My worst fear when it comes to cooking turkey is having it come dry, like in that National Lampoon Christmas movie, where it’s so dry that the whole family is gnawing on the meat like it’s a piece of jerky.
Apparently the secret is to cook it at 325° degrees for every pound. Another secret is to ensure it is basted multiple times with its own juices throughout the cooking process. However, a method my family picked up over the years is with bacon. Just slap on strips of bacon all over the turkey so that the bacon oil drips over the turkey as it cooks to keep it moist.
The best part about cooking with this method is not having to constantly go back to baste the turkey and also ending up with some super crispy strips of bacon! You can eat them alone or add them into a Caesar salad to complement your dinner too.
This Thanksgiving, I was introduced to a new method – orange wedges. I’ve seen people put rice or other types of stuffing into the crevice of the turkey, but this year at one of the dinners I went to added a bunch of oranges inside. I thought it was some new method to keep the turkey moist, but when I asked the cook it was a way to make the meat sweeter. Well, sweet it was! Perhaps it’s because the cooking time was timed perfectly, but the turkey meat just so happened to be coincidentally juicy and moist (it was flying all over the table as it was being carved). Turkey à l’orange, anyone? 🙂
Although these tips may be too late for a Canadian Thanksgiving, I’m sure they may be of use for our lovely American neighbours down south or for the next occasion that calls for turkey. Enjoy! 🙂