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mlaiuppa
Pres. Sarcasm Society. Like we need your approval.
11:17 PM on 11/10/2010
I have tried to convince my parents not to cook the bird with the stuffing in it but all to no avail. They insist because they say the juices flavor the stuffing.

At least they cook the stuffing before putting it in. But to me it's pretty soggy. I'd prefer it cooked outside on the side.

That's the way I cook my bird. I just don't tell them.
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shiningstarra
My micro-bio is empty
12:20 AM on 11/11/2010
If they want the stuffing to be flavored with juices, they can prepare the stuffing but not bake it until the turkey is finished, then deglaze the pan the turkey was roasted in and add that liquid to the dressing before it is baked. This gives the bird time to rest and juices to redistribute themselves prior to carving. If there is not enough fond left to make gravy, make giblet gravy.
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mlaiuppa
Pres. Sarcasm Society. Like we need your approval.
02:49 AM on 11/11/2010
They use the drippings for gravy. Which I hate because it always tastes overpoweringly like bacon. My Dad insists on laying bacon strips on the bird to keep it moist while it bakes. In the end he goes through a pound of bacon and the gravy tastes like bacon, not turkey.

I don't use any bacon when I make my bird, I use cheesecloth and baste with butter. I also wrap the wings and legs in aluminum foil so they don't burn. My gravy tastes like turkey, not bacon.

But you can't get them to change the way they've done it for decades.
11:01 PM on 11/10/2010
Mmmmmm. Turkey.
:)
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KriTiKiT
Says"play nice"
10:47 PM on 11/10/2010
#6.  never dump the turkey leaven's ( drippings) down the drain.  plumbers cost triple on the holiday.
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elcerritan
My bio is not micro
10:41 PM on 11/10/2010
Wow! There are people who throw the drippings away?!? What have we come to!
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KriTiKiT
Says"play nice"
10:52 PM on 11/10/2010
these are end times...
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Vivian Alicia Evans
10:02 PM on 11/11/2010
No kidding, I would be beheaded in my home if we did not have gravy from the drippings.
10:30 PM on 11/10/2010
Stuffing & mashed potatoes rule in our house (sorry south beach!). Anyway, for our turkey I start by cooking a batch of sausage i.e. "Jimmy Dean".1 package. Drain but save the pan drippings and the pan.
Starting with a thawed turkey, rinse and pat dry. Coat the turkey with the sausage drippings, sprinkle generously with ground pepper and roast according to your usual habit.
The stuffing. Add the cooked sausage to your stuffing. Fresh mushrooms are nice too if you like them. The pan is great either for cooking the veggies in or for starting the gravy.
I'm a believer in not stuffing the turkey. The white meat seems to always come out dry when you cook long enough to be stuffing safe. Besides, there's something kind of creepy about stuffing a disemboweled animal and then eating the stuffing, somewhere between Addams Family and Silence of the Lambs. I admit I may be over analyzing.
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Ozark Homesteader
http://ozarkhomesteader.wordpress.com
10:28 PM on 11/10/2010
I think the point about starting with a good turkey is spot on, but I recommend buying a natural bird without any chemical solution and brining it yourself, using more herbs, spices, and vinegar and less salt. A well-raised pastured turkey can be one of the best things out there! Here's my brine: http://ozarkhomesteader.wordpress.com/2009/11/25/my-turkey-brine/ It'll do you no good to brine a turkey full of "solution," by the way; it won't soak up the good stuff.
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hauruck
Bitten by a radioactive Welshman
10:04 PM on 11/10/2010
Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrravy. Gravy is NOT made with boullion cubes.
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Aimee Bellefleur Hogan
I'm still here. Is that micro enough?
10:36 PM on 11/10/2010
That's right! I have always used the drippings from the turkey. My mother and grandmother taught me that.
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Sabreen60
11:40 PM on 11/10/2010
Absolutely ! In fact, NEVER use boullion cubes.
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10:00 PM on 11/10/2010
The stuffing dilemma (not to mention the fact that the white-meat breast cooks much quicker than the dark-meat legs) is easily solved. Place a couple of metal skewers through the middle of the bird, through the stuffing, front to back. This conducts the oven's heat directly to the centre of the stuffing.

