A new way to roast your holiday turkey
Every year Thanksgiving and Christmas are times when a turkey dinner is a must-have meal for most households. The fluffy mashed potatoes, cool cranberry sauce, herb-embodied stuffing, crunchy green bean casserole and the succulent turkey meat are quintessential for holiday celebrations.
However, it seems that every year is the same old routine. A week's preparation and a whole days work for a turkey that eventually ends up hacked apart because the meat is attached to bones that get in the way of slicing.
Why not try a different technique this year and take the bones out of the turkey before it is cooked? Then after it is cooked, all that is left is the juicy meat stuffed with dressing that can be effortlessly cut into attractive slices.
How to debone a turkey
- Thaw your bird. Make sure the turkey is completely thawed. This can be ensured if the turkey is left in the refrigerator for three to four days depending on the size. If waiting days for thawing is not an option, then put your turkey under cold running drinkable water until fully thawed. (Keep in mind that running water is not very environmentally friendly).
- Remove bag of extra inner parts. You can keep these for gravy or stuffing, or discard.
- Stand turkey on its butt side on a clean cutting area. Make two slices on the shoulder bone, separating the wing and shoulder bone.
- With your hands, gently begin separating the meat from the rib cage. Starting from the top of the chest cavity gently push the meat away from the rib cage and continue this process around to the backbone being careful not to tear the skin. Continue all the way down to the bottom of the rib cage.
- Find the top of the thighbone. On each side make one slice between the end of the bone and the pelvic bone, which will separate the two. At this point the rib cage can be removed and discarded.
- Take the thighbone and begin scraping the meat away from the bone. It is best to use a very sharp boning knife but any sharp utility knife that feels comfortable to grip will work. Once the end of the second leg bone is reached use a knife to cut away the skin that wraps around the end of the bone. Repeat this on the other leg.
- The turkey is now inside out as well as the legs of the turkey. This allows for the removal of any tough ligaments. Now turn the turkey skin side out. Arrange breast meat and thigh meat to be in proper places as if the bone was still in the turkey.
- The turkey is now ready to be stuffed with dressing. Be careful not to over stuff since this will split the skin while cooking. Using butcher twine, wrap around the ends of the turkey to prevent any stuffing from falling out. Also use the twine to wrap around the breast and thighs every three inches to secure the turkey
Easy instructions to roast the turkey
- When you are ready to roast your turkey, place it in a roasting pan breast-side up and rub outer skin with unsalted butter, salt and black pepper as desired.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cover turkey with aluminum foil. Place in oven and cook until the thickest part of the breast meat reaches 155 degrees F. (figure about 10 minutes per pound of original weight of the turkey).
- Remove aluminum foil and continue cooking until skin is golden brown and breast meat than reaches 165 degrees. Remove from oven let turkey stand for 20 minutes to allow juices to rest. Slice and serve.
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