Thursday, November 27, 2014

Easiest Moist Turkey Crispy Skin Recipe - Salt Rub and Baking Powder Turkey

Easiest Moist Turkey Crispy Skin Recipe - Salt Rub and Baking Powder Turkey 1

This year, with both siblings out of town, I only had eight guests so I decided to splurge and bought a freshly slaughtered turkey from Chinese American Live Poultry - Rosemead, where my family buys fresh chickens for Hainanese chicken rice. The shop ordered 350 turkeys this year, which came in the Monday before Thanksgiving. By the time I made it to the store on Tuesday afternoon, nearly half the turkeys had been processed and sold. I grabbed the last one of the day. A 20-lber for $50! The most I've ever spent on a turkey so it better be good!

I've made my usual Salt Rub and Butter Turkey every Thanksgiving since 2007. (Well, with the exception of Thanksgiving 2008 when I ordered from the Chinese barbecue place, only for the family to be up in arms because my homemade turkey is much better. I haven't repeated that mistake.) Sometimes I add spices into the turkey salt rub, but otherwise I stick with what's tried and true.

Then this Thanksgiving, while skimming this Serious Eats post about brining, there was mention of adding baking powder to the salt rub for crispier skin. Can my already awesome turkey get even better?!


I omitted the butter from the recipe since the baking powder would take care of the crispy skin, and just stuck with salt and baking powder. The result was a moist, delicious turkey with crispy skin that remained so well into Thanksgiving dinner. The skin was so crispy that my family thought the turkey was deep-fried. So the salt rub and baking powder method will result in deep-fried turkey flavor and crispness, minus the many gallons of hot oil. Also, since I omitted the butter, it was easier to skin the fat when making Homemade Turkey Gravy. Win! Win!

As for fresh turkey vs. frozen and defrosted turkey, I think the salt rub method makes any turkey taste good. I did think the fresh turkey meat was firmer, since it wasn't bogged down with water from being frozen. My youngest aunt's husband loved it and said he could taste the difference. I gave a plate to my neighbor, who raved about the juicy meat and crisp skin. I made a few turkey dinner plates to freeze for lil' sis and the older '88. My aunts took some home. And by the end of the evening, except for a few bitty pieces I pulled from the carcass, there was literally nothing left of the 20-lb turkey except for the bones.

No leftover turkey recipes this year, which can be a good or bad thing depending on how much you like turkey.

Easiest Moist Turkey Crispy Skin Recipe - Salt Rub and Baking Powder Turkey 2

Easiest Moist Turkey Crispy Skin Recipe - Salt Rub and Baking Powder Turkey

For a 20-lb turkey, you'll need:
4 tblsps salt
4 tsps baking powder

If you're starting with a frozen turkey, purchase it at least 2 to 3 days before you intend to cook it so that it has time to defrost in the refrigerator.

The night before you intend to cook it, wash the turkey thoroughly inside and out and let drain on a colander. Measure out 1 tblsp of salt per 5 pounds of turkey and 1 tsp baking powder per tblsp of salt used. So for a 20-lb turkey, measure out 4 tblsps of salt and 4 tsps baking powder. Mix the salt and baking powder together and thoroughly massage the mixture all over the outside and inside of the turkey, making sure to concentrate on the breast where most of the meat is located.

Place the turkey breast-side up in a shallow bowl or pan and cover with plastic wrap and set aside in the fridge.

About 4 hours before you intend to serve the turkey, take it out of the fridge, drain, and brush off any excess salt or baking powder. Don't worry about some remaining powdery residue as it'll clear up once the turkey starts cooking. Turn your oven to 425 degrees to pre-heat.

Place your turkey in a roasting rack or shallow pan, and cook breast-side down for about 45 minutes to 1 hour, whenever you see the bird looking very golden. Flip it over so the breast side is up, and cook at 350 degrees for another 2 1/2 to 3 hours until done.

Take the turkey out of the oven and let it rest at room temperature for at least 15 minutes to redistribute the juices before carving.

Look at that golden crispy turkey!

Easiest Moist Turkey Crispy Skin Recipe - Salt Rub and Baking Powder Turkey 3

I couldn't resist sneaking a few pieces of the skin by the neck to see if it was as tasty as it looked.

Easiest Moist Turkey Crispy Skin Recipe - Salt Rub and Baking Powder Turkey 4

Looks deep-fried crispy doesn't it?

Easiest Moist Turkey Crispy Skin Recipe - Salt Rub and Baking Powder Turkey 5

Wanna get even closer?

Easiest Moist Turkey Crispy Skin Recipe - Salt Rub and Baking Powder Turkey 6

I made mashed potatoes, gravy, and Sauteed Cabbage with Honey Sriracha.

Easiest Moist Turkey Crispy Skin Recipe - Salt Rub and Baking Powder Turkey 7

The middle '87 made green bean casserole and Stove Top stuffing.

Happy Thanksgiving 1

My youngest aunt brought banh hoi (Vietnamese steamed vermicelli noodle sheets).

Happy Thanksgiving 2

Since there were only nine of us, it was a pretty small and basic menu.

Happy Thanksgiving 3

The middle '87 requested Okinawan Purple Sweet Potato Pie, which I first made for Thanksgiving 2012.

Happy Thanksgiving 4

And I made some "Russian" Tea for drinks.

Happy Thanksgiving 5

Small menu wasn't a bad thing. Got the turkey and basic side dishes and that's all that matters to me.

Happy Thanksgiving 6

I sent my cousin home with the rest of the Okinawan purple sweet potato pie, minus one slice so I could photograph it during daylight. The purple is much prettier in person than in photos.

Happy Thanksgiving 7

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

New recipes served this Thanksgiving:
Easiest Moist Turkey Crispy Skin Recipe - Salt Rub and Baking Powder Turkey

*****
1 year ago today, Mimosa LA Nursery - East Los Angeles.
2 years ago today, Candied Okinawan Purple Sweet Potatoes with Marshmallow Topping.
3 years ago today, English Cottage Pie with Ground Beef and Mushrooms.
4 years ago today, Turkey Liver Pate with Bacon and Capers.
5 years ago today, Ask Wandering Chopsticks 3.
6 years ago today, traditional Thanksgiving dinner with an Asian fusion twist.
7 years ago today, I Ate What? 2006 Eating Out Roundup.
8 years ago today, Shin-Sen-Gumi Hakata Ramen - Rosemead.

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