The same goes for the drumsticks. A couple of smaller skewers pushed through the thighs and drumsticks from side to side cooks them at the same rate as the breast meat.

Then slide out the skewers and carve.
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Aimee Bellefleur Hogan
I'm still here. Is that micro enough?
10:30 PM on 11/10/2010
Thank you for the great idea! I will have to try that out this year.
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11:29 PM on 11/10/2010
Care of my uncle who couldn't roast a bird to save his life ... but was an excellent engineer all those years ago.
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KriTiKiT
Says"play nice"
10:50 PM on 11/10/2010
does it dry out the carcass?
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11:27 PM on 11/10/2010
That depends on what you stuff the bird with, whether you put any basting under the skin and whether you put any water in the pan.

I tend to stuff with a bit of spicy sausage meat (chorizo is my favorite), breadcrumbs with butter rubbed through and fruit. Lemon and garlic butter goes under the skin and 2 cups of water into the bottom of the roasting pan. Skewers through the bird, the whole lot wrapped up in tin foil to bake, which comes off 15 minutes before the end to crisp the skin. The water in the bottom of the pan will be halfway to gravy already but pop some skinned garlic bulbs and herbs partway through if you can wiggle them past the tin foil.

This has worked for over 30 years now (I loathe dried-up turkey meat).
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booboo111
micro-bio
09:52 PM on 11/10/2010
The biggest mistake is not ordering a fresh cooked turkey with all the trimmings from Boston Market.
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c-tom
Badges we don't need no stinking badges
09:48 PM on 11/10/2010
If you have storage space an 18 quart portable roaster oven ($40 -60) can be really helpful at Thanksgiving.
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c-tom
Badges we don't need no stinking badges
09:44 PM on 11/10/2010
My family are all light meat fans. When I cooked for Thanksgiving I'd do a 16-18 pounder and an extra breast. Turkeys that size are easier to cook evenly (my opinion) than the larger birds. Since in my family the meal is all about the starch the gravy is more important than the meat. I'd make filling in the cavity and under skin, another kind of stuffing separate from the bird, an oyster and cracker casserole, and mashed potatoes. Thanksgiving is truly a beige feast.
garystartswithg
el sueno de la razon produce republicans
09:32 PM on 11/10/2010
Serving something you never cooked before is dangerous. Nobody said it had to be a turkey. Why not try cooking a turkey for an ordinary dinner a couple times a year -- get some practice. You can get rediculously good deals on turkey after the holiday season.

My only tip -- load up your stuffing with dried fruit like prunes, dates, raisins or dried apricot and nuts like pecans or walnuts. Makes a holiday in one dish.
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Mij13
09:26 PM on 11/10/2010
My big mistake is that I never have a big enough roasting rack. This year I will buy one. Otherwise, I've used something Julia Child recommended for roasting chicken; cook it on a bed of thick onion slices. It works, too, and the gravy is delish!
10:06 PM on 11/10/2010
A great idea! :-D
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wolfiegirl
Princess Wolfie
09:05 PM on 11/10/2010
A real covered roasting pan is key - not some foil and pie plate concoction. It allows you to steam the turkey as it cooks and it keeps it moist. Also, cook at 325 - no higher.

Also, I do my stuffing the day before, flavoring it with chicken drippings. Then I cut up the chickens and put them in the freezer for winter pot pies.
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simplemee
Tis better to remain silent and be thought a fool.
09:02 PM on 11/10/2010
Love the article and the comments. Nice that we can all look forward to something, in our own separate ways. Here's to wishing everyone the best Turkey day to come.
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Aimee Bellefleur Hogan
I'm still here. Is that micro enough?
10:32 PM on 11/10/2010
Thank you! Same to you and yours! Fanned and faved!