How not to ruin your Thanksgiving turkey: 5 common mistakes when cooking this bird - ForumDaily
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How not to ruin your Thanksgiving turkey: 5 common mistakes when cooking this bird

Thanksgiving Day arrives on November 23rd, and millions of Americans will be preparing turkey, sides and desserts. Chef Leah Cohen from New Jersey spoke about the most common mistakes when cooking turkey, reports FoxNews.

Photo: IStock

There are some standard mistakes that amateur cooks make in the home kitchen when preparing the main dish of the holiday.

1. Add a little seasoning

A former "Top Chef" contestant and owner of two restaurants in New York City, Cohen said one of the most common mistakes when cooking turkey is not using enough seasoning.

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“Typically at Thanksgiving, people cook the whole turkey, which can make it difficult to season the meat from the inside,” the chef said.

Cohen recommends brining the turkey ahead of time to retain moisture.

“The size of the bird will determine the brining time, but you should brine it for at least 12 hours,” she said.

Finally, Cohen said to remember to rinse off the brine and dry the turkey.

2. Dry out the meat

Cohen said another mistake is drying out the meat.

“Turkey tends to be dry because it has little fat. That's why fat is your friend when it comes to cooking turkey,” she said.

Cohen said she makes a butter that she coats the bird inside and out to make the meat more juicy.

“My butter is made with unsalted butter, garlic, rosemary, thyme, Lee Kum Kee soy sauce and Panda Brand oyster sauce,” she said.

3. Don’t let the bird “breathe”

Cohen said it's important to remember to temper the turkey before putting it in the oven.

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It is recommended to place the defrosted turkey on a wire rack and air it out at room temperature before cooking. This tactic is called tempering. It helps dry out the bird so the meat cooks more evenly, resulting in a juicier bird.

“The larger the bird, the longer it will take to air it out,” she said.

The chef says she usually takes the turkey out of the refrigerator two hours before she plans to cook it in the oven.

4. Do not use a grill

The chef emphasized that it is important to cook the turkey on a wire rack, with a baking sheet underneath to catch all the juices from the bird.

“The rack allows air to circulate at the bottom of the turkey and keeps it from coming into direct contact with the bottom of the pan, which helps keep it from burning,” she said.

5. Don't let the turkey rest

Many people want to immediately enjoy their delicious turkey as soon as it comes out of the oven.

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“I usually let the turkey rest for about 20 minutes before carving,” Cohen said.

Cohen noted that it's important to let the turkey rest to make sure the juices inside the turkey are fully absorbed into the meat.

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