Author Topic: Cooking a Turkey  (Read 1978 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Wallacey

  • Sergeant at Arms
  • *
  • Posts: 886
    • View Profile
Cooking a Turkey
« on: December 23, 2011, 01:30:33 PM »
I'm cooking a turkey for the first time, for Christmas Lunch/Dinner.

It seems that it will cook more evenly if it has no stuffing, according to http://americanfood.about.com/od/resourcesadditionalinfo/a/Cooking_Turkey.htm

Any ideas or opinions on turkey cooking?

Thanks :-*
Whatever

Offline McClean

  • The token American
  • Big Kahuna
  • *
  • Posts: 6272
  • Ain't I pretty? ;)
    • View Profile
Re: Cooking a Turkey
« Reply #1 on: December 23, 2011, 01:50:25 PM »
Yeah, that's my understanding is a turkey will cook more evenly if it's not stuffed but not at all the way I cook mine.

I'm actually doing a smoked turkey for Christmas and that's something completely different, but as for cooking a turkey in the oven, I'll share some recipes that have been a tradition in my family for generations.

I should say, this method of cooking a turkey with stuffing is not approved of by today's health nazis, but this goes back to at least my great-grandmother, who died in the 1950s and so it's a rather tried and true method which I will explain in detail in subsequent posts.

Where everything out here ain't what it seems
When I'm down to nothing, I just go ahead and dream
And face the fact that I'm a circle in a world full of squares

Offline McClean

  • The token American
  • Big Kahuna
  • *
  • Posts: 6272
  • Ain't I pretty? ;)
    • View Profile
Re: Cooking a Turkey
« Reply #2 on: December 23, 2011, 01:53:21 PM »
First you'll need some buttermilk biscuits.

Buttermilk Biscuits

Ingredients


2 cups flour; 1/2 teaspoon soda; 1 teaspoon salt; 2 teaspoons baking powder; 1/2 cup lard; 1 cup buttermilk.





Directions

1-   Combine dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl; cut in lard. Stir in buttermilk to make a soft dough.
2-    Turn dough out on a floured surface and knead several times.
3-   Roll dough out to 1/2 inch thick and cut into biscuits.
4-   Place biscuits on ungreased baking sheet and bake at 450 until brown. About 10 minutes.


And some cornbread.

Corn Bread



INGREDIENTS


1 cup corn meal; 1 cup flour; 1 teaspoon salt; 1/2 teaspoon baking soda; 2 teaspoons baking powder; 1 tablespoon sugar; 2 cups buttermilk; 1 tablespoon vegetable oil; 1 egg.

DIRECTIONS

1-   Coat well-seasoned, 8-inch, cast iron skillet with vegetable oil. Place in oven and preheat to 425.
2-   Combine dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Add buttermilk, oil and egg and mix well.
3-   Remove hot skillet from over and coat with oil again. Pour corn bread mixture into skillet. Bake on top rack until brown, about 25 minutes.


Ideally, you want to make the breads a few days ahead and let them dry out a bit.
Where everything out here ain't what it seems
When I'm down to nothing, I just go ahead and dream
And face the fact that I'm a circle in a world full of squares

Offline Wallacey

  • Sergeant at Arms
  • *
  • Posts: 886
    • View Profile
Re: Cooking a Turkey
« Reply #3 on: December 23, 2011, 01:57:45 PM »
Good stuff McLean, I looked for your recipe in the chuck wagon but couldn't find it.



Thank you :-*
Whatever

Offline McClean

  • The token American
  • Big Kahuna
  • *
  • Posts: 6272
  • Ain't I pretty? ;)
    • View Profile
Re: Cooking a Turkey
« Reply #4 on: December 23, 2011, 02:01:05 PM »
Now, for the main event...

Oyster Dressing for Turkey




Ingredients


1 skillet cornbread; one dozen buttermilk biscuits; 2 medium onions, chopped; 1 bunch celery, chopped; 6 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped; 1 pint jar oysters (fresh not canned); 1 teaspoon salt; 1/2 teaspoon pepper; 1/4 teaspoon sugar; 2 eggs; 2 cups whole milk

For basting:  1/4 cup butter, melted; 1 teaspoon ground basil



Directions


1- Cook cornbread and biscuits several days ahead and allow to dry out.

