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"FYI:Why your turkey is dry. Aka:Be kind to animals;kill your own(9 posts)

"FYI:Why your turkey is dry. Aka:Be kind to animals;kill your own128
Nov 24, 2003 10:58 AM
and for those who can't, please buy local, humanely raised and slaughtered meat or do without." -Mr. Ed.

Anyone who cooks knows that salt alone won't do the trick. Once, simply sticking a turkey in the oven for a few hours was enough. Today, chefs have to go to heroic lengths to try to counteract the turkey's cracker-like dryness and lack of flavor. Cooks must brine, marinate, deep fry, and hide the taste with maple syrup, herbs, spices, butter and olive oil. It's no surprise that side dishes have moved to the center of the Thanksgiving menu.

On non-industrial farms, it takes turkeys 24 weeks to arrive at slaughter weight, about 15 pounds for a hen and 24 pounds for a tom. Industrial turkeys, however, need half that time. By 12 to 14 weeks, the whole flock is ready for the slaughterhouse. Once slaughtered, the turkeys have to suffer one more indignity before arriving in your grocer's meat case. Because of their monotonous diet, their flesh is so bland that processors inject them with saline solution and vegetable oils, improving "mouthfeel" while at the same time increasing shelf life and adding weight.

What to do? One solution is to bypass Broad Breasted Whites altogether. A few nonprofit groups — are working with independent family farms to ensure that a handful of older, pre-industrial turkey varieties, known as heritage breeds, are still being grown. These varieties are slowly gaining recognition for their dark, rich and succulent meat.
Dry? Isn't that why we have gravy? ;-) nmDougSloan
Nov 24, 2003 11:03 AM
forget turkey...we're having ham...and a nice pinot noir (nm)ColnagoFE
Nov 24, 2003 11:11 AM
Why your ham is salty. Aka free range gravy v. Mothra128
Nov 24, 2003 11:46 AM
Ham sounds great. Wanted to do a spiral ham for Christmas but my sister says it's 'rubbery'(??) so I'm talking to the butcher about a rib eye roast.
Mmmmm....HamLO McDuff
Nov 25, 2003 6:55 AM
It is probably too late for Thanksgiving but you should check out the "House of Smoke" in Fort Lupton. The BEST ham I ever had.

We're having cold, dry, turkey sandwiches (or something similar). We're travelling to Orlando on Thursday.
doing the honeybaked ham thingColnagoFE
Nov 25, 2003 8:50 AM
they are pretty tasty. will have to check out the house of smoke though--sounds good.
good salt cured country ham for me ;-) nmDougSloan
Nov 25, 2003 8:53 AM
My secret recipe baked stuffed lobsters for us. nmfirstrax
Nov 24, 2003 2:15 PM
Cooking bagsjtolleson
Nov 25, 2003 10:01 AM
I know you weren't looking for poultry roasting advice, but since I started using these things about 4 years ago, I've never had a dry turkey. They are awesome.

And a garlic hound like my can dump many chopped cloves into the bag with Tom Turkey. Yummmm.