Saturday, November 20, 2010

The secret to delicious Thanksgiving turkey

I know that regular readers come here for iconoclastic commentary on politics and public affairs, but in this era of national anxiety, I thought we would do our part to allay that concern by providing the solution to what worries millions and millions of Americans at this time of year: How to make that perfect Thanksgiving turkey. As it happens, TONE knows the secret, and we conceive it to be our duty to share it with the nation. Indeed, with the world, the Internet being what it is.

So, go get a pencil and a piece of paper, because we're only going to say this once.

Here it is:

Remember to defrost the turkey early enough to get the bag of innards out of the cavity before you put it in the oven. Oh, yes, and remember to reach in and pull the bag out.

That's it.

For all the debate about brine, bags, deep-frying, whatever, the truth is that turkey is just about the easiest dish you can cook. Turn on the oven and let it heat to 325 or 350 degrees, put the bird in and, after a sufficient amount of time, take it out. Remember that, and don't get caught up in all that dithering about how to cook the turkey.

OK, a couple more hints: You can start the bird at 425, then turn the heat down after 30-45 minutes, to get the outside crisper. you can also help a crisp exterior, and maintain a moist interior, by basting the turkey every 15-25 minutes. Use whatever oil you prefer: canola, olive, peanut, motor....

One more thing: If you don't get soften the bird sufficiently to pull the bag out before it goes in the oven, roast it for an hour or so, then take it out and pull it out then. You won't notice the difference.

Oh, and if you feed your guests enough wine, beer, hard cider (TONE's preference, an authentic early American touch) or whiskey, they won't care what the turkey tastes like.

Happy Thanksgiving.


Leanderthal, Lighthouse Keeper said...

Re Oil: Can we assume 10w30 is preferred by Chef TONE?

The Old New Englander said...

That depends. For a really hot oven,you might want to try 10w40, or even 5w50. I don't think I'd use the new synthetic oils, though.