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The Perfect Bird: Part 2

{Image Courtesy of The Pioneer Women}

This is part 2 of The Perfect Bird. Miss part 1? Read it here: The Perfect Bird Part 1

Getting the Best Flavor

Brining: Traditionally a method of preserving foods this popular technique of preparing the turkey adds flavor and juiciness to the holiday star.

The water from the brine actually reaches the cells of the meat infusing it with flavor & moisture. There are wet & dry brines available commercially but it is also easy to create your own. Your biggest concern will be finding a vessel large enough to actually submerge the bird into. {I have seen large stock pots as well as coolers lined with a brining bag.}

Aromatics: The easiest and most straight forward of them all. Place fresh or dried herbs along with fruits and vegetables in the cavity, under the skin or simply in the roasting pan. Favorite Choices: Sage, Onions, Carrots, Lemon slices, Rosemary, herbes de Provence.

{Image Courtesy of Babble}

The Stuff That Thanksgiving Dreams are Made of

The Big Debate: Cooking your stuffing INSIDE the turkey or OUTSIDE?

Points to Consider:

Temperature – Your entire turkey must be defrosted or fresh at room temperature before stuffing. After cooking, the temperature of both your bird and stuffing MUST be 165 degrees.

Time – Do not pre-stuff. Place stuffing inside moments before placing in the oven. If you can not do this bake outside. Additionally you will ned to allow extra time for the entire turkey to cook when stuffed.

Brining – May affect the flavor of your stuffing. Best to cook separately.

{Image Courtesy of Live Safe}

Let’s Get ‘er Done!

The basics for roasting the Perfect Bird:

– Bring to room temperature prior to placing in the oven. (resting outside of the refrigerator for 1 hour MAX)

– Invest in a quality roasting pan to ensure even cooking. AKA – stop buying those disposable versions….

– Purchase a quality thermometer to get accurate readings. The breast should register 165 – 175 degrees.

– Let your turkey rest before carving for 20-30 minutes to allow juices to be reabsorbed into the meat.

Next Up: Tablescapes & Centerpieces {My favorite!!}

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