Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Turkey Day

Every year I'm stunned by how many magazines, newspapers and radio/tv shows do another redundant turkey story. So in response, this post is about..... turkey. I have read about brined turkey, braised turkey, deep-fried turkey and barbecued turkey. Some people even roast it whole! Should I stuff it? Should I cover it in a foil tent? Should I marinate it? Wash it first? Or just go out or dinner?
All of these questions are raised every year. The answers are always the same. To avoid dry turkey, always do this, or never do that. I've tried turkey prepared so many different ways and I always go back to the same conclusion. Just roast it! Don't overcook it and it won't be dry. I only eat a roasted turkey dinner once a year. I want it to taste like roasted turkey. Not fried turkey, not barbecued turkey, not mango chili curried turkey.
I stuff mine but don't do that if it makes you uncomfortable. Roast it in a 350º oven until it is 150º inside the thickest part of a thigh. Start by figuring on 15 minutes per pound, but check it about an hour before you think it's ready. Don't turn it, don't baste it, just roast it and you'll get crisp skin, moist meat and it will taste like roasted turkey! Let it rest for about 45 minutes after removing it from the oven. It will finish cooking and become more tender.
Don't tell anyone how long you cooked it because they'll tell you it wasn't long enough. Just serve it and listen to them tell you that they've never tasted better turkey.