Thanksgiving is that wonderful time of year when we gather with friends and family, test the limits of butter consumption, eat an inordinate amount of potatoes and regurgitate trivia that may or may not be true. While we can’t help you with the obscene amount of butter you’re about to go through, we can lend a hand with some of those trivial Thanksgiving tidbits that have been clawing at you over the years. Let’s get started with the debunking: Here are some popular myths about cooking techniques, nutrition and tradition.
Cooking Myth #4: Turkey Is Just A Bland Bird
Eating a ridiculously huge bird can sometimes seem less of a tradition and more like an exercise in going through the motions, especially when we take dry turkey for granted.
“Turkey should never be bland or dry,” said executive chef Eric Lees at Spiaggia. “The problem is that people take it out of the oven way too soon. Make sure your oven thermometer is calibrated and you’re cooking the bird long enough. Don’t cut into it right away, either — let the turkey rest for at least 25 minutes after cooking, no matter how large the turkey is. Another hack is to use those nice pan juices and baste over the sliced meat (versus basting before cooking) to avoid soggy turkey skin.”
Levitt has a carefully crafted turkey schedule, and it includes taking the bird out for plenty of carry-over cooking. He recommends that you “roast until the thermometer registers 155 degrees F.”
And then the most important step is to walk away. “I like to cook my turkey very early in the day and let it rest until it is room temperature.”