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Turkey Season


Harold Jones

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Here in the US turkey season is upon us, I've got a couple birds in the freezer thanks to well timed buy one get one purchases.  How do those of you who partake cook your birds.  I used to be a traditional roast turkey enthusiast, but over the last 5 or 6 years I've become a convert to a smoked turkey instead.  I like the flavor that mesquite or pecan wood adds but to me getting a more evenly cooked and more moist turkey is the real benefit of smoking one.  I also have a turkey fryer and fried turkeys are fantastic, but it's kind of wasteful since I rarely deep fry anything which means I throw away perfectly good peanut oil since I know it will spoil before I need it again. 

Regardless of cooking method I've decided that the key to a flavorful turkey is to sprinkle it well with kosher salt and let it sit uncovered on a rack in the fridge for at least 24 hours. Then It goes straight into the oven, smoker or fryer.  

Edited by Harold Jones
Because spelling is hard
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I have a middlin' size deep fryer, that I want to use to fry turkey breasts. But I've only fried chicken drumsticks and small potatoes so far, so my plan is to deep-fry a whole chicken this T-Day weekend, and if it goes well, a turkey breast for Xmas.

I prefer brining poultry, which is tough because its hard to find birds not already injected with salt solution.

 

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1 hour ago, Ivanhoe said:

I have a middlin' size deep fryer, that I want to use to fry turkey breasts. But I've only fried chicken drumsticks and small potatoes so far, so my plan is to deep-fry a whole chicken this T-Day weekend, and if it goes well, a turkey breast for Xmas.

I prefer brining poultry, which is tough because its hard to find birds not already injected with salt solution.

 

Here in the midwest a lot of meat lockers sell unbrined chickens and turkeys.  They aren't exactly inexpensive.

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I no longer celebrate Thanksgiving since living in Germany. (Strangely enough, Halloween is catching on.) I do roast a (Polish) turkey on or about Christmas, prepared in a deep enameled pan in the oven. Stuffing of apples, celery, as well as the turkey's liver, and bread. What doesn't go inside the bird goes alongside in the pan. I make lots of small cuts in the skin and insert frozen pieces of butter, (memories of American "butterballs"). A bit messy, but makes the normally somewhat dry meat very moist.  Of course, a major part of preparing any successful roast turkey is lots of basting. When the bird is finished, the sauce makes a nice gravy. We finally have sweet potatoes, but I prefer normal ones. And cranberries. (Unfortunately, no Ocean Spray sauce here, but cranberry jam serves.) And no *@&%$§ carrots. No Football, but I do enjoy various turkey dishes.

 

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Plain roasted turkey crown, butter rubbed in under skin. Meat thermometer is essential to avoid over or under-cooking. Beyond that, the rest izs completely standard UK Christmas fare - a roast dinner with additional sides such as bacon wrapped chipolatas (aka pigs in blankets), Brussel sprouts (boiled then finished in a pan with pancetta, chestnuts and garlic), honey roasted parsnips, roast potatoes, carrots and peas. Oh, and stuffing of one sort or another.

Turkey gravy and cranberry jelly as well. Traditionally there should be bread sauce, but that's simply too boring to bother with.

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