Friday, November 25, 2016

Best Turkey Ever

I get it... you don't want to hear another word about turkey right now, but . . . If you want the most moist turkey you ever roasted you should try this method. The secret? No, it's not brining. It's a roasting bag - a Reynold's Oven Bag - turkey size. Ok - the photo gave it away. The white meat comes out so moist and tender. The bird is so tender when done it is falling apart. You can literally pull the leg right off the bird. The turkey cooks in less time as well. A 14 pound turkey cooks to perfection in about 2 and a quarter hours. (Always use a meat thermometer to be sure it is done as well as prevent overcooking.) Another great plus is the bag preserves all of the juices that come out of the turkey so you have a ton of broth to make delicious gravy. I got 5 cups of broth from a 14 pound turkey! That's makes a lot of gravy. I add some celery, carrots and onions to the bag to flavor the juices.

Now, one minor drawback is the skin doesn't get super crispy, BUT you can remove the bag when it is done, pour off the juices and put the bird back in the oven and let the broiler do its thing for a few minutes.

The meat is falling off the bone.

I cook my turkey the day before Thanksgiving
. That way I have time to let the juices separate - the fat from the broth. Just refrigerate it and that will do it. Then just skim off the fat, BUT save it - that's how you make a good gravy. After the turkey cools down I slice it up, put it in a container and refrigerate it. Then I take the carcass, put it in a large covered pot, cover it with water and stew the skin and bones for 3 hours to make even more rich turkey broth which I use for the bread dressing. On Thanksgiving day I pour a little of the broth over the turkey and warm it in the oven in a covered pan. This keeps it moist as it reheats.

Cooking the bird the day before leaves the oven free for other things on Thanksgiving day, but most importantly, it allows me time to make a great gravy and get all the broth I can for my dressing. And it makes for a lot less stress on Thanksgiving. If you aren't concerned about presenting a whole turkey on the table and carving it up in front of guests I recommend cooking it the day before in a REynolds Oven Bag.