I find it a bit funny, maybe even a bit annoying, that there are so many “perfect” ways to cook turkey. I mean, you ask ten different people how you should cook a turkey and you will get ten different answers.
Some cooks would baste and baste, stuffing the cavity with stuffing; shocks me that no one ever got sick. Of course, cooking the bird way past its time would ensure the stuffing’s internal temperature would definitely reach a safe point. Bring on the gravy!!!
Other cooks would have you cook it “20 minutes per pound” with a boxed stuffing in a casserole dish. Not a bad idea but I love my corn bread and sausage stuffing the best.
Others, perhaps, would go with the fried turkey approach and toss that baby into a grease bath for a few minutes to perfection! Yummy crispy skin!
Spatch-cocking not only sounds hilarious but would be yet another way to bring the bird to the table. 45 minutes to an hour and done!
I have a good friend that swears by turkey bags! You just toss the bird in, add a few sprigs of this and that and follow the instructions on the box. She swears she gets crispy skin, but I’m a little pessimistic.
Me? I like to brine mine overnight in a clean cooler with herbs and spices, some citrus, a little soy sauce and brown sugar.
After a quick rinse, pat dry and sprinkling of salt, pepper and olive oil, I stuff the cavity with mire poix, some herbs and some citrus and cook it until it’s done. I’ll use the “18-20 minutes per pound” theory as a general guide but, when it feels like the time it should come out, I start poking the thigh meat with an instant-read thermometer. When it comes to about 160F I pull it for a 30 minute rest before busting it into manageable pieces. It should then look something like this.
Whichever way you find is the best, by all means do it. My experience has been that playing around with different styles and techniques will get you the perfect bird every time. Once you find a way that works for you and you love the results, stick with it! At the end of the day, it’s really all about being with friends and loved ones and being grateful for what we have.
Happy thanksgiving everyone.