Sunday, October 7, 2007

Tag Team Turkey Perfection

Ever had a roasted turkey on Thanksgiving, Christmas or Easter that melted in your mouth? Ever had a turkey so juicy and stuffing so tasty that you thought you'd gone to culinary heaven? I have that experience each time I cook a turkey. My husband and I tag team prep our turkey and we cook it with love...

No one wants to slave over a turkey that turns out dry and tasteless. I know I don't! We developed this system over time and we find that since we've mastered it, we always get a perfect outcome.

First, get your bread cubed for stuffing the night before. Let it get a bit stale if you can by leaving it out for a few hours or all night but lightly covered with a clean tea towel. Today we had turkey for Canadian Thanksgiving and I prepped the stuffing last night and put it in the fridge and this morning moistened it with some butter and a little bit more spice and it was scrumptious.

My husband handles the bird prepping part. He cleans the cavity with lots of salt water and dries it really well inside and out with a lot of good quality, thick paper towels. Drying it ensures your dressing/stuffing doesn't turn out too soggy.

My husband smears butter underneath the skin in several parts so that the turkey ends up like a Butterball but much less costly and (we feel) tastier. After he stuffs it, he sews the flap of skin over the top end to keep the dressing dry with butcher's twine and fits the bottom end with tin foil to cover the opening.

We then smear the outside of the bird with butter and poultry seasoning, salt, pepper and a little Mrs. Dash and then cover clean brown paper in butter and fit it over the turkey. The brown buttered paper gets the turkey a nice golden brown. Picture attached is our turkey two Easter's ago.

Baste that baby with loving care every half hour until it's done. That's tres important because that's how you prevent it from drying out. We have a neat little gadget that was only $3 that tucks into the breast and pops out when the turkey is finished. Don't overcook it. If you have to get it out because it's done and your vegetables aren't done 'yet', carve it and cover it with foil while you hurry everything else up. Overcooked and underloved turkey results in dry and not very desirable turkey.

Dana's Turkey Stuffing aka Turkey Dressing:
2 stalks celery finely chopped
1 large onion
2 eggs
1/8 pound of butter
poultry seasoning
Mrs. Dash
1 & 1/2 loaves of cubed or torn bread.

Mix it all up with your bare hands and use spice to taste.

Hubby stuffs the bird, I make the stuffing, I spice it as he gives it a full body massage with butter and spice before it goes in the oven and then we take turns basting it. I then make the gravy while he carves it.
Tag team turkey is a turkey cooked with love and we get thumbs up from family and friends every time!

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