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Prep a turkey night before?

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  • Nov 28th, 2008 3:10 pm
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[OP]
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Aug 10, 2005
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Prep a turkey night before?

Hello! I'm wondering if I can prep a fresh/thawed turkey a day before (remove giblets, season, add herbs/whatever), and leave it in the fridge overnight. Then in the morning, my mom or someone else can just throw it in the oven when they wake up.

Is this ok? Any possible health hazards?
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Oct 17, 2006
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I would think it depends on how you thaw it. We usually leave it out 2 days before to thaw it and I don't think it's a good idea to put it back in the fridge after thawing it at room temperature. Perhaps you can leave it in the fridge to thaw it a week ahead, prepare it, then put it in the fridge again :confused:
;)
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As long as it's refrigerated I don't think there would be a problem. You could cook the bird the day before serving and refrigerate. Makes it really easy to carve this way. Just save some of the pan juices to reheat the sliced turkey.
[OP]
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Slight change in my plans. Would I be able to prep it on a Wednesday afternoon, put it in refrigerator, and cook on a Friday morning?
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phillr wrote:
Sep 29th, 2008 9:23 pm
Slight change in my plans. Would I be able to prep it on a Wednesday afternoon, put it in refrigerator, and cook on a Friday morning?
I've done that before...I think it should be alright as long as you don't thaw it at room temperature
;)
Deal Guru
Dec 31, 2005
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Screw thawing. Get the cook from frozen pre-stuffed butterball. Everyone who has eaten it (I have used it for the past 10 holidays) loves it...and fwiw, I can cook very well....

That being said, not having to worry about the turkey (I just put it in the roasting pan, put some chopped herbs on the surface, and put the pan in the bbq, Now, I can focus on making other fun things: chestnut soup flavoured with garam masala, braised fennel, home-made gravlax canapes...or make home made perogies (kapusta, farmer cheese).

To each there own. But I have no worries about any issues with thawing.
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Aug 9, 2006
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depending on how big your turkey is, you can get away with thawing your turkey in the refridgerator for 2-4 days.

One time, my turkey did not thaw fully in the fridge despite the fact, I had given it about 3 days time to thaw. I eventually had to eventually run some water in it to help let it thaw before I threw it into my brine.
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Why buy a frozen turkey to begin with? Buy a nice, fresh one from a good butcher, brine it, and then cook it. At Thanksgiving, I never cook turkey; I like to use cornish game hens (which I always brine). I find they're way easier to cook, and it's kind of cool serving everyone their own bird. They also cook reasonably quickly, so I don't need to spend hours tending to a huge turkey.

nalababe: have you ever tried making gravlax with arctic char? I've made it with char a few times and quite like it. But when I make it with char, I never use dill, just fennel fronds, as I find the dill a little overwhelming because char's a lot more delicate than salmon. When I make gravlax, I like to serve it in a martini glass w/ homemade sour cream sorbet, capers, chives, and of course, a little dark rye.

- Jie
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Initial_C wrote:
Sep 29th, 2008 11:32 pm
depending on how big your turkey is, you can get away with thawing your turkey in the refridgerator for 2-4 days.

One time, my turkey did not thaw fully in the fridge despite the fact, I had given it about 3 days time to thaw. I eventually had to eventually run some water in it to help let it thaw before I threw it into my brine.
Ma_Jie wrote:
Sep 29th, 2008 11:55 pm
Why buy a frozen turkey to begin with? Buy a nice, fresh one from a good butcher, brine it, and then cook it. At Thanksgiving, I never cook turkey; I like to use cornish game hens (which I always brine). I find they're way easier to cook, and it's kind of cool serving everyone their own bird. They also cook reasonably quickly, so I don't need to spend hours tending to a huge turkey.

- Jie
What is this "brine"ing you speak of - what does it do?
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First, let me say I'm shocked that you dob't know what a brine is. Nonetheless, it is a salt and sugar solution in which food is immersed in order to render it a more juicy, flavourful product when cooked. I principally brine pork, poultry, and some wild game (pheasant, for instance). My basic brine consists of the following:

1/2 cup kosher salt/L of water
1/2 cup sugar/L of water
3 fresh bay leaves

And, of course, you can add many other flavourings depending on what you brine: with pork, for example, I often add lemon zest, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, etc.

- Jie
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Initial_C wrote:
Sep 29th, 2008 11:32 pm
depending on how big your turkey is, you can get away with thawing your turkey in the refridgerator for 2-4 days.

One time, my turkey did not thaw fully in the fridge despite the fact, I had given it about 3 days time to thaw. I eventually had to eventually run some water in it to help let it thaw before I threw it into my brine.
It would have been fine to put the turkey into the brine while still frozen. The brine should be icy cold and the turkey would have thawed quickly.

Actually, you can take the turkey right from the freezer and start the thawing process in the brine.
That's my 2cents worth
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Aug 9, 2006
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Keelie wrote:
Sep 30th, 2008 2:30 pm
It would have been fine to put the turkey into the brine while still frozen. The brine should be icy cold and the turkey would have thawed quickly.

Actually, you can take the turkey right from the freezer and start the thawing process in the brine.
yeah. I figured that. but I didn't want the extra water from the ice to water down the brine (I didn't have that much time to brine) so I just let it thaw out before brining it.
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Ma_Jie wrote:
Sep 29th, 2008 11:55 pm
Why buy a frozen turkey to begin with? Buy a nice, fresh one from a good butcher, brine it, and then cook it. At Thanksgiving, I never cook turkey; I like to use cornish game hens (which I always brine). I find they're way easier to cook, and it's kind of cool serving everyone their own bird. They also cook reasonably quickly, so I don't need to spend hours tending to a huge turkey.

nalababe: have you ever tried making gravlax with arctic char? I've made it with char a few times and quite like it. But when I make it with char, I never use dill, just fennel fronds, as I find the dill a little overwhelming because char's a lot more delicate than salmon. When I make gravlax, I like to serve it in a martini glass w/ homemade sour cream sorbet, capers, chives, and of course, a little dark rye.

- Jie
I tend to use atlantic salmon as I prefer the fat and the thicker meat...just my preference. I have tried char and various other trout/salmon before. while I love the anise flavour of the fennel, I prefer dill here...and a little more pepper.

Serving it, I will make rosettes, rolled and stuffed with prawns, or served with Rye, capers, sour cream or creme fresh, etc...or chop like a coarse tartare (except its cured of course)....

I don't think that turkey is a great meat, I have found very few that are better than a from frozen butter ball (and that includes higher end restaurants). I am sure that I could make a better stuffing, but the crappy stuffing in a bag is like comfort food.

Since we normally have at least 2 or 3 dinners at Christmas or Thanksgiving, I will cook a turkey once and something else the other days, a leg of lamb or a roast duck..
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