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CULINARY SOS: THANKSGIVING

Roasting a whole bird cut into parts can save time

November 20, 2002

Dear SOS: How do I roast a 12- to 15-pound turkey that has been cut into parts (breast, thighs and drumsticks)?

Natalie Riezman

Marina del Rey

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Dear Natalie: Keep in mind that the parts will cook at different times; they can't be pulled out of the oven at the same time. The drumsticks and thighs, because of their connective tissue, will take longer to cook. It might be best to roast them in one pan and the breast in another. Still, you won't have to fuss over the oven as long; the parts will cook more quickly than a whole bird.

Use a meat thermometer to assure doneness. Season the breast, thighs and drumsticks as you would the whole bird. Place the breast in a shallow roasting pan, so it will cook evenly, and roast at 325 degrees until the meat thermometer reaches 165 to 170 degrees. You might want to add one-half cup of water to the pan to make cleanup easier. Roast the drumsticks and thighs, meanwhile, until they reach a temperature of 170 to 175 degrees.

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