brown, crisp skin with meat that's tender and juicy.
That's a cook's goal for the holiday bird. Pictured is
sliced orange brined roast turkey with pan gravy.
brown, crisp skin with meat that’s tender and juicy.
a cook’s goal for the holiday bird.
Thanksgiving, a myriad of turkey techniques and methods are
the roasted turkey. Grilled or fried turkey. Turkey in a
with the back cut out and flattened — it cooks in half the
the Free Press Test Kitchen, we are set in our ways. Our
recommended method is brining (wet or dry) and roasting or
grilling. Brining gets the juices flowing, and we know it
also like grilling (on a kettle-style grill) because it
frees up much-needed oven space.
recipes increasingly use different liquids and seasonings
other than the basic salt water solution or plain salt. Wet
brines can include fruit juices, ciders, beer and wine and
can be seasoned with sugars (white or brown), aromatics,
herbs and spices. Dry brines can include other seasonings
and herb s along with the salt.
turkey recipe today uses orange juice in the brine.
GUIDELINES FOR COOKING YOUR TURKEY
are food safety tips from the Free Press Test Kitchen and
the turkey if frozen. If you haven’t yet taken it out of
the freezer, do it today. Thaw it in its orginal package on
a tray. Allow almost 24 hours for every 5 pounds of turkey.
A 12- to 16-pound turkey will take 3 to 4 days to thaw in
you forgot to thaw your turkey in advance, place it in a
sink in its orginal wrapper and fill with cold water. Change
water every 30 minutes. A 12- to 16-pound turkey will take 6
to 8 hours.
USDA does not recommend rinsing or washing your turkey
first, which is a step in many recipes. The splashing water
can contaminate other nearby foods and utensils.
years ago, the U.S. Department of Agriculture lowered the
safe cooking temperature for the overall turkey to 165
in an instant-read thermometer. Make sure the thermometer
you have is working properly.
roast your turkey, preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Place
the turkey in a shallow roasting pan. Below are the USDA’s
recommended roasting times for a stuffed or unstuffed
JUICE BRINED TURKEY
10 to 12 / Preparation time: 30 minutes (plus overnight
brining) Total time: 3 hours
sprigs (rosemary, thyme, parsley), optional
fresh or frozen turkey (12 to 15 pounds), thawed
4 to 6
cups reduced sodium chicken broth
tablespoons vegetable oil or melted butter
and pepper to taste
brine the turkey, start with a large, clean bucket. Make
room for the bucket in your refrigerator — adjusting
shelves if necessary.
the neck and giblets from the turkey, and reserve them for
large bucket, stir together the orange juice, water, salt
and sugar. Continue stirring until the salt and sugar
dissolve. Add herb sprigs, if using. Place the turkey in the
brine, breast side down. Add more water if the turkey isn’t
completely submerged in the liquid. Place the bucket in the
refrigerator for at least 10 to 12 hours or overnight.
hours before you plan to roast it, remove the turkey from
brine and discard the brine. Rinse the turkey well, inside
and out, under cold water for several minutes. Place the
turkey on a tray and pat it dry well with paper towels. Let
it sit out for 1 hour so the skin dries further, which helps
crisp the skin.
the oven to 400 degrees. Place a V-rack in a roasting pan.
about 2 cups of the chicken broth. Place the turkey breast
side up on the rack. Brush the turkey with the vegetable oil
or rub with softened butter. Season the turkey with salt and
pepper or favorite seasoning.
it in the oven and roast for 30 minutes. Baste the turkey
with the pan juices, and add more chicken broth to the pan
if needed. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees.
Continue roasting another 2 to 2 1/2 hours, basting with the
pan juices every 30 minutes or until the internal
temperature reaches 165 degrees.
breast seems to be browning too quickly, cover it with foil.
the turkey from the oven and transfer it to a platter. Cover
it with foil and let it rest at least 15 to 30 minutes
About 6 cups; about 1/3 cup per serving
time: 30 minutes
time: 30 minutes
drippings from the turkey
4 to 6
cups turkey stock or broth or chicken broth, heated
Madeira or dry sherry, or 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar,
the drippings from the roasting pan into a heatproof glass
bowl or fat separator.
stand for 5 to 10 minutes, then skim off and reserve the fat
that rises to the top — you should have about ¾ cup fat.
If not, add melted butter to equal ¾ cup.
enough heated turkey stock to the skimmed pan drippings to
make 6 cups total. Place the roasting pan over low heat on
two burners of the stove and add the skimmed fat. Whisk in
the flour, scraping up the browned bits on the bottom of the
pan. Cook until lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Whisk in
the pan drippings mixture and M adeira or dry sherry, or
whisking often, until the gravy has thickened and is
lump-free, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a gravy boat and
For a wild mushroom gravy, soak 1 ounce dried porcini
mushrooms in 1 cup hot water until rehydrated. Strain,
reserving the liquid. Coarsely chop the mushrooms.
8 ounces cremini mushrooms in 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1
tablespoon butter until soft. Add the porcini and sauté 5
minutes more. Add the mushrooms to the gravy and add some of
the mushroom soaking liquid in place of the turkey stock.
from "Thanksgiving 101" by Rick Rodgers (Broadway,
$15). Tested by Susan M. Selasky for the Free Press Test
calories (80 percent from fat), 9 grams fat (3 grams sat.
fat), 4 grams carbohydrates, 1 gram protein, 120 mg sodium,
10 mg cholesterol, 0 grams fiber .
About 8 cups / Preparation time: 10 minutes / Total time: 3
hours (not all active time)
this gravy up to 3 days in advance. You also can enhance it
with pan drippings from your roast turkey.
turkey wings (about 3 to 4 pounds)
medium sweet onions, peeled, cut up
less-sodium, fat-free chicken broth, divided
large chopped carrot
teaspoon dried thyme, optional
1 to 2
tablespoons unsalted butter
teaspoon freshly ground pepper
the oven to 400 degrees.
roasting pan, place the turkey wings; scatter onions on top.
Roast 1 1/4 hours or until wings are golden brown.
wings and onions in a large stock pot. Add water to roasting
pan; stir to scrape up any brown bits on bottom and add all
to the pot. Add 6 cups broth (refrigerate remaining 2 cups),
the carrot and thyme if desired.
uncovered, 1 ½ hours.
the wings and cool.
and discard skin, reserve meat for another ruse. Strain
broth into fat separator or into a bowl. Let sit 10 minutes
until fat rises to the top. Pour defatted broth into a
flour into remaining 2 cups broth until well blended and
smooth. Bring broth in saucepan to a gentle boil. Whisk in
flour mixture and cook 5 minutes to thicken gravy and cook
out the raw flour taste. Stir in butter and season with
note: Freeze the gravy up to 1 month. Thaw and reheat. You
can add fat-skimmed drippings from a freshly roasted turkey.
from several recipes. Tested by Susan M. Selasky for the
Free Press Test Kitchen. Analysis per 1/4 cup serving. 26
calories (34 percent from fat), 1 gram fat (1 gram sat.
fat), 3 grams carbohydrates, 1 gram protein, 258 mg sodium,
2 mg cholesterol, 0 grams fiber.