Tip Of The Week

September 30, 2001|By Sara Engram

For an especially moist turkey, try brining the bird before roasting. Shirley O. Corriher is a food chemist and author of the award-winning book Cookwise (William Morrow and Co., 1997, $28.50). She suggests rubbing the bird inside and out with salt (1 1/2 cups for a bird 12-18 pounds, 2 cups for larger), then covering it with ice water and refrigerating it overnight. Before cooking, rinse the bird for several minutes under cold running water.

"Brining makes meat juicier by increasing the amount of liquid inside the meat cells," she writes.

Corriher gives these directions for cooking a 16-18 pound bird: After brining and rinsing the turkey, "I preheat the oven to 475 degrees and start the turkey breast side down. After 20 minutes, I turn the oven down to 300 degrees. After 1 1/2 hours, I turn the turkey breast side up and continue roasting at 300 degrees, basting frequently [with a mixture of 3 tablespoons cornstarch and 1 / 4 cup cold water] until the breast temperature reaches 153 degrees. The temperature will rise a few degrees with standing."

Brining also works well with roast chicken. For a 6-pound hen, Corriher suggests brining the bird for 3 hours.

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