Roasting a better bird
“I swear, I’m done with turkey! It’s always overcooked and dry, or undercooked and rubbery. Next Christmas we’ll have beef roast or chicken – anything but turkey!”
Those words were astonishing coming from my New Zealand friend, Bill Boeyen. He’s a retired hotelier/chef who spent a lifetime behind the stove, in his day cooking for such celebrities as Danny Kaye (himself a renowned cook). I’ve eaten many excellent meals in Boeyen’s home. Hearing this knowledgeable and experienced gentleman giving up on turkey made me realize just how challenging this most traditional of holiday traditions can be.
For many home cooks, it’s the most challenging task they’ll ever face. The problem is that dark and white meat have different cooking times. Then there’s the stuffing. The best stuffing cooks inside the bird, so the turkey juices flavor it. But only a small amount of stuffing can go inside the turkey – and there’s that nasty problem of possible bacterial contamination: If the stuffing is cooked thoroughly enough for safety, the turkey itself is often overcooked and dry.
Several years ago, I began using an unusual method of roasting turkey and stuffing. It takes more advance preparation that traditional methods, but virtually guarantees a moist and evenly roasted bird, and maximum flavoring for the stuffing and gravy.
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Check out the recipe for Roast Turkey