8021 Clayton Road
St. Louis, MO 63117
Ph: 314-862-COOK (2665)
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Ask The Chef

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turkey.jpgThe turkey has landed! This 22-pound bird roasted for 3 hours (first hour at 400 degrees, then the next 2 hours at 325 degrees) to an internal temperature in the breast meat of 155 degrees.

In answer to the yearly questions: No, I don’t brine (brining is only necessary if the bird is going to be overcooked).

Yes, I stuff (dressing tastes better when coated with meat juices).

No, I don’t baste (basting moistens overcooked meat and helps to brown the skin).

Yes, I use the giblets in the gravy (that mysterious bag in the cavity does serve a delicious purpose).

No, I do not tent the turkey with foil (I want the skin to stay crispy).

Yes, I let the turkey rest for 30 minutes before carving (yes, the turkey stays plenty hot).

And look at all that delicious fond in the bottom of the roaster! Here’s how I make gravy. Pour off most of the juices into a strainer set over a gravy separator and let sit for a couple of minutes so that the fat rises to the top. Put the roaster on a medium-high heat burner. Add a couple of tablespoons of flour and stir until dissolved. Add a quarter-cup of port or red wine. Pour back in the juices (but not the fat). Bring to a boil. Finely chop up the liver and add to the gravy. If necessary, add more turkey or chicken stock to make enough gravy. Serve hot.


4 Comments for “A Bird in the Pan”  

  1. Dan

    Is the dark meat finished cooking at the same time if the breast meat is done at 155?

  2. Anne

    I find that when the breast meat reaches 155 degrees, the rest of the turkey is fully cooked, but not overcooked.

  3. gerald

    I been using convection bake, 450 degrees for the first half hour and uncovered, 350 next hour and a half loosely covered for 17-pound bird and reaching 170 degrees in the breast. It was moist, but I’d be interested in trying your technique. Are your cooking times and temperatures for a convection oven? If not, how would you modify time and temps, or should I switch to simply bake, and not convection bake?

  4. Anne

    Convection baking is wonderful, but the circulating air browns the food. I use convection all the time. I would not suggest switching to regular bake. Also, I make sure that my turkey is not refrigerator-cold, but closer to room temperature when it goes in the oven. It can take a long time for the internal temperature of a big turkey to go from 40 degrees to 70 degrees. Once the turkey gets to 100 degrees, it takes less than an hour to finish cooking. I always use the probe thermometer to monitor the internal temperature.