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Publication: I'm Not Martha
Life-Saving Turkey Tips

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         I'M NOT MARTHA - Tuesday, November 6, 2007
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Hi! I'm Lizzy!!  and I'm not Martha!!!

Thanksgiving is coming so quickly now. It's really just around 
the corner. There are lots of things to know about turkey in 
order to make sure your mother-in-law has nothing to criticize. 
I know from what I speak.  So let's get the goods on a good 
turkey...and how to make sure the bronzed bird is perfectly 
done.

P.S. If you're interested we now have a forum. You can post 
comments on this and recent issues at... Not Martha forum


IS FROZEN TURKEY FRESHER TASTING THAN FRESH TURKEY?

If you want the freshest tasting turkey this Thanksgiving, 
don't buy a fresh turkey.

That's what the editors at Cook's Illustrated magazine dis-
covered when testing fresh and frozen turkeys for their November 
issue. Turns out frozen turkeys taste fresher and more moist 
than fresh.

It may sound counterintuitive, but science backs them up. 
Apparently, turkeys labeled "fresh" can be stored at 26 F, a 
temperature at which tiny ice crystals can form in the meat.

Temperature fluctuations during transport and storage (at the 
store and home) can cause these crystals to thaw and refreeze, 
punching holes in the cell membranes of the meat and causing 
them to lose moisture.

HOW CAN YOU TELL IF A FROZEN TURKEY IS FRESH OR NOT?

How can you tell its not a leftover frozen turkey from last 
year? There are no date codes on frozen turkeys.

If the turkey is wrapped in see through packaging, rub it with 
your fingers to remove the frost off it. Look at the flesh 
compare a few others. The grayer the flesh the longer its been 
frozen. Also look at the weight on pack; the longer a thing is 
frozen the more chance it will have frost burn which makes it 
feel lighter.


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HOW CAN YOU TELL DONENESS OF THE TURKEY?

Probably the trickiest part of roasting a turkey is being sure 
the breast and thigh meat are done at the same time. All too 
often, the breast meat ends up dry and overcooked while you're 
waiting for the thighs to finish cooking. Any one of these 
techniques will help prevent the breast from overcooking:

" For an unstuffed turkey, roast the turkey, breast side down, 
for the first one-third of the cooking time. This increases the 
rate at which the thighs cook, so they'll be done at about the 
same time as the breast.

" For a stuffed turkey, loosely cover the breast with a double-
thick piece of aluminum foil for the first two-thirds of the 
cooking time. This slows the rate at which the breast cooks, so 
it will be done at about the same time as the thighs.

Checking the Internal Temperature
The breast and thighs must reach different internal temperatures 
for ideal doneness. The breast should register 165 F and the 
thigh, 175 F. Begin testing for doneness about 30 minutes before 
the total roasting time is reached.

The turkey will continue to cook internally after you remove 
it from the oven, so you may take it out when the thermometer 
registers 3 to 4 F below the minimum temperature. Then cover 
the bird loosely with aluminum foil.

If roasting a stuffed bird, be sure the stuffing reaches 165 F.

TO TEST THE BREAST:
Using an instant-read thermometer, insert it into the meatiest 
part, several inches above the wings.

TO TEST THE THIGH:
Insert the instant-read thermometer away from the bone, along-
side the opening of the main cavity underneath the drumstick. 
This is the meatiest part of the thigh.

Feeling more confident???  I surely hope so.  Anything I can 
do to help you...well, you can always count on me!

Lizzy

Questions...Comments...? email Lizzy


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