Hilah Cooking

Episode 11.01.11

Hilah Cooking | How To Roast a Turkey

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Roasting a turkey isn't any harder than roasting a chicken, but it requires a little more planning. Here are my guidelines: DO get a turkey that's big enough to serve everyone! Figure one pound per guest, then add a pound or two for leftovers if you like. DO get a fresh turkey if possible. Turkeys labeled "fresh" are held under refrigeration at 26 degrees. While that is below the freezing point of water, it's not cold enough to freeze the bird. Frozen turkeys are flash-frozen to -30 degrees then held at zero degrees. A frozen turkey may be drier than a fresh turkey, depending on how long it's been frozen. And a frozen turkey will require up to 3 days in your refrigerator to thaw completely. For those reasons, I recommend sticking with a fresh turkey. DO bring your turkey to room temperature before roasting by leaving it on the counter for one hour before cooking. A turkey that is still icy on the inside when it goes in the oven will prove to be a disaster later on, with an overcooked breast and undercooked thighs. DO remember how much your turkey weighs. The cooking time depends on it! Estimate 12 minutes per pound. DO allow the turkey to rest for 30 minutes before carving. This lets the bird "finish" cooking in its own residual heat. It also allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat. DON'T rely on the pop-up timer that comes with most turkeys. They are unaccountable. Use a meat thermometer to check the bird's temperature in the thigh when your timer goes off. Remove the turkey when the temperature reaches 170 degrees F. After resting, the final temperature should have risen to the proper 180 degrees. DO remember to baste your turkey! I used a mixture of melted butter and sherry. Baste every 30 minutes with a brush or a turkey baster. DON'T overstuff. If you choose to stuff the turkey itself, have the stuffing at room temperature or warmed, and spoon it lightly inside. Fill the turkey no more than 3/4 of the way. DON'T use a disposablmoreless

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