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Monday, January 30, 2012

Let's Talk Turkey!!

  • Recently a listener called into the station with a cooking question.  I thought I’d address this in case anyone else had this issue.  Marie of Piqua wondered if I had any tips for moist turkey. I’m pleased to say, “Yes, ma’am!!”

    I actually cook my turkey the day before I serve it.  I roast the bird very simply, seasoning with salt & pepper, covering it with a tent of aluminum foil.  I place 1-2 cups of chicken broth in the bottom of roasting pan.  An inexpensive meat thermometer is my roasting buddy. When it registers 165 degrees, the turkey is done.

    To test for internal temp, insert the thermometer into the meatiest portion of the turkey breast, making sure you are not touching the bone.  When the turkey is done, I allow it to rest for 30 minutes.  I slice it with an electric knife, and place the slices in an ovenproof pan. I place the bones and skin into a soup pot as I go along.

    When I have removed all the meat, I take those juices in the bottom of the pan, skim off the fat, and pour that broth over the turkey meat. Then I refrigerate my turkey to be reheated in its juices later.  Since it sits in those flavorful juices, the turkey remains moist.

    I re-heat my prepared turkey at 3500 until warmed through, about 30 minutes.

     The bones and skin are covered with water and heated to simmering.  I add some roughly chopped celery, leaves and all, an onion quartered, and some pepper. I hold off on the salt just yet.

     I simmer this to for an hour or so. You can even do this in the crockpot, and just let it cook all day.   Remove all the solids, and strain the broth.  Skim off the fat.

    I use this low sodium broth, and mix it with the commercial turkey gravy packets found in the seasoning aisle of the grocery store instead of the water it recommends.  Your mashed potatoes will never find a better topping than this!!

Weight of Bird
Roasting Time
Roasting Time
10-18 lbs
3-3.5 hours
3.75-4.5 hours
18-22 lbs
3.5-4 hours
4.5-5 hours
22-24 lbs
4-4.5 hours
5-5.5 hours
24-29 lbs
4.5-5 hours
5.5-6.25 hours
  • The turkey is done when the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F (75 degrees C) at the thigh.

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