first time with turkey

59
10
Joined Nov 20, 2010
Ok, my mom will buy turkey for us to eat this new year and she asked me to cook it. Turkey is not a norm here in our country so stuffing, brining and roasting a bird that large is not something you can ask your aunt and get clear answers.

Should I brine it? Should i stuff it? This is clearly not as straightforward as roasting a chicken...

I figured asking here will help so yeah. Thanks in advance :D
 
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1,915
591
Joined Jan 8, 2010
Yep, brining the turkey is a good idea.

I use a 3% brine.

Make sure you dry the bird thoroughly before roasting though.

I just put some onions (halved) and lemons (also halved) in the cavity to keep the bird moist, but then, I don't like stuffing.

Try putting some butter under the skin (breast side) will help as well.

If you have a kettle braai (webber) it might be a good idea to roast it in there with indirect heat. It's pretty fool proof and keeps the turkey meat nice and moist.

Hope this helps
 
5
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Joined Aug 31, 2010
I don't bother with brining... why add all that salt?  I make a paste of butter (about a stick for a smallis to medium bird), choppd fresh herbs (thyme and sage and parsley is my favorite mix), salt, black pepper, lemon juice and good Dijon mustard, then loosen the skin over the breast and stuff the herbed butter paste under it.  Spread the paste out in a sort of even layer.  If you make enough, you can also put this in the cavity, or slide it under any skin you can get under.  Then I loosely stuff the bird with traditional stale bread stuffing.  Alternatively, you can just put a bouqut garni, a halved onion and halved lemon or two into the cavity.

When roasting, I rub the bird all over with a blend of fats - butter and bacon dripping, or drippings and olive oil, or any combo of the three, and then salt and pepper the skin quite generously.  This ensures a very crispy skin that's delightfully tasty for eating!
 
1,915
591
Joined Jan 8, 2010
Ah, but brining is not for adding salt!

It is to get the water out of the turkey by a process they call osmosis.

Most poultry is injected with water before sales to increase the weight.

I totally agree with putting butter and spices under the skin and basting with butter/fat!

However, the last turkey I did was in the webber. I brined, put lemon and onion in the cavity and that was about it. Then 2 hours (it was a small turkey) in the webber, with indirect heat and it came out nicely browned and moist on the inside

But there are loads of different ways to do turkey. You just got to give it a try!!!
 
5
10
Joined Aug 31, 2010
Ah - okay.  I think I knew that from an Alton Brown show, but had obviously TOTALLY forgotten.  Good point.  Osmosis.
 
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