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Holiday Feature

 

The Perfect Turkey Handbook

by Kate Heyhoe

 

turkey We were going to give you just 20 simple turkey-cooking tips, but we realized there are far too many turkey questions, so instead we created this comprehensive "Handbook for The Perfect Turkey." It's still very simple and easy to follow, but we think it addresses more of the complexities of why turkeys come out properly cooked, overcooked and unfortunately at times, undercooked (itself a health hazard). If you follow our advice, you'll end up with the best turkey you've ever eaten, no matter whose basic recipe you're following. Here are the chapters and questions you'll find included in FoodWine's Perfect Turkey Handbook:


Preface: Safety Tips Before Cooking

Chapter 1. Buying a Turkey

  • What size turkey should I buy?
  • Is it better to buy one large turkey or two small ones?
  • Should I buy fresh or frozen?
  • What about turkeys that have been injected with fats and seasonings?
  • What about turkey parts and frozen stuffed turkeys?

Chapter 2. Storing an Uncooked Turkey

  • How long can a whole turkey be kept frozen?
  • How long can a fresh turkey be kept refrigerated?

Chapter 3. Thawing a Frozen Turkey

  • Thawing Rules
  • Thawing Methods
  • Turkey Thawing Charts

Chapter 4. Stuffing (or Not Stuffing) a Turkey

  • Is it best to cook the stuffing inside the bird, or separately in a baking dish?
  • If I do want to stuff the bird, what's the best way to do it?
  • How much stuffing do I need?
  • Do I need to close up the cavity after it has been stuffed?

Chapter 5: Preparing the Turkey for Roasting

  • Preparations Step-by-Step
  • Stuffing & Trussing
  • Do I need to truss the bird's legs, or can I just roast it the extra effort?

Chapter 6: Roasting the Turkey

  • Roasting Step-by-Step
  • How do I keep the breast meat moist when cooking?

Chapter 7: How to Tell When It's Done

  • Use a Meat Thermometer
  • My turkey comes with a plastic pop-up timer. Can't I use that instead?
  • How accurate are "recommended cooking times"?
  • How can I tell when the turkey is done?
  • USDA Timetable for Turkey Roasted at 325 degrees F.

Chapter 8: Making the Gravy

  • Rules for Making Gravy
  • Making the Basic Gravy
  • Additions to Gravy

Chapter 9: Carving the Bird

  • Basic Carving steps
  • Removing the Thigh, Drumstick & Wings
  • Carving the breast

Chapter 10: Storing Leftovers & Food Safety After Cooking

  • Storing leftovers
  • Reheating leftovers

Thanksgiving at The Global Gourmet
Using a Meat Thermometer

 
 

This page modified November 2006


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