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A Food Stylist Trick for Picture-Perfect Turkey

By Lan Lam Published

You’re five minutes away from a more beautiful bird.

Have you ever pulled a roast turkey from the oven and admired its gorgeously browned, smooth skin, only to watch the skin wrinkle before you had a chance to show the bronzed beauty off to your guests? The culprit is steam: As the turkey roasts, steam gathers beneath its skin, inflating it away from the meat. Then, as the bird rests, the steam condenses into water, allowing the skin to collapse and wrinkle.

Never fear: Food stylist Marie Piraino has an easy fix.

Simply let the roasted bird cool long enough for the skin to fully wrinkle—about 15 minutes—then pop it into a 450-degree oven for 5 minutes. Allow the turkey to rest for an additional 30 minutes before serving.

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The heat of the oven will soften the gelatin in the skin, causing it to shrink to fit the bird, so it once again looks beautiful and perfect. It will stay that way until you’re ready to carve, so take your time: Snap a few photos, and bask in compliments from your guests.  

(You can also apply this trick to chicken. It won’t need to rest any longer after its 5-minute stint in the oven; just carve and serve.)

COOLED 15 MINUTES
AFTER 5 MINUTES IN 450 ̊ OVEN

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JC
JOHN C.
16 days

Absolutely the best chicken ever, even the breast meat was moist! It's the only way I'll cook a whole chicken again. Simple, easy, quick, no mess - perfect every time. I've used both stainless steel and cast iron pans. great and easy technique for “roasted” chicken. I will say there were no pan juices, just fat in the skillet. Will add to the recipe rotation. Good for family and company dinners too. I've done this using a rimmed sheet pan instead of a skillet and put veggies and potatoes around the chicken for a one-pan meal. Broccoli gets nicely browned and yummy!

Absolutely the best chicken ever, even the breast meat was moist! It's the only way I'll cook a whole chicken again. Simple, easy, quick, no mess - perfect every time. I've used both stainless steel and cast iron pans. great and easy technique for “roasted” chicken. I will say there were no pan juices, just fat in the skillet. Will add to the recipe rotation. Good for family and company dinners too.

MD
MILES D.
JOHN C.
9 days

Amazed this recipe works out as well as it does. Would not have thought that the amount of time under the broiler would have produced a very juicy and favorable chicken with a very crispy crust. Used my 12" Lodge Cast Iron skillet (which can withstand 1000 degree temps to respond to those who wondered if it would work) and it turned out great. A "make again" as my family rates things. This is a great recipe, and I will definitely make it again. My butcher gladly butterflied the chicken for me, therefore I found it to be a fast and easy prep. I used my cast iron skillet- marvellous!

CM
CHARLES M.
11 days

John, wasn't it just amazing chicken? So much better than your typical oven baked chicken and on par if not better than gas or even charcoal grilled. It gets that smokey charcoal tasted and overnight koshering definitely helps, something I do when time permits. First-time I've pierced a whole chicken minus the times I make jerk chicken on the grill. Yup, the cast iron was not an issue.