A Few Easy Tips For Preparing A Succulent Turkey

by Tracy Smith

Roasting a turkey is not as complicated as many people tend to think it is. Unfortunately, most individuals do not invest sufficient time into preparing for this task and they wind up with birds that are not fully cooked or why are very dry. With the proper tools and good planning however, you can prepare meat that is flavorful, juicy and sure to be the talk of your affair.

Timing is everything when it comes to cooking any animal of this size. Thus, you should always start defrosting the bird well in advance of cooking it. Most products will have the instructions for doing so posted right on the side of the package. The amount of time that is required for this process is generally in direct relation to the turkey size.

Once fully defrosted the animal should be washed and checked for any stray feathers. The cavity should be cleaned and any plastic bags of giblets should be removed. These should not be cooked along with the bird give the plastic storage that is used. These can be set aside and used in other elements of your meals such as the gravy, stuffing or a side dish if this is your preference. If you are not fond of using these you can simply toss them out.

You will also find that the neck of the bird has been stored in this cavity also. You can keep this and cook it along with the rest of the turkey for additional flavoring for your meal or you can pitch it. The meat of the neck is tender and dark and may be worthy of keeping if you plan on creating stews or soups with the remaining turkey. You should additionally notice a plastic thermometer that has been inserted into the bird. You should leave this in place as it will let you know when the meat has cooked through.

Trimming the excess skin at the neck and the rear end of the bird will allow for a better presentation. You can use a sturdy pair of meat shears to accomplish this task. You can then place the turkey in a sufficiently sized roasting pan. Once this is done you can prep the meat by basting it with melted butter or olive oil. This will help the skin to brown evenly and will also make spices adhere better.

You should use a lot of celery, chopped garlic and onions to stuff the body cavity. If you intend to use bread stuffing in the interior, you can scoop these out during the middle portion of the cooking process. These can alternatively be left in the bird if you will not be stuffing it otherwise. These vegetables hold a lot of water which will prevent the meat from becoming dry and will add a nice flavor as well.

Then you will need to coat the meat in your choice of spices and seasonings. Seasoned salt, black pepper, garlic powder and rosemary among other should be used. Last, you can add a few cups of chicken or turkey broth to your roasting pan.

If you do not have a snug fitting lid for your roaster you can create a tent top using tinfoil. This will trap the juices in and prevent the meat from becoming dry. The turkey should then be roasted at a low temperature for several hours until the included thermometer pops, showing that the meat is completely done.

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