It's coming up - that fateful time of the year when it's time to pull out the aprons and get the oven pre-heated. Thanksgiving is a time to sit back and enjoy the company of friends and family and is a great excuse to get away from the struggles of work to relax fully. It's also time to get a turkey and prepare it just right for the family meal. If you're one of the many that is planning to roast a turkey this week here are a few essential turkey tips that will its flavor, keep it safe for consumption and save you time in the preparation of the meal.
Don't start cooking too early!
Many cooks put the bird in the oven much too early to make sure that it is fully cooked before suppertime. The problem is that this turkey will end up drying out and cooling down before the dinner time arrives. Time your cooking according to directions and don't leave any "just in case it takes a bit longer" room. Time it appropriately and let your guests know that dinner will be served at 6:00 - as long as the turkey co-operates!
Once the turkey has been fully cooked you'll need to take out the stuffing right away. Leaving the stuffing inside can lead to food poisoning issues. Remove the stuffing immediately and transfer it to a separate bowl.
You should also stuff the turkey with cold stuffing - not warm dressing. Warm dressing into a cold turkey can cross-contaminate bacteria and lead to salmonella poisoning.
Remember the vegetarians
If you're inviting company over and expect some relatives that you haven't seen in a while or some guests that are coming with these relatives you may have some vegetarians arriving at your door. You certainly don't have to do anything out of the ordinary if you plan on serving quite a few veggies along with the turkey. Just make sure that you have a wide selection to offer and if you're in doubt find out ahead of time if any vegetarians will be sharing the dinner table with you.
Keep the heat regulated
In order to get the tastiest turkey ever don't put the turkey in the oven at a high heat and then reduce it. The best way to cook your turkey is slow and evenly with regular basting. This will provide you with that succulent moist meat that you're looking forward to devouring!