It's not easy to cook a turkey
correctly. Without specialized methods
, the breast
will be dry
if you leave the turkey in the oven
long enough for the thighs to be thoroughly cooked
. I've got a couple of secrets for getting very juicy turkey breast while making sure you don't get salmonella
from undercooked dark meat
Get some cotton cheesecloth. It's very important that the cheesecloth isn't made from a synthetic fiber. After seasoning and optionally stuffing the turkey, spread the cheesecloth 2 layers thick over the breast. Make up a basting solution from a melted stick of butter and some dry white wine. Drench the cheesecloth with the butter/wine mixture. Sear the turkey at 400° for the first half hour of cooking, then ramp the oven down to 350° for the remainder of the required cooking time. Redrench the cheesecloth with the wine/butter mixture every half hour. This will keep the temperature of the breast meat lower than the dark meat. This is the real secret of this method. The breast meat will be fully cooked when it reaches 140°. The dark meat requires 170°. If you run out of the butter/wine mixture, just switch to basting with water.
Once the thigh tests at 160°, remove the cheesecloth, and cook for 30 minutes more. Remove the turkey from the oven, cover with foil, and let the turkey rest for at least 30 minutes. If you slice the turkey fresh out of the oven, no amount of preparation will prevent the juice from running out.