Saturday, November 29, 2008

The Shroud of Turkey

I love turkey. I have a "secret" way of cooking turkey that my grandmother used and I have never heard of anyone else using this method. It's a little unusual, but it makes a very perfect and deliciously moist turkey every time. Here's my secret: cover the turkey with a butter soaked piece of 100% cotton white cloth and cook. Sound a little weird? yup, I know. But it works. See for yourself:

Start with a fresh turkey. So much easier than dealing with days of defrosting a frozen turkey.

Stuff and season with salt and pepper

Cut a piece of cloth large enough to cover the whole bird. I use 100% cotton white muslin and usually buy about a yard. Melt one and a half sticks of butter in a sauce pan.

With tongs, cover the cloth with the melted butter. Make sure the cloth is saturated with the butter.

Unfold the cloth and drape over the turkey. Make sure the breast is well covered and the cloth is tucked inside the pan. Pour any remaining melted butter over the draped cloth. Add about a cup of water to the pan.

In the oven (325) it goes.

Baste the cloth with the pan drippings every 40-50 minutes. Add water to the pan as needed to keep about an inch of liquid in the pan. The cloth will get very brown.

About an hour before the turkey is done, take it out of the oven to remove the cloth. The cloth will get very brown and crispy....if you like crispy skin, it will look good enough to eat! But don't! To remove the cloth, baste the cloth well and when it is nice and wet, peel it carefully off with tongs. Discard the cloth. Or marvel at it that it looks like crispy skin or brown leather!

Baste the uncovered turkey and put back in the oven for the last hour of cooking. The turkey will brown nicely all over. If the exposed stuffing is getting crispy, cover with a little aluminium foil shield.

The golden moist bird. It makes for......

Happy Pilgrims!

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