2-Break up cornbread and biscuits into a large stock pot.

3-Chop up oysters, celery and onions in a food processor, being careful not to over chop then add to pot.

4- Peel and coarsely chop garlic with a knife and add to pot.

5- Add salt, pepper, sugar, eggs and milk and mix well.

6- Place turkey in a roasting pan, stuff turkey then baste with butter and basil.

7- Cover and cook in 325 degree oven for 2 hours. Turn oven down to 250 and cook overnight.


Note: the key to that method is that in the first couple of hours, the turkey does reach a safe internal temperature and if it's covered, then that temperature is maintained while the turkey is slowly roasted.

A lot of people don't like turkey because they say it's dry, but if you cook it this way, it's juicy as can be.

One other thing there, a lot of ovens that have electronic controls will automatically turn off after X number of hours and so you have to either turn the oven off and back on or you can what I did, which was get out the manual and find out how to disable that "function."



Where everything out here ain't what it seems
When I'm down to nothing, I just go ahead and dream
And face the fact that I'm a circle in a world full of squares

Offline McClean

  • The token American
  • Big Kahuna
  • *
  • Posts: 6272
  • Ain't I pretty? ;)
    • View Profile
Re: Cooking a Turkey
« Reply #5 on: December 23, 2011, 02:03:12 PM »
Good stuff McLean, I looked for your recipe in the chuck wagon but couldn't find it.



Thank you :-*

Well, it's here now.  :-*

I think I did posted it before, but it's not there now.

My guess is it was a casualty of when the site was attacked and Richo had to restore from a year plus old backup.

Where everything out here ain't what it seems
When I'm down to nothing, I just go ahead and dream
And face the fact that I'm a circle in a world full of squares

Offline McClean

  • The token American
  • Big Kahuna
  • *
  • Posts: 6272
  • Ain't I pretty? ;)
    • View Profile
Re: Cooking a Turkey
« Reply #6 on: December 23, 2011, 02:06:07 PM »
And the final result.

Where everything out here ain't what it seems
When I'm down to nothing, I just go ahead and dream
And face the fact that I'm a circle in a world full of squares

Offline Wallacey

  • Sergeant at Arms
  • *
  • Posts: 886
    • View Profile
Re: Cooking a Turkey
« Reply #7 on: December 23, 2011, 02:11:22 PM »
Hmm a pint of oysters? Maybe a dozen will do ::w

I remember discussion about the definition of biscuit, I think the conclusion was that it's a scone to us.

How many hours at 250F, is overnight?

 :-*
« Last Edit: December 23, 2011, 02:14:19 PM by Wallacey »
Whatever

Offline McClean

  • The token American
  • Big Kahuna
  • *
  • Posts: 6272
  • Ain't I pretty? ;)
    • View Profile
Re: Cooking a Turkey
« Reply #8 on: December 23, 2011, 02:34:34 PM »
Hmm a pint of oysters? Maybe a dozen will do ::w

I remember discussion about the definition of biscuit, I think the conclusion was that it's a scone to us.

How many hours at 250F, is overnight?

 :-*

This could quite possibly be another example of how things are packaged differently in Oz than in the US.

From a quick Google, this is what I mean by a pint of oysters.

http://www.lintonseafood.com/Shucked_Oysters_Pint_p/oypt.html

As for biscuits versus scones, well if Hardman or Caelum happen to see this thread they might could explain it, but the recipe I posted is what we call biscuits.

Yet another example of two peoples being separated by a common language.

How many hours depends on the size of the turkey, but at that low of a temperature, it's really hard to overcook it and so overnight means pretty much just that.

Turn it down to 250F or whatever that is in Celsius and then go have a snooze.

As long as it's covered, it's not only not going to dry out or burn but actually, the longer it cooks the better.

Not only is this method tried and true in my family, I'm actually starting to rethink my Christmas dinner plans.

I may just do another Thanksgiving style turkey.



Where everything out here ain't what it seems
When I'm down to nothing, I just go ahead and dream
And face the fact that I'm a circle in a world full of squares