Saturday, December 11, 2010

Turkey - start planning now.

I have one last post on my Thanksgiving meal.  The star of the show.

So much pressure on the bird.  So many times it ends up disappointing.  Let's face it, we are using recipes and techniques from our grandmothers.  We are relying on the little pop up built in thermometer that is set to go off   about 10 degrees hotter than the optimum internal temperature.

But, in fact, the birds we are buying are (for the most part) not the same birds our grandmothers bought.  Large factory farms are using "modern" feed and techniques that make a leaner bird, with twice the breast meat of birds just 20 years ago. If you cook the bird the same way Grandma showed you, you are doomed to a less tender, less moist, less what you remember bird.

Christmas is coming.  The bird shall rise again!

Consider your Thanksgiving bird.  Was it what you wanted, was it really as tasty as you remember Grandma's bird???

If so, God bless and pass the gravy.

If not... Consider the differences in the bird, consider doing just a tiny bit of research and break from Grandma's technique.

You should be brining your bird.

You should use in internal meat thermometer and NOT the built in pop up.

You should not use stuffing, but make dressing (The bird cooks better without the cavity full of densely packed bread).

So, how was your bird this year?  Are you noticing any differences in how they cook compared with what you learned (assuming you are of an age to remember Nixon).

I am very interested in this topic.  Pork, beef, chickens (and turkeys) and fish are not what they were twenty or thirty years ago.  Techniques and recipes (cooks) have to adapt to the changes.

Ah well, stay warm and God Bless your Holidays!



  1. First off, your turkey looks SO good in that picture.

    Great tips! We eat seafood/beef tenderloin for Christmas around here, but I will file away the info for next year.

    Thanks and Happy Holidays!

  2. Not to be mean or anything, but my parents' bird always turns out less than stellar. I think I"m gonna have to one up them using your fantastic tips. Win-win situation? I think yes.