Imagine carving into a huge turkey only to have sinking disappointment that it is dry. Raise your hand if this has ever happened to you. It is such a sad feeling and I understand that. And because turkeys are only prepared during special occasions, this article is here to show how to prevent dry turkey and keep it moist!
While turkey is mostly eaten during Thanksgiving or Christmas in the States, turkey really is not consumed that much in Southeast Asia. It is a protein that we consider to be luxury and only to be eaten during a special occasion. Even then, not every family can afford to buy a turkey, so eventually when they do get their hands on a fresh turkey, it becomes something incredibly special for them. But the main star which is the turkey is always an intimidating to serve because there are plenty of things that could go wrong with it! Here is how to prevent dry turkey from being served to your guests.
Choosing your turkey type...
Like chicken, turkeys too come in ranges. From the heritage type, frozen type, organic type, and fresh types… plenty. If you are craving for more of a classic and old-fashioned favorite taste, a heritage turkey would be great. It is always leggier, leaner, and gives out more aroma. Only it can be a bit pricier too (guess size and type do matter after all) than your regular catch. However, if you are gunning for a typical fresh or frozen bird, and make sure it looks well-fed for its size!
Using butter or oil...
Make sure the turkey’s skin is as dry as possible before putting it in the oven. Then, rub butter or oil all over the turkey—place pats of butter under the skin for even moister meat. When soft butter melts, it bastes the turkey and adds a buttery flavor to the bird.
Do not underestimate the greens...
A quick tip for you here: Did you know that vegetables can do wonders to make turkey moist? Get your desired vegetables such as your carrots, onions, celery, and potatoes. Use them to create a natural roasting rack for your main star (Mister Turkey).
All you must do is place them in a roasting pan at the bottom and place your turkey on top of the vegetables. By cooking the turkey on a vegetable stack, it allows for heat to even cooking to flow under the turkey. It also adds flavor for the turkey drippings which can be then added to your own turkey gravy.
Another pro tip: Lifting the turkey from the bottom of the pan helps to increase the circulation of heat around the entire bird so that it becomes crispy!
Get those aromatics...
Once you have the goal to prepare a moist turkey, there is always a bunch of herbs you can count on to bring more greatness to the turkey dish. Herbs like thyme, rosemary, sage, etc., all works wonderfully to get the flavor out of an otherwise typical bland turkey meat.
So, grab yourself a sizable number of herbs (about 12 sprigs like so, but it depends how big your turkey is) that you like, then stuff the herbs and a quarter of the onion into the bird’s cavity.
If you have an extra garlic head, have that split in half and pop it in too (Also, you can always use some garlic to make a cheesy garlic toast.) A halved lemon or small orange may also be added too to give the turkey some lovely citrus zest. As for the seasonings in the cavity? They will do their job in spicing up the turkey as it roasts in the oven.
Never fear the dry turkey!
Now that you have all these tips; you no longer must fear the dry turkey nightmare! It is a challenge that you can take on and we have faith that you will have a turkey that is perfectly moist!
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