yes, it's dressing. Stuffing isn't stuffing unless it's actually stuffed into something.

    Just like tomatoes dried in a hydrator are just dried tomatoes. They are only sun-dried tomatoes if you actually dry them in the sun.

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