Turkey tricks and tips
These turkey tips will ensure a moist bird. (Foodnetwork.com)
From Joel Dennis, executive chef of Adour Alain Ducasse at the St. Regis:
1. To keep turkey from drying out, brine it first. This involves soaking it in a salt solution or brine for 8-12 hours.*
2. Cook breast and legs separately, since they have different cooking times.
3.Cover turkey in a cheesecloth soaked in melted butter. This keeps it moist while cooking and also makes the finished bird golden brown.
* Brining directions: The key is to soak your bird in a salt solution, or brine. Clean your cooler with soap and water, then pour in half a gallon of hot tap water, 2/3 cup sugar, and a pound of salt. Remember, different salts take up different volumes. For instance, you need 3 cups of Diamond Crystal kosher salt to make a pound but only 2 cups Morton's kosher salt. Stir thoroughly to dissolve the crystals. Then stir in 8 pounds of ice (that's a gallon of water) and 16 cups (128 ounces) of vegetable broth.
Place the turkey in the brine, breast side up. If your cooler is too big, the brine may not cover it. Set the cooler, lid closed, in a cool place for 8 to 12 hours, turning the bird over once if possible. For safety reasons, it is important to keep the brining liquid at 40F or right below. Check it periodically with the probe thermometer; if the temperature is getting too high, add a few freezer packs that have been enclosed in resealable plastic bags.