Turkey Cooking Tips
Just so there's no doubt as to my qualifications - I've been cooking turkeys for over 40 years, probably cook around at least one a month. And although I no longer cook them in the oven (google Orion barbecue cooker for the best turkey cooker in the world) most of you still do. Here are three tips for making your turkey a successful investment:
1. Start the bird cooking breast side down. Cook it that way for the first half of your total cooking time (i.e. if you need 4 hours to cook the turkey, cook it 2 hours breast down.) Take the turkey out of the oven, flip it quickly, and put it back in to finish cooking. All the juices will have soaked into the white meat, along with all that flavor! You'll never dry out the breast meat if you do this.
2. Carving the finished bird. Remove the dark meat - all of it - drummers, wings, thighs, butts - and set them on a platter. Take a small knife and separate the breast meat from the breastbone (that white triangular chunk that runs the length of the breast.) Slide the knife in between the ribcage and sever the connections to the meat. Last, slit the meat from the tail and neck so that the breast meat is free. Lift the entire breast - as a single unit - and place it flat on your cutting board. Slice across the breast, making pieces 1/2" to 5/8" thick. Again, the white meat will stay moist and everyone gets a narrow sliver of skin (where all the flavor hangs out!)
3. The greatest stuffing in the known universe - cut between 6 and 12 potatoes into chunks and boil them. Don't peel the potatoes; that's where all the nutrients are! While the potatoes are cooking, saute' three large onions in chopped pieces. Cut the crust off a loaf of white bread and cut the bread in half, twice. Mash the potatoes, onions, bread, and four cloves of chopped garlic in a bowl. Add two sticks of melted butter or margarine that's had a teaspoon of cayenne pepper mixed in to the bowl and mix thoroughly. Stuff the turkey, all cavities and let it cook.