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  #1  
Old 11-20-2012, 12:42 PM
DCnDC DCnDC is online now
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Mayonnaise-covered turkey

Yesterday at work my GF overheard a conversation during lunch regarding roasting a turkey, and one of her coworkers, a woman originally from Georgia and very southern, was explaining her method of covering the turkey in 1/2 inch of mayonnaise before roasting. Everybody was aghast, but the woman was quite surprised and stated that she thought everyone did this.

At first it sounds repellant, but given some thought I guess it's not really much different than covering it in butter; it's all just fat.

Has anyone here ever heard of this? Ever done it? How does it come out?
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  #2  
Old 11-20-2012, 12:46 PM
pulykamell pulykamell is online now
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Never heard of it. I assume it would make the skin crisp up better?
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  #3  
Old 11-20-2012, 12:48 PM
Sally Mander Sally Mander is offline
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I was thinking the opposite of pulykamell. A thin coating of butter or canola oil will help the skin get brown and crispy. A half inch of mayo? I don't see how that would help. It seems like it (the mayo) would just get scorched and gross.

Last edited by Sally Mander; 11-20-2012 at 12:49 PM.. Reason: clarify something
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  #4  
Old 11-20-2012, 12:50 PM
Labrador Deceiver Labrador Deceiver is offline
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Heard of it, never done it. It's similar to basting grilled chicken with white BBQ sauce, but obviously not as thin. The idea is that people who like to baste their bird don't have to keep opening the oven door. It's just like smearing butter all over it, but really doesn't do much for the meat itself. Pretty bird, though.
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  #5  
Old 11-20-2012, 12:51 PM
Labrador Deceiver Labrador Deceiver is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sally Mander View Post
I was thinking the opposite of pulykamell. A thin coating of butter or canola oil will help the skin get brown and crispy. A half inch of mayo? I don't see how that would help. It seems like it (the mayo) would just get scorched and gross.
No, it basically melts. It browns the bird very nicely, I'm told.
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  #6  
Old 11-20-2012, 12:58 PM
gaffa gaffa is offline
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Mayo is just an emulsion of eggs and oil. I routinely make salmon coated with mayp and lemon pepper, and it works well.

Found this recipe. Good looking bird.

Not willing to waste a turkey on it, but it might we worth experimenting with a chicken.
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  #7  
Old 11-20-2012, 01:03 PM
Vita Beata Vita Beata is offline
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I printed out the recipe from Gaffa's post. This looks beautiful! Thank you.
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  #8  
Old 11-20-2012, 01:03 PM
OtisCampbellWasRight OtisCampbellWasRight is offline
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Doesn't need to be 1/2 inch thick, just a generous coating. Mayo is not only fat (egg yokes and some kind of oil) but also has a lot of salt (sodium), all of these things promote a nice crust. The hot setup is to use the mayo as a vehicle to evenly dispense other flavors. You can mix pepper and all manner of herbs into the mayo prior to slathering the bird. I like tarragon and chervil. After the initial roast, you still want to cover (shield) the breast with aluminum foil to avoid overcooking of the white meat.

Damn, now I'm hungry.
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  #9  
Old 11-20-2012, 01:37 PM
Sally Mander Sally Mander is offline
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Originally Posted by Labrador Deceiver View Post
No, it basically melts. It browns the bird very nicely, I'm told.
Hmm, I was grossed out at first, but now I'm a little intrigued.
As gaffa says:
Quote:
Originally Posted by gaffa View Post
Not willing to waste a turkey on it, but it might we worth experimenting with a chicken.
I have some chicken thighs in the freezer. I think I'll try it when I thaw it.
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  #10  
Old 11-20-2012, 01:46 PM
lieu lieu is online now
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When I liven in Alaska a buddy was a fishing guide on the Kenai out of Soldatna. He brought home a big halibut from Homer and that's how he fixed it for us, laid flat, covered with mayonaise and baked in the oven. It kept it moist and didn't overwhelm the natural flavor. Delish!
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  #11  
Old 11-20-2012, 01:51 PM
Irishman Irishman is offline
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Originally Posted by DCnDC View Post
At first it sounds repellant, but given some thought I guess it's not really much different than covering it in butter; it's all just fat.
I had a similar reaction to a commercial for Duke's Mayonnaise. They recommended using it in your cake mix to make it moist. At first I was appalled - mayonnaise in cake mix? Then I realized it is just eggs and oil.
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  #12  
Old 11-20-2012, 01:54 PM
pulykamell pulykamell is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Irishman View Post
I had a similar reaction to a commercial for Duke's Mayonnaise. They recommended using it in your cake mix to make it moist. At first I was appalled - mayonnaise in cake mix? Then I realized it is just eggs and oil.
Well, vinegar and/or lemon juice, too. Sometimes some kind of mustard, but usually not in the mass-market ones. But I guess there's not enough vinegar and other seasonings to make it taste "off" in a cake. I've had those mayo cakes, and I wouldn't have known had I not been told.
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  #13  
Old 11-20-2012, 02:02 PM
Inner Stickler Inner Stickler is offline
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I have a recipe for chocolate mayo cake. It doesn't taste anything like mayo and you can leave it uncovered for days and it won't dry out.
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  #14  
Old 11-20-2012, 02:04 PM
gaffa gaffa is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sally Mander View Post
Hmm, I was grossed out at first, but now I'm a little intrigued.
Many things in life are like that.

