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Thanksgiving Turkey

Asked by gel. Answered on 19th November 2012

Full question

With Nigella's Spiced and Superjuicy Roast Turkey recipe can the brined bird be cooked in a roasting bag to keep the juices surrounding the bird?

Our answer

Thanksgiving is on Thursday 22nd November 2012.

Both brining and cooking in a roasting bag are ways of making sure that a roasted bird retains moisture during cooking. This is particularly important with turkeys as their larger size means the cooking times can be on the longer side. However we would suggest sticking with one or the other method, you don't really need to do both.

It is also worth mentioning that brine solutions contain salt so the juices from a brined and roasted turkey can sometimes be a little too salty for use in a gravy. Consequently you don't necessarily want to save them in a roasting bag. If you have brined your turkey and would like to use the pan drippings then deglaze the roasting pan first with water and taste this before using it in your gravy, to check the salt levels. You shouldn't brine Kosher turkeys or self-basting turkeys as these have already been brined.

Roasting bags trap any moisture coming from the turkey and create a steamy environment for the bird to cook in. Sometimes this means that you can cook the turkey at a higher oven temperture for a shorter period of time. However you should check the specific instructions that come with your roasting bag.

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