Here's a cool (actually, downright frigid) tip to shave stress from your holiday menu plan.
You can cook your turkey when it's as frozen as Ferrysburg in February.
That's right — you don't have to waste your time thawing and worrying if you took the bird out of the freezer soon enough. And with this method, there's no salmonella and other dangerous bacteria lurking in the liquid as your turkey thaws.
I tested a tundra turkey on Thursday and am happy to report that all was swell.
The breast meat was totally moist and flavorful. Makes sense — the breast is surrounded by icy liquid for much of the cooking process, keeping it succulent and moist. The dark meat (my personal favorite) was tender, too.
Here's what you do:
Remove your frozen turkey from the wrapper and place it on a cookie rack on top of a cookie sheet. This allows hot air to circulate under the turkey for more even roasting.
Pop the bird into a 325-degree oven.
After 2-3 hours, put gloves on (the turkey will be hot) and remove the giblet bag. It should be thawed enough to remove without much effort at this point. Don't worry about the little plastic thingy that holds the legs together — it's oven safe. Brown the bird to your personal liking. I used a foil tent intermittently to control the process.
The USDA recommends adding 50 percent to the normal baking time when cooking from frozen. But each oven is different. A meat thermometer is your probing pal here. Ideal temp range is 160-170 for the breast and around 175-185 for legs and thighs. (My 11.1-pound bird was done in about five hours).
Use foil if needed to fine-tune the final stages.
After you pull the poultry from the oven, let it rest about 15 minutes. Slice, serve and savor. It really is that good!
Early birding for bargains
If you want to streamline your sunrise shopping next Friday, check out these free smartphone apps for Android and Apple.
TGI Black Friday lets you view store fliers, create a personalized shopping list, and share your best finds with your best friends on Facebook and Twitter.
With ShopSavvy, you can scan items and find the best deals at both online and brick-and-mortar stores. If you find a rock-bottom price, you can pull the trigger on the purchase with the click of a button.
Have some household hints or savings secrets of your own you'd like to share? We'd love to hear from you. E-mail your suggestions to Marie Havenga at firstname.lastname@example.org. Include your name, address and phone number. You may also snail-mail ideas to: Trib Tips, 101 N. Third St., Grand Haven, MI 49417; or call 616-847-2628.