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December 17, 2014

The Tasty Table - Turkey Tips

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Original Air Date: December 17, 2014

We're deep into the Holiday Season, with plenty of celebrating and feasting still ahead. If you haven't finalized your menu for your Christmas or New Year's dinner, Chef Walter Wright suggests our old holiday friend, the Turkey, and he has some tips on how to prepare a moist, juicy and flavorful bird.


Turkey Tips
  • A good reason to brine or “wet cure” is to retain moisture during the cooking process, add additional flavoring to the item and help extend the shelf life of the product in the raw state.
  • Brining: Time for the whole turkey with a weighted average of 10 to 12 pounds would be 5 to 6 days. A whole chicken or chicken breast /duck breast would be 24 to 36 hours.


  • A Basic Poultry Brine - Yield: 3 Gallons
  • Kosher Salt 1 pound 8 oz
  • Honey, Sugar, or Brown Sugar 12 oz
  • Garlic Cloves 8 each
  • Sliced Onions 3 each
  • Fresh Sage 2 oz
  • Fresh Parsley Stems 2 oz
  • Warm Water 3 gallons


  1. Bring the water to a simmer and turn off the heat
  2. Add salt, sugar, garlic, onion, sage, parsley stems and stir until sugar and salt is dissolved.
  3. Allow broth to cool then place washed turkey into the brine and fully submerge. You may place a towel over the top of the turkey to help keep the brine over the turkey through reverse osmosis.
  • Tip: You may use different aromatics that complement the dish.

Other Turkey Tips

  1. Always wash the inside and outside of your turkey and check to make sure the cavity is free of any extra items.
  2. Cook the turkey on an elevated surface to allow for airflow under the bird. You can do this by using a rack, or hearty root vegetables such as Carrots, Celery, and Onions.
  3. I personally like to achieve the color first then cover/tent for the remainder of the cooking process.
  4. You may add butter or fresh herbs and butter between the skin and the meat to help add additional flavors.
  5. You should baste your turkey every 30 minutes to help keep the skin moist and colorful.
  6. You should rotate the pan a few times throughout the cooking process to allow for even cooking and browning.
  7. You should not cook the stuffing inside the poultry because both cook at different temperatures and could cause a food-born illness.
  8. Make sure to allow the turkey to rest for 15-20 minutes after it has reached an internal temperature of 155 degrees F.


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