The advantage I see is that the emulsion will hold the spices in place as it cooks, as opposed to the liquid of a typical basting which slides off and causes you to keep opening the oven. I'd probably make a special batch of mayo for this project with a higher percentage of olive oil than the 1/8th olive oil 7/8th vegetable oil mixture I usually use.

Good time to share my mayo making technique:

3 eggs. You'll use two yolks and one whole egg. Older eggs work better than fresher to make thick mayo.

2 cups of oil. As mentioned above, I usually use 1/4 cup olive oil and 1 3/4 cups vegetable oil.

1 tablespoon yellow mustard

5 tablespoons lemon juice

Pinch salt

Pour about 1/4 cup of the oil mixture into the blender. This is to coat the blender blades, protect the eggs and start the emulsion. Add the two egg yolks and one whole egg, lemon juice, mustard and salt. Blend on high speed for a minute with the lid on the blender. Then, open the small port on top of the blender and start slowly adding the rest of the oil. At some point, the mayo will thicken so much that it won't blend well and a pocket will form around the blades. Stop the blender and stir with a spatula, scraping the sides. Re-start and continue until all the oil is blended in.

I can't remember where my wife and I discovered this technique, but it works perfectly. I've never had the emulsion break or fail. I started doing this because I love mayo, but don't want all the sugar that American mayos are loaded with

Last edited by gaffa; 11-20-2012 at 02:05 PM..
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  #15  
Old 11-20-2012, 02:06 PM
Alice The Goon Alice The Goon is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gaffa View Post
Mayo is just an emulsion of eggs and oil. I routinely make salmon coated with mayp and lemon pepper, and it works well.

Found this recipe. Good looking bird.

Not willing to waste a turkey on it, but it might we worth experimenting with a chicken.

I'm going elsewhere for Thursday, but still making my own turkey this weekend, and I am so making this. It looks delicious.
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  #16  
Old 11-20-2012, 02:47 PM
picker picker is offline
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I do it every year. It's wonderful. 1/2" seems a bit much though...

First I season the bird with a blend of kosher salt, fresh cracked black pepper and smaller amounts of marjoram, crushed sage and basil.

I drape a single ply of cheesecloth over the main body and meatiness of the drumsticks, then basically rub the whole thing down with mayo so it sticks to the bird. Just enough that you can still see the weave of the cheesecloth, but it should be well-adhered all around. Then another sprinkle of the seasoning blend I mentioned above.

The bird itself is on a rack in the pan, and I put 2-3 cups of water in the bottom. I start basting regularly about every 30-45 minutes and try to saturate the cloth all over.


The cloth is the secret, in my experience. It ensures that all the bird receives an even coating, and causes the seasoning to stay in place nicely. And most importantly, as you baste it holds moisture for quite a while longer, rather than running off the skin as it crisps. I remove the cloth when the bird hits around 170 or 175 in the deep breast, usually about 75 minutes before it's done proper.

Surprisingly, the cloth peels off quite easily (as long as you're not cooking too hot) and leaves a beautiful golden brown bird. I follow the Joy of Cooking times and temps per pound religiously.
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  #17  
Old 11-20-2012, 02:54 PM
Earl Snake-Hips Tucker Earl Snake-Hips Tucker is offline
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I have to think hard about anything that doesn't improve with the addition of mayo.
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  #18  
Old 11-20-2012, 03:03 PM
DCnDC DCnDC is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Earl Snake-Hips Tucker View Post
I have to think hard about anything that doesn't improve with the addition of mayo.
Popsicles.
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  #19  
Old 11-20-2012, 03:30 PM
~Olive~ ~Olive~ is offline
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I was reading this thread and said to my mother "can you believe people put mayo on their turkey"

She said
"I do"

I guess that's what I will be having on Thursday.
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  #20  
Old 11-20-2012, 03:58 PM
Skammer Skammer is offline
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How do the flavors added to the mayo penetrate the skin of the bird? I've always heard that basting, etc just flavors the skin, and not the meat, which is why brining is so popular.

