Serve Up The Perfect Turkey In 8 Easy Steps
Contributed by: NAPSA
(NAPSA) - If you want the turkey you serve "gobbled up" this holiday, try these easy tips from "Flavors of America" TV host and cookbook author Chef Jim Coleman, and Chef'sChoice, leading electric sharpener and cutlery manufacturer. They have teamed up to provide eight easy steps that will take you through the entire process of serving up the perfect turkey; including choosing, thawing, seasoning, cooking and carving.
Choosing The Perfect Bird:
When choosing your turkey, allow 1.5 pounds for each guest. For eight guests, you'll want at least a 12 lb. turkey. There will be ample leftovers.
If you're buying a frozen turkey, allow 24 hours of thawing for every four-to-five pounds, whereas a fresh turkey should not sit more than 48 to 72 hours before preparation. Coleman recommends contacting your local cooperative extension program for information on where to buy a fresh turkey.
Turkeys can be frozen up to 12 months. If you have a frozen turkey left over from last year, it's perfectly safe to cook up for this year's feast as long as it remained frozen throughout the year.
Preparation And Cooking:
Flavor your turkey with Coleman's "holiday rub" (recipe for 12 lb. turkey).
- 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh thyme leaves (save stems)
- 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary (save stems)
- 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh sage (save stems)
- 2 Tbsp. minced garlic
- 2 Tbsp. minced shallots
- Pepper to taste
- 3 lemons
Mix all ingredients except lemons, set aside stems.
Wash the turkey inside and out with cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Place turkey in roasting pan and using your hands (without tearing the skin), lift up the skin starting near the neck, and continue for the entire turkey. Rub mixture onto the meat under the skin.
Squeeze juice of one lemon over turkey and use remaining herb mixture to coat top of bird. Prick two lemons and place them into cavity along with the stems from sage, rosemary and thyme.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook for three hours (for 12-pound turkey) or until the juice runs clear when turkey is pierced at the base of leg. The turkey is done when the meat thermometer reads 1801/4 inserted in the thickest part of the bird. After the turkey is cooked, rest the bird by letting it cool for 15 minutes. Cooling makes the meat firmer and easier to slice.
Carving The Bird:
You'll need a sharp knife for carving. Sharp knives are not only safer, they will help you smoothly cut thin, even slices without shredding the meat. Fortunately, you don't have to be an expert to put a razor sharp edge on your knife. A sharpener such as Chef'sChoice EdgeSelect 120 can make sharpening easy. The sharpener uses 100 percent diamond-coated disks and a revolutionary polishing stage to create a professional knife edge in seconds. The precision guides eliminate all guesswork and that means predictable, razor-sharp edges every time it's used.
Next, remove and set aside the turkey legs and the last joint of each wing. Make a long, deep (to the bone) horizontal "base cut" into the breast just above the wing. Be sure to use a good, sharp knife.
Slice down vertically through the breast until you meet the original base cut. This will release perfect, even slices.
"The most common mistakes people make after cooking their turkey is not waiting long enough for the bird to rest after it comes out of the oven; and improperly carving the turkey by using a dull knife or the wrong technique. If you slice the turkey too soon, most of the juices will run out and your meat will be dry. And, if you carve improperly or use a dull knife, not only will carving be more difficult, but your tasty turkey could become unappetizing."
By following these eight easy steps, you'll have a turkey that looks good and tastes great. Happy Holidays!