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7 Ways to Roast a Better Bird

 Joe Beef chef and co-owner Frédéric Morin talks turkey.

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Buying

Fresh is best. Go to your butcher, choose the smallest turkey size for your party and ask him or her to chop up the neck and wing tips to make your jus. Pick up some ground pork or sausage meat for your stuffing while you’re there.

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Brining

You can’t brine a whole turkey unless you have a big bucket and a restaurant-size refrigerator. Instead, home cooks can rub the beast with kosher salt and leave uncovered in the fridge a day or two.

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Roasting

Use a roasting pan that’s slightly larger than your bird so you can place veggies all around and have enough room to baste properly.

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Resting

Leave to rest about as long as it takes to eat the first course (around 30 minutes). Resting allows the interior of the turkey to continue cooking, the temperatures to become even, the juices to redistribute and the skin to stick to the flesh. If the bird is large, you can leave it uncovered; if it’s small, cover loosely with foil.

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Basting

Do it every 20 to 30 minutes–or every time you need to refill your wine glass. Add water if your pan is dry, and use a bent spoon to baste to avoid burning your hands.

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Serving

Break out the vintage dishes–a nice oval one is ideal for a turkey. Don’t crowd the dish with accoutrements like stuffing or side dishes–they’ll hinder your ability to carve.

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Carving

With a sharp knife and in fine slices is the only way to do it.