I was going to brine our turkey, but my wife bought one of those that contains "up to 8% solution" blah blah blah and now I'm afraid that brine will over-salt it.
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  #21  
Old 11-20-2012, 04:06 PM
TruCelt TruCelt is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DCnDC View Post
Popsicles.
Ew.

Most southern cooks also use mayo to coat baking pans. First mayo then flour.
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  #22  
Old 11-20-2012, 04:18 PM
Labrador Deceiver Labrador Deceiver is offline
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"Most" of them? I seriously doubt it.
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  #23  
Old 11-20-2012, 04:34 PM
Chefguy Chefguy is offline
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What sort of drippings does one get with a mayo coating on the bird? The one thing I don't want to do is to fuck up my gravy makings.

Hey, lieu: My mother used to make halibut like that all the time. People raved about it.
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  #24  
Old 11-20-2012, 04:44 PM
WhyNot WhyNot is offline
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There's a classic, and tasty, recipe for "Parmesan Crusted Chicken" from Hellmann's Mayonnaise. (They have another label in the south, I believe, but we Yankees use Hellmann's or homemade.)

It's just mayo (low-fat Hellmann's works fine, but I don't use any other brand's low-fat version) mixed with some grated or shredded Parmesan cheese that you smear fairly thickly on the top of the boneless skinless chicken breasts and then sprinkle with some seasoned dry bread crumbs before baking. I've always been dubious of "seals in moisture" claims, but I will admit it's the most tender juicy boneless skinless chicken breast recipe I've ever found.

I could see it working quite well with a turkey, but I haven't tried it.
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  #25  
Old 11-20-2012, 04:49 PM
picker picker is offline
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Skammer: I don't know how it works. It just does. My guess is that there's enough places for the goodness to seep in and the cloth distributes it evenly (in my version, anyway). And there's certainly the chance that it's more effectively trapping the moisture that's already inside by crisping up the skin sooner due to the oils. But to be sure, I will slide a little seasoned mayo up in the flaps of skin if occurs to me. Either way, it's juicy as can be.

Chefguy:

The drippings are pretty much the same as with any other method. Of course, I usually throw the giblets and neck in the pan as well, so there's plenty of non-mayo juiciness going on too. If anything, it's a little more savory than normal.

Once I pull the liquid, I just whisk in some flour - no need to make a roux as the fats are already in the liquid.
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  #26  
Old 11-20-2012, 05:12 PM
adhemar adhemar is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pulykamell View Post
Well, vinegar and/or lemon juice, too. Sometimes some kind of mustard, but usually not in the mass-market ones. But I guess there's not enough vinegar and other seasonings to make it taste "off" in a cake. I've had those mayo cakes, and I wouldn't have known had I not been told.
I can taste the mayo in the cakes I have had made with mayonnaise.
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  #27  
Old 11-20-2012, 06:29 PM
gaffa gaffa is offline
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Originally Posted by adhemar View Post
I can taste the mayo in the cakes I have had made with mayonnaise.
I would suggest that you make your own mayo using the recipe I posted earlier in this thread. Leave out the mustard if you wish, and all you'll have is the flavor of eggs, oil, lemon juice and a tiny amount of salt. Or leave the mustard in...just get rid of the stabilizers and preservatives that are in jarred mayo.

I just made some mayo using this recipe and it turned out perfectly. Realistically, mayo is more about "mouth feel" and egg flavor than anything else. And it does so many wonderful things as a cooking tool.

Last edited by gaffa; 11-20-2012 at 06:31 PM..
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  #28  
Old 11-20-2012, 07:06 PM
Zsofia Zsofia is offline
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Originally Posted by TruCelt View Post
Ew.

Most southern cooks also use mayo to coat baking pans. First mayo then flour.
I sincerely believe somebody has been putting you on.

-Zsofia, so southern she can see the hospital she was born through the windows of her workplace.
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  #29  
Old 11-20-2012, 07:30 PM
CarnalK CarnalK is offline
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Originally Posted by gaffa View Post
Mayo is just an emulsion of eggs and oil. I routinely make salmon coated with mayp and lemon pepper, and it works well.

