Thursday, November 26, 2009

Tales of a poorly cooked turkey.

"Honey, which side is breast-up?"

That was the first question of many dumb, dumb turkey questions asked today.
We'd brined the turkey overnight, and rinsed it off in the morning. We'd read at least a dozen different ways of cooking a brined turkey - breast side up, no breast side down, no turn it every 15 minutes for the first hour for even browning, no baste it with butter an hour in, no slit the skin and slide two sticks of butter under the skin, no cook it at 500 degrees for a half hour and then drop the temperature down, no you have to grill it or it's a fraud.

This is the problem with the internet: So many voices, not enough experts. And certainly no way to tell if someone IS an expert. (It's easy to tell when they're not - their names will phonetically spell curse words or indicate sexual prowess)

We settled on a happy medium: cook it for an hour breast down, baste with butter. Cook another hour then flip to breast up for the last hour.

The weirdest part about our turkey: no neck! Didn't see neck one! So that step was wrong on all of the instruction sheets. They all said:
Step (1) - remove giblets and neck
But we only found giblets.
3.5 hours later, though, I found the neck shoved in the turkey's ass.

That's also when I handed the bird over to the father-in-law to carve. (years of experience beats youthful enthusiasm in MY book)
Here's what makes me feel better about the realization we had then:
It took him about ten minutes and a bone-saw to figure out the turkey was breast down.
We cooked the whole damn thing backwards.
Brining, thank goodness, allows for a ton of mistakes. The turkey was delicious (and moist!) and the dinner was great.

Happy T day all; hope it turned out as good for you guys.
(side note: I have a glass splinter in my foot and a bruise the size of a baseball under my right armpit. These are the injuries my cat gave me playing with him. Jailhouse cats make SHIVS of GLASS)

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