On the turkey, that is. When you cook it.
My husband, SAM, used to take his morning coffee at a diner with a man named Harry who shared his prized Thanksgiving Day tips. Many moons past Harry was a cook in the Army Air Corps during WW II. He later owned a popular local restaurant. Somewhere in between Harry cooked for Lyndon Johnson when the President was visiting Bergstrom Air force Base. LBJ was impressed, especially with Harry's enchiladas. LBJ requested Harry, and his enchiladas, anytime he was at his Johnson City Ranch, an hour or so from here.
So over the course of the past several years, Harry gave SAM numerous kitchen pointers. The most enduring and the most shared is baking the turkey with the breast facing downward in the pan. This way the juices from the dark meat marinate the breast.
This advice resonated for SAM. He cooked a turkey for the first time during his former marriage. His wife came home and started laughing because he put the turkey in the pan upside down, breast side down. They laughed even more when they tasted the result: They both swore it was juiciest turkey they had ever eaten.
Harry's second turkey pointer: never cook bread dressing inside the bird. It dries out the meat. In order to cook the turkey long enough to get the dressing cooked through, the meat is overcooked. Overcooked equals dry. So cook the bread dressing on the side in the stove.
Third pointer: Stuff the bird with fruit. Jenn at Juggling Life knows about this one, and a few more tips besides. In Harry's words, use anything you've got in your fruit bowl. SAM uses apples, oranges and onions. The fruit juice bastes the meat with the most refreshing flavor. SAM also uses Harry's suggestion of placing garlic cloves into the side of the turkey.
Juicy turkey with a tang of orange and garlic. Breast side down. Good stuff. Thanks, Harry, goddess rest your soul. And thanks to watershed for the turkey pic.
Oh, and here's my one pointer: Husband cooks the bird while wife blogs about it. Fabuloso!
Happy Thanksgiving, all!