Monday, March 02, 2009

A Turkey Sandwich

What is worse, a slice of breast meat from a dried out roast turkey, or a slice from a rubberized and chemically addled pre-cooked turkey breast? Have the secrets of cooking a turkey breast fit for a sandwich been utterly forgotten? It 's starting to look like it.

The old hotel cooks knew to steam the turkeys using old time screw-down-the-doors pressure steamers. One hour at 5 lb. pressure would do a large tom turkey perfectly.The breast meat would slice perfectly, whether for turkey dinners or for club sandwiches and the like.

Whole turkey breasts are small enough to be steamed on the
stove top using a 7 or 8 quart stewpot. Put the turkey and 2 inches of water in the bottom, bring it to a boil, but not a mad boil, cover the pot with a heavy lid. It should take about an hour to cook the turkey breast to 165 degrees at its thickest point. Check it with a stemmed temperature probe if you have one.

If you want to cook a whole turkey, a Nesco or other brand of so-called turkey roaster is the ticket. Put 2 inches of water in the bottom, turn the thermostat to 250 degrees, put the turkey in when the water starts to boil, cover and cook to desired doneness. This method sacrifices the skin to flabbiness, but the meat can be perfect. A larger Nesco can handle a whole tom turkey or a couple of full turkey breasts. Remember, this is easy.

From the pen of our chef, Joe Lagodney

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