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Chef Daniel Traster shows us how to prepare a turkey for roasting.
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I’m Daniel Traster and I’m showing you how to roast a turkey. Right now, we’re going over the preparation of the turkey before it goes into the oven. First, we’re going to wash our hands, I’ve already done so. But once your hands are washed, we go ahead and cut open the turkey. It does not hurt to do this over the sink if you have a package that contains a lot of liquid. Alternatively, just make sure that you cut through the wrapping and leave it so that it doesn't have a place to leak out the bottom. And then, you can lift your turkey completely up. Very often, you’ll notice that the legs will be placed inside a flap of skin to keep them contained. You can remove those and inside you will find a giblet bag, just remove that. You can take the giblets out if you wish and place them in the bottom of your roasting pan. They’ll help to give some nice flavor to your gravy, should you make a pan gravy later. We’ll go ahead and lift the turkey out from it's packaging now. Again, there may be some liquid here so I’m going to just drain that out into the packaging and we’ll remove this so that we are working on a nice clean cutting board. Next, you’ll want to season your turkey and you can do it any number of ways. A lot of times, people will take the turkey and place some seasoning underneath the skin so that it's directly against the meat. Others like to place their seasoning on top and other people will sometimes stuff the cavity with flavors. I’m going to go very simple and basic here with the mixture of salt and pepper, sprinkle it on top of the skin and all around the turkey as well as throw some inside and we can just for good measure put a little bit underneath the skin of the breast meat and rub it in to help flavor some of that meat. We'll replace the skin up top and I like to just tuck the wings underneath the breast and back to pin them down and now our turkey is ready to go into our roasting pan. If you do choose to stuff your turkey with a traditional turkey dressing, you’ll want to keep your wet and dry ingredients separate until just before stuffing them. Then combine them and place them loosely in the cavity of the turkey. Otherwise, it won't cook so evenly because it doesn’t expand during the cooking process. Alternatively, for those of you who like stuffing but prefer to do it outside of turkey, place it in a separate container and roast it alongside the turkey, it comes out just as well. In our next segment, I’m going to show you the open-pan roasting method.