[NOTE: This is a repeat of an old post, with a bit added that's new.]
The big day is tomorrow. As usual, there are many pointers on how best to cook that bird.
I have a simple method: it almost doesn’t matter what you do, just get a good turkey and the rest will follow. A bird will be dry or moist, tasty or bland, depending on its nature more than on the cooking method you use.
Within reason, of course. The principle holds true as long as you cook it according to any of the generally accepted, tried and true methods. I’ve used somewhat lower longer heat and somewhat higher shorter heat, basted it more and basted it less, covered it with cheesecloth or not, and haven’t noticed any patterns—except that, since you douse it in gravy and cranberry sauce anyway before you eat it, even a piece of bland dry turkey meat ends up tasting pretty good in the end.
The whole point is really the rest of the food anyway, isn’t it? I’m a sweet-potato-sans-marshmallow gal, as well as a proponent of the pumpkin-pie-can-be-easily-dispensed-with school. Pecan pie, on the other hand, is a must-have, despite the fact that it packs in about 1,000 calories a bite.
Thanksgiving has always been one of my favorite holidays, although not the traveling. Why do I like it so much? Well, unlike Christmas, the season doesn’t seem to start too early and drag on forever. There are no gifts involved, so the focus is on the day itself. The concept—giving thanks for what we have—is a good one, and at least theoretically embraceable by all. And the food is fabulous.