chef 300KENTUCKY (11/27/13) – One of the biggest mistakes in preparing a holiday feast is in cooking a turkey until it's too dry — That is an observation of Marriott Executive Chef Luke Swagger. Swagger has shared several tips for cooking the perfect turkey.

“When roasting a turkey, make sure the breast is facing up. This allows the fat to melt into the bird and prevent it from drying out,” he said. “Marinades and brines are perfect for turkeys. They allow for additional flavor and retain moisture.”

Swagger said cooks should be conscious of “Carry Over Cooking” — when a turkey is removed from the oven, it is technically still cooking.

In fact, as the bird cools, it continues to cook. Allocate 20 minutes from the time the turkey is removed from the oven “to allow it to rest before carving”.

According to the chef, another advantage of allowing the turkey to rest is that moisture is retained in the meat as it cools and it keeps the meat from drying out.

“Invest in a meat thermometer; you can get one cheap and it more than pays for itself in the end.” said Swagger. “To temp a bird, insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the bird, usually between the thigh and breast. A turkey is done when the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees (for poultry).”

Swagger expressed his concerns about “stuffing the bird”. While many people cook the turkey with its cavity filled with dressing (stuffing), “it can be very dangerous (cross contamination)”.

If you stuff the bird, make sure the stuffing reaches the full 165 degrees, said Swagger.

“If you are looking for a good base to a sauce, gravy or soup; save the bones and all the extra “goodies” that come with the bird,” he said. “ Roast them in the oven at 350 until caramelized (for a deep richer flavor), then place in a deep stock pot with celery, carrots, onions and fresh herbs. Add just enough water to cover all ingredients and allow to simmer (NOT BOIL) for three to five hours. Strain, portion and freeze. This makes a great base all year round!”

Swagger said that the stock can be frozen in ice cube trays and put in freezer bags or just poured into zip-lock bag in various portions.

The chef recommends using the turkey stock in many recipes instead of water.

Chef Swagger supervises a staff of 35 to 40 serving the Baptist Health Hospital campus in Madisonville, Ky.

Ron Sanders
SurfKY News
Photo by Ron Sanders

LIKE SurfKY on Facebook - Click here to LIKE us now.

© Copyright 2015 SurfKY News Group, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission. SurfKY News encourages you to share this story on social media.

Posted on 2/2/14
3/13 - 16
1 DOW 18,037.97
-42.17 (-0.23%)    
2 S&P 2,108.92
-8.77 (-0.41%)    
3 NASDAQ 5,060.25
-31.84 (-0.63%)    
3/13 - 16

Most Read This Week

April 23, 2015 7853

Man Charged with Sodomy, Incest/Victim under 12

by SurfKY News
April 20, 2015 5063

Nortonville Woman Charged with Meth Possession at…

by Madisonville Police Department
April 24, 2015 4399

UPDATE: Police Can't Substantiate Injured Man…

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
April 22, 2015 4109

Crime Stoppers Fugitive of the Week – April 22,…

by Hopkinsville – Christian County Crime Stoppers
April 22, 2015 4051

Madisonville Man Accused of Domestic Violence/Rape

by SurfKY News

Most Read This Month

April 17, 2015 13547

An Open Letter from an Addict

by Olivia Kirks
April 02, 2015 8911

UPDATE: Madisonville Man Injured in Head-on…

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News

Stories Trending Now

April 27, 2015 1796

Online Petition Seeking Re­opening of Shanice…

by Samantha Carver, SurfKY News
April 27, 2015 1577

Hopkins County Drug War ― Are We Winning?

by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
April 27, 2015 925

Hopkins County Sheriff's Reports Released -…

by SurfKY News
April 27, 2015 876

Church Attempts to ‘Inspire’ Teens in Self-Worth,…

by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
April 27, 2015 638

Smoke Filled House Prompts 911 Call

by Madisonville Fire Dept.
April 27, 2015 624

Mustangs Lose to Ohio County via Shutout

by Steve LeMaster
April 27, 2015 568

Traffic Advisory for Western Kentucky

by Keith Todd
April 27, 2015 446

WKCTC Physics Associate Professor Wins Second…

by Tammy Thompson
April 27, 2015 436

Lady Mustangs Take Two from Calloway in…

by Steve LeMaster
April 27, 2015 396

Questions to ask when looking for an afterschool…

by SurfKY News