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23 November 2017

The trouble with turkey is it's two meats in one: the white meat and the dark meat. That's a problem because the white meat is cooked before the dark meat is done. If you cook the turkey long enough for the dark meat to be cooked, the white meat will be dry.

Alice's Turkey. Good breeding, brining and monitoring.

There are innumerable remedies for this problem. A short list would include cooking the turkey on its back to start and then turning it over, tenting the bird in foil or cooking it in a paper bag.

The goal is to get the white meat to 165°F and the dark meat to 175-185°F. But the white meat starts to dry out around 145° and you can't serve the dark meat until its 165°.

And, of course, the bird keeps cooking after you take it out of the oven. So you want to take it out of the oven before it hits 165°, which is the lowest temperature at which it can be considered safely cooked, according to the USDA. And let it rest 20 minutes before carving.

It's no small feat to get that turkey to the table. But it's one more reason to be thankful today.

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