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James Peterson ,
Author of Sauces (Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1991);
Splendid Soups (Bantam, 1993);
Fish & Shellfish (Morrow, 1996);
Vegetables (Morrow, 1998)

  1. I always recommend roasting racks because the juices from the turkey may drip down into the hot roasting pan and burn. To prevent this, and at the same time prevent the turkey from sticking, spread the bottom of the roasting pan with a sliced onion and a sliced carrot and place the turkey on these.

2. To prevent the breast meat from drying out, loosely cover just the breast with a triple thick sheet of aluminum foil, buttered on the inside to prevent sticking. Remove after the first hour of roasting so the breast has time to brown.

3. Don't rely on the little plastic thermometer in some turkeys to pop out. If you wait for it, the turkey will overcook. Instead, stick an instant read thermometer several inches down through the skin between the thigh and the breast so the tip ends up about an inch above the joint. The turkey is ready when the thermometer reads 145 degrees.

4. When the turkey is done, cover it loosely with aluminum foil and let it rest for 30 minutes in a warm place such as on the back of the stove or in the turned off oven. This allows less cooked parts of the turkey to continue cooking without overcooking the delicate (and easy to dry out) breast meat.

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