Make your guests rave about your juicy turkey this Thanksgiving.
“No Citizen of the United States should refrain from Turkey on Thanksgiving Day” – Alexander Hamilton (One of the founding father of the United States)
The turkey holds a position of supreme importance at every dining table on Thanksgiving, its status as the indisputable centerpiece can be challenged by no other bird…so getting it right is priority number one because dry and hard turkey equals to frowning guests!
Getting the cooking process right for a turkey can be an intricate, but not impossible. Keeping the juices intact in a meat like turkey which has the tendency to dry up soon takes a few steps pre and post cooking.
Here are the top five tips to keep your turkey moist this Thanksgiving.
1. Soak the turkey in brine – Soaking the turkey in a salt water mixture will help keep it super moist. How does this work? Basically, any meat loses its moisture upon cooking, so in order to prevent this from happening we need to enhance the juiciness with the help of an external source. Soaking the turkey in brine will help retain and enhance moisture. You can also dry brine your turkey if space is a problem.
2. Avoid basting – You might be extremely anxious to see you toil and sweat rest in the oven, but opening the oven door every now and then while your turkey is inside is just going to lead to the loss of precious heat. The heat keeps getting out from the oven, this can lead to unevenly cooked turkey and dryness in the meat.
3. Rub butter under the turkey’s skin – Butter is a natural softening agent for any dish and it also adds flavor. Rub butter beneath the turkey’s skin, this will keep the surface succulent and moist. You can also used herb butter or add some seasoning to it for that extra flavor, for example, add smoked paprika or some flakes of mixed readymade herbs.
4. Use a fresh turkey – Opting for a fresh turkey instead of a frozen one makes a lot of sense because once frozen, there are icy crystals that form in the bird’s muscle cells and damage it. As the turkey is being thawed, the fluid from the damaged cells leaks out very quickly leading to the meat becoming dry.
5. Let it rest – This is the golden rule for cooking turkey. Do not be hasty and let the turkey rest before carving it out. Juicy and moist turkey is only a step away…but you need to be patient! The logic behind this is that the oven’s extreme heat concentrates all the juices to the center of the turkey, so post the roasting process, let the birdie rest for a while before devouring it.