Talking turkey

dry brined roasted turkey

The countdown to U.S. Thanksgiving is well under way. Since turkey will be gracing close to 90% of American tables next Thursday (approximately 46 million turkeys), we thought it would be nice to provide some links to the latest on brining and roasting your bird. If you had any questions on the former, Serious Eats offers a “quick and dirty” guide to brining, including dry brines (J. Kenji López-Alt‘s preferred method). The article provides formulas and times, and offers great advice on whether to use aromatics in your brine.

Indexed magazine Fine Cooking offers 21 turkey tips, including a guide to how big your turkey should be, as well as a list of what different turkey terms (like heritage and hard-chilled) actually mean. Meanwhile at indexed blog The Kitchn they’re taking a different tack and discussing how to avoid common mistakes that people make with their turkeys. Apparently some people are throwing away the turkey drippings, but I doubt any EYB members are guilty of this.

If you are thinking about frying a turkey, Epicurious offers a beginner’s guide to deep-frying. It includes critical items like how to calculate the amount of oil to use and how to safely place the turkey into the hot oil. Another non-traditional method that is getting a lot of buzz this year is spatchcocking. Indexed magazine Bon Appétit offers a crash course in using this method to get great results from your bird.

The folks at Butterball, one of the largest turkey producers in the U.S., have their Turkey Talk-Line® open this month and next for all of your turkey questions. They’ve been doing this for over 30 years and their experts expect to answer more than 100,000 questions for thousands of households. If you have other Thanksgiving-related questions, you can try the NY Times. Food writers Melissa Clark, Eric Asimov and Sam Sifton will be holding “Thanksgiving Office Hours” on The New York Times Facebook page on Monday at 1 p.m. Eastern time.

Once you get your method down, you can turn to the EYB Library for recipes for turkey, stuffing, side dishes, and pies. Are you making turkey this year? How are you preparing it?

Photo of Dry-brined roasted turkey from Fine Cooking

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  • Cubangirl  on  November 19, 2014

    Since there are only 2 of us, I'm doing just a turkey breast. Will be trying Kenji's sous vide method with gravy made with the bones and the skin crisped separately. Going to make half the mashed potato casserole that was on the same email from Serious Eats. Not sure of veggie yet. I'm thinking of trying to find a cranberry chutney recipe since I'm not fond of gravy.

  • mfto  on  November 20, 2014

    I grew up in the South many years ago and never had turkey for Thanksgiving because my mother considered turkey inferior to chicken. Yes, our Thanksgiving turkey was fried chicken and if you had my mother's fried chicken, you would be thankful indeed. A few years after I left home, my mother became very health conscious so no more fried chicken. She happily roasted a turkey whenever any of us visited. Sigh. My mother-in-law, who came over from Poland at the age of 16, served me my first Thanksgiving turkey. I have adopted her stuffing and so we have a Polish American Thanksgiving turkey to this day. I can only dream of Southern Thanksgiving fried chicken.

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