Ever wanted to cook turkey, but feared every minute spent preparing and cleaning up once it was done?
If you answered no to any of these questions, you’re going to want to listen up — science has a solution! This year the National Turkey Federation is promoting the simplicity of one key ingredient that combines two important steps in the Thanksgiving holiday cooking process: turkey pieces, and water.
The chemical findings seem to show that turkeys require little more than water to cook in, and once they have been brined and coated in the seasoned salt mixture prior to cooking, that water will be absorbed. The result is a fully cooked bird with an enormous roasting temperature on the innermost part of the thigh.
Can water really be used to make your holiday meal better? Experts have found that it can. When added to the turkey or chicken, it will warm the meat up, and when it’s cooked it will emit the warm glow of smoke.
The raw turkey or chicken has already been brined and covered in salt to reduce the body heat so that the skin will crisp quicker, and many recipes add the addition of water to the water they use. If the meat is brined and covered in salt it will dry out at a quicker rate, but once the cooking water is added, it creates a moistening effect on the meat and acts as a flame retardant to make the coals last longer.
The cooking method used here is called poaching, which involves submerging the turkey, chicken or chicken pieces in boiling water, and slowly cooking the product over a lengthy period of time in the attached pot. This method will release the turkey meat juices, which will form a “chill,” which will be retained in the turkey bone and will add moisture to the finished product when cooked.
When a piece of meat, whether it’s chicken, turkey or tofu is parboiled, that will leave the meat feeling warm and crisp when steamed. Parboiled meat left in the pot stays moist and tender throughout, it’s much quicker to cook and will not dry out like it would in traditional roasting times.
The results shown in the science experiment are very different than the traditional method used for most Thanksgiving meals, which requires seasoning the cut of meat before it’s chopped, and then placing it in the oven. Using boiled, parboiled turkey pieces in place of ground turkey meat or chicken pieces should save quite a bit of time and of tedious cleanup.
If you plan on serving turkey this Thanksgiving, instead of using raw turkey pieces in your preparation, add a quick step in the middle and give yourself a much quicker time to prepare, and save yourself from much of the hassle that normally comes from cooking this delicious protein in the oven.
And if you make sure your turkey is cooked to a minimum of 135 degrees, you’ll also save yourself from having to go crazy with roasting pans that sometimes don’t come out of the oven in time!