Even the best of us can play our cards right and still wind up with a turkey that's moist in some places and dry in others. This one simple tip from the folks at CHOW can yield rich, juicy white meat without sacrificing delicious, crispy skin.
When you've finished seasoning the bird and you're about to put it in the oven, flip it over in your roasting rack and let it cook breast-side down for a half-hour to 45 minutes. Then you can flip it over and cook it normally, basting and brushing the way you normally would. CHOW.com's Roxanne Webber explains that doing this lets the skin firm up while the bird is upside down, trapping in the delicious moisture around the white meat that would have drained down and out of the turkey if it had been right side up.
It's worth a try, especially if you've cooked a turkey before and for some reason it's still turned out dry. She also notes that if you don't give your turkey enough time to thaw?as in several days, normally?ice crystals in the meat will melt and steam the turkey from the inside, drying it out no matter what you do.
Since it's a little late to suggest taking it out to thaw early, we suggest that if you've been waiting until the last minute to thaw, take the turkey out now and put it in a large pot or cooler full of cold water (don't use hot water!) Change the cold water every half-hour or so until the bird is thawed all the way through and ready to go in the oven. Our friends at Food52 say it should take about 30 minutes per pound, and if all else fails you can cut your cooking time in half by spatchcocking your bird. Watch the video above or hit the link below for more turkey-preparation tips.
How to Make a Moist Thanksgiving Turkey with Roxanne Webber | CHOW