Avoiding the Season’s Biggest Turkey Mistakes

November 11th, 2010 - 10:48 pm ICT by Angela Kaye Mason  

turkey Nov 11 (THAINDIAN NEWS) Thanksgiving is quickly making it’s way through the mangled mass of Halloween treats, in a race to beat the Christmas trees, and gingerbread to the department store shelves. As you rush around, scrambling to come up with the perfect holiday meal, here are a few of the biggest mistakes which are made with the star of the table, the Thanksgiving Turkey, and how to avoid those mistakes.

The first mistake which is often made is one which will throw the rest of the meal off; purchasing the wrong turkey. “How is this possible?” you may ask,” A turkey is a turkey.” Well, not really. If you read the labels carefully, there are several differences in birds besides just the size.

Some of them are self-basting, which means that they have already been injected with broth. Although this can be good for keeping the meat juicy, it is very high in sodium, so be sure this won’t be a problem for you or your guests. While checking the label and buying the turkey, you will also need to be sure that the bird is the size you will need.

Another mistake that is made before baking the bird is to stuff the turkey. While stuffing is very enjoyable alongside a Thanksgiving Turkey, it is not safe to cook them together. Since the temperature in the center of the turkey needs to get to 165 degrees Fahrenheit in order to thoroughly cook the stuffing, the turkey will be over cooked and dry. Because of this, it is best to cook the stuffing in it’s own pan.

Once you have chosen the correct bird, brought it home, cooked it perfectly, and set it out on the counter, you can still mess it up. Carving the turkey can be difficult for some, but there is no need to try and be fancy. Simply carving the bird into pieces as you would a chicken, into legs, thighs, wings, breasts, you can have a beautiful and practical presentation.

As a last tip, don’t throw away the pan drippings once your turkey is done. These caramelized pieces of delicious meat can be used to flavor a rich and tasty gravy. Poured over rice, or especially home made mashed potatoes, this gravy ads that holiday taste to any dish.

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