Archived Story

Bird is the word: Talking turkey

Published 6:37pm Wednesday, November 21, 2012

If there was one piece of advice that Old Town Country Kitchen owner Dal Boyd would give on how to make the perfect turkey, it would be to start with a fresh one.
Oh, and don’t name it.
“Unless you want to call it ‘Thanksgiving dinner,’” Boyd said.
His family signed up for three free turkeys at the North Carolina Cooperative Extension and has raised them since June.
Boyd took one to the county fair through 4-H, will have one for Thanksgiving and is saving the last for Christmas.
“It just tastes a whole lot better and you know it has not been raised with any hormones because you’ve raised it,” he said. “We’ve already butchered it and it’s in the refrigerator.”
Chef Bert Williams of the Bank Bistro and Bar said brining was the next step.
“Brine the turkey before you roast or fry it,” he said.
Helen Keyes of Mom’s Grill has been making turkeys for years.
“Oh my goodness. I’m 60 years old now. So, that tells you,” she said.
Keyes stuffs her bird with onions and celery.
She likes to season it with season salt, celery salt and a little pepper. She rubs the skin with butter then generously adds the seasoning.
Keye also starts her turkey in a roasting bag that has been coated with flour.
“This will keep your turkey from sticking to the bag,” she explained.
She bakes it in a 350-degree oven, following package instructions (There are no fresh turkeys in Keyes’ kitchen).
Once a thermometer indicates the turkey is thoroughly cooked, Keyes pulls it out of the roasting bag and browns it in the oven for a few minutes.
“It will come out good if you cook it this way,” Keyes said. “And if you don’t get it right, bring it to me next time and I’ll take care of it.”

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