How Do YOU Cook a Turkey?

Discussion in 'Fred's Barcalounge' started by drmilktruck, Nov 21, 2021.

  1. AZBrahma

    AZBrahma Gretschie

    Dec 18, 2020
    24 hr brine.
    Bird-in-bag brushed with oil and paprika over celery, carrot, onion.
    Post roast, liquid drained for fat and liquid separation.
    Fat used as base for roux. When roux lightly browned, add turkey liquid to make the best gravy.
    Result = best frickin' bird is the word, and the gravy is wavy baby.

    I'm stuck making Thanksgiving meal every year, because no one wants to eat anywhere else. I'm not sure how I feel about that, but for the time being I oblige.
  2. Desirsar

    Desirsar Electromatic

    Jun 9, 2021
    Lincoln, NE
    Oh come on, no one is going to post this?

  3. wabash slim

    wabash slim I Bleed Orange

    Feb 10, 2010
    lafayette in
    "As God is my witness, I thought that turkeys could fly."
    Hands down, one of the funniest lines in all of television history.
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  4. sgarnett

    sgarnett Synchromatic

    Apr 14, 2020
    Renovations so my wife and family could move in had to be postponed for a year, but are finally underway. Next year, I will probably smoke the turkey.

    My previous wife was a teacher. The first Spring after we bought the house, she invited her coworkers over after their last work day for a party on our deck. I was still at work. Somebody brought a turkey fryer. The drunk teachers used too much oil, starting a fire on the lawn when the turkey was dropped in. They tried to put it out with their beers. It took many years to get grass to grow there again. They (drunk, remember) also poured out the oil in the ditch in front of the neighbor’s house. I was far more upset about that then my incinerated lawn when I got home.

    Still don’t own a turkey fryer, though I do enjoy deep-fried turkey …. :D
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  5. tartanphantom

    tartanphantom Friend of Fred

    Jul 30, 2008
    Murfreesboro, TN
    For over 40 years, our family has been slow-smoking our Thanksgiving turkeys. Prior to that, it was oven baked. Once we got a smoker we never looked back.
    A major difference here in the south is that we don't generally stuff a turkey-- we serve cornbread dressing instead, as a side dish.
    Deep fried turkey isn't bad, but the hassle and potential safety factors aren't worth it.
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  6. guitarfarm

    guitarfarm Country Gent

    Regarding Tartanphantom's post above, I grew up with my mother putting the stuffing in the bird and nobody ever got sick. Then, later in life, one of my older sisters became a chef and told me to never put a pile of bread inside a raw bird and expect it to be safe. I got the mental image of all that bread soaking up raw turkey juices and have never done it since. I make my stuffing from scratch, but I always do it now in a casserole dish alongside the turkey. More tasty crunchy bits that way too.
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  7. Sabato

    Sabato Country Gent

    Mar 22, 2019
    Right. Dressing, not stuffing. Maybe stuffing can be safe (I'd say the bird would be ruined by then) but I'm not one for Russian roulette...
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  8. NJDevil

    NJDevil Country Gent

    Jul 9, 2014
    Commack, NY
    This exactly.....OR....the other method. Dissect the bird into parts as different part will requires different cooking times. A brine is still used for the breasts.

    Deep-fried on 2 different Thanksgivings.

    My favorite way to eat turkey though is smoked.

    A couple different stuffing/dressing is served.

    I make a bread stuffing with slices of potato bread toasted and adding dried sage and thyme and mix well. The add sauteed to soften diced celery and yellow onion and later add my home made sausage that is cooked and broken into small pieces(not crumbled though)........Mix all this and then add portions of chicken stock, stir, repeat, add stock, stir and then bake at a lower temperature for a bit.

