Dispelling turkey preparation myths

Thanksgiving is just days away and for most home cooks the most daunting task is the turkey. So we’re dispelling some common myths surrounding the preparation of the holiday bird.

Chef Noah Stephens has been cooking the thanksgiving staple ever since he can remember and says the most imperative step is thawing the turkey. “It can take 3 to 4 days to thaw a turkey in the refrigerator.”

But if you wait too long, Stephens says to put the bird in the sink and fill it up with cold water. Then every 30 minutes change the water.

When it comes to cleaning the turkey. Noah says to not be afraid of it.

First, you rinse the entire turkey with cold water and do not use soap. Throw away all the innards. You can save the giblets for flavoring the gravy.

Chef Stephens says, if this is your first time cooking a turkey he has a simple recipe to wow your guests.

“The most simple is salt, pepper, a little bit of butter, then stuff the turkey with lemon, onion, thyme and sage.”

If you don’t have a roasting rack when cooking your turkey, a great alternative is to lay carrots or celery stalks on the bottom of a pan and it will not only flavor the turkey, but it will help it from sticking.

Make sure the oven is set to 325 degrees before putting the turkey in the oven. For each pound of the turkey, the bird stays in the oven for 15 minutes.

Use a cooking thermometer to know when the turkey is done. When each part of the bird reaches 165 degrees it’s done.

As for those delicious turkey leftovers, Stephens says to prevent bacteria from growing, let the food cool before putting it in the fridge and sealing the plastic container. Also, use multiple containers instead of piling it all into one.

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