    Another dressing I also make is with wild rice, vegetable stock made with fresh chopped rosemary, lightly roasted walnuts, diced green apples lightly sauteed......AND.....chicken livers diced, sauteed. I throw the chicken livers in there because of one of my recipes for a Cajun "dirty rice".
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2021
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  9. Gretschtim1

    Gretschtim1 Country Gent

    Dec 4, 2012
    Dundalk, Md
    I love turkey so it really doesn't matter to me how it's cooked.
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  10. Sabato

    Sabato Country Gent

    Mar 22, 2019
    I have cooked the turkey in a number of different ways. Julia Child called this "the disassembled bird". I've also cut out the backbone and butterflied it, cooks much faster. Never did deep fry, but I don't fry anything (plus the subtitle is "burn down your house"). Smoking is my favorite too. I always brine, sometimes inject, but if it's something like a butterball it's been done already, with something...
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  11. NJDevil

    NJDevil Country Gent

    Jul 9, 2014
    Commack, NY
    Nice!! I love the butterflied method, and it not only cooks faster but helps keep the white meat juicy.

    I edited my original posts and added 2 dressing variations.
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  12. Dumbthumbs

    Dumbthumbs Gretschie

    Nov 28, 2020
    New Mexico
    Brined for three days and on the rotisserie 3-4 hours or until you're hungry. Give the leftovers to your guests before they leave.
    After they leave, break out the 'good stuff'.
  13. afire

    afire Country Gent

    I've done the deep frying. And I've done a 5 day brine. Both yield great results. That said, I don't think either are a significant improvement over a straight up roasted turkey, properly seasoned with salt and pepper. If I'm going to do anything beyond that, it would just be rubbing some butter under the skin. But I haven't made turkey for at least five years. We've settled in on a routine whereby my wife's sister's family hosts Thanksgiving, and we host Christmas. Which suits me, since you have the latitude to get a little more creative with Christmas dinner.
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  14. Sabato

    Sabato Country Gent

    Mar 22, 2019
    I'm interpreting that as "Scotch"....
  15. section2

    section2 Country Gent

    Dec 21, 2016
    I love cooking from scratch, but the pre-stuffed frozen Butterball is absurdly easy and surprisingly good.

    My wife used to cook an amazing Thanksgiving dinner from scratch. She would lovingly brine a fresh turkey and dress it with homemade apple-and-sage stuffing, but I encouraged her to give it up after discovering that it was about 15% more delicious and 600% more work. We've decided that her time is better spent making her life-changingly delicious lemon meringue pie while I handle the bird and the gravy.
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  16. Sabato

    Sabato Country Gent

    Mar 22, 2019
    There are two dressings that I like and they both involve a killer amount of work. One is a Mushroom Duxelle and the other is a Chestnut/Sausage. I won't go to that effort for just anybody (meaning that I rarely do it any more!)
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  17. sgarnett

    sgarnett Synchromatic

    Apr 14, 2020
    Growing up in the South many years ago, I enjoyed real cornbread stuffing, cooked low and slow in the bird. I realize it’s not a good idea anymore (made worse by modern factory farm production). I just don’t care for dressing made separately though - it’s just not as good IMHO. Luckily, there are many other ways to enjoy both cornbread and turkey.
  18. section2

    section2 Country Gent

    Dec 21, 2016
    There are three workarounds for stuffing safety concerns:

    1) Cook the stuffing outside the bird, but add some chicken stock or turkey stock for moisture.

    2) Cook the stuffing inside the bird until both the bird and the stuffing reach 165F. The downside is that the breast might be overcooked by the time the stuffing hits 165.

    3) Cook the stuffing inside the bird until the turkey is done. If the stuffing hasn't reached 165 by that point, scoop it out and microwave it or roast it in a covered dish until it's cooked through.
  19. gjohnson441496

    gjohnson441496 Gretschie

    Jan 2, 2018
    Slow and low in a cast iron skillet breast down to keep the breast meat tender.
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  20. radd

    radd Country Gent

    Dec 27, 2017
    Santa Cruz
    Wild turkeys, scary critters on a narrow rural road when on a motorcycle. They are big, they are dumb and you have no idea what they are going to do as you approach. They can take out a motorcycle and rider quickly. Besides that, they don’t taste that good…..:p
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