Found this recipe. Good looking bird.

Not willing to waste a turkey on it, but it might we worth experimenting with a chicken.
When I did it with mayo and Parmesan (with fish as well) it formed a crust* - it didn't just melt away as suggested above. I guess the extra juices running out of a turkey might take it away.



*It was quite good actually.
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  #30  
Old 11-20-2012, 07:31 PM
Labrador Deceiver Labrador Deceiver is offline
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That's because you mixed cheese in with it.
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  #31  
Old 11-20-2012, 07:42 PM
CarnalK CarnalK is offline
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Yeah, but it was MOSTLY mayo and I noticed almost no running off. I guess it could still change the whole reaction. I wonder what would happen if you didn't use such a dry cheese.
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  #32  
Old 11-20-2012, 07:44 PM
Labrador Deceiver Labrador Deceiver is offline
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You might be right. I'll try it with plain mayo next time I roast a chicken.
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  #33  
Old 11-21-2012, 12:36 AM
Sodalite Sodalite is offline
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Originally Posted by Irishman View Post
I had a similar reaction to a commercial for Duke's Mayonnaise. They recommended using it in your cake mix to make it moist. At first I was appalled - mayonnaise in cake mix? Then I realized it is just eggs and oil.
I take it you've never had a sauerkraut chocolate cake then? Sounds gross but it's just sort of tangy compared to regular chocolate.

I saw a recipe for a whole skinless baked chicken that used lite mayo to adhere a crust of ground Frito's corn chips, parmesan cheese and spices. Supposedly, the mayo takes the place of the skin and keeps it moist. I don't know what else it was meant to accomplish. It sounds just as fatty and greasy as a bird with skin but I don't know crap about these things.
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  #34  
Old 11-21-2012, 10:12 AM
TruCelt TruCelt is offline
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OK, I'll re-state. ALL the cooks in my Mother's South Georgia home town used mayo to coat their baking pans instead of oil or shortening. Mayo, then flour, for all baking. We did a lot of baking down there, and I've never seen anyone use anything else.
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  #35  
Old 11-21-2012, 11:06 AM
Av8trix Av8trix is offline
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I sometimes use mayo with shake n bake.. after the chicken is cut up, put it in a bowl with half a tbs or so of mayo, just enough to moisten it. Then do the shake n bake thing. Makes the crumbs stick better, and the breasts don't dry near as much. Never thought of using that on a turkey but I see how it could work.
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  #36  
Old 11-21-2012, 02:09 PM
Irishman Irishman is offline
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Originally Posted by Sodalite View Post
I take it you've never had a sauerkraut chocolate cake then? Sounds gross but it's just sort of tangy compared to regular chocolate.
Sauerkraut in cake? I'm gagging. It also has coconut. Gag. I'd rather eat lint.

Seriously, I can't stand nuts in cake or brownies or whatever. (I've found a way to tolerate them to a degree in sweet potatoes, but honestly I don't want them there.) I like pecans and walnuts, but not in things. But coconut tastes like ass.

The idea of putting sauerkraut in cake makes me want to shoot someone. And I don't even own a gun.

And who the hell wants tangy cake?
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  #37  
Old 11-21-2012, 02:23 PM
sparky! sparky! is offline
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Mmmm... sweet and sour. Yum!
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  #38  
Old 11-21-2012, 02:53 PM
Alice The Goon Alice The Goon is offline
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I want tangy cake.
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  #39  
Old 11-24-2012, 10:09 AM
gaffa gaffa is offline
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Anyone use this technique for their Thanksgiving bird?
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  #40  
Old 11-24-2012, 10:16 AM
moejoe moejoe is offline
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I did, and it wasn't great. Luckily we're having our big family meal somewhere else on Sunday so I was just making leftovers in advance. I did half of a turkey breast and it took forever to cook, plus the taste was nothing special. I've done birds with just oil, salt, and pepper that were more flavorful. Live and learn.
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  #41  
Old 11-24-2012, 05:43 PM
gaffa gaffa is offline
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Originally Posted by moejoe View Post
I did, and it wasn't great. Luckily we're having our big family meal somewhere else on Sunday so I was just making leftovers in advance. I did half of a turkey breast and it took forever to cook, plus the taste was nothing special. I've done birds with just oil, salt, and pepper that were more flavorful. Live and learn.
I was thinking of the mayo as a suspension for spices. It's not a strong flavor, but it would presumably serve as a way to get an even coating all over the bird.
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  #42  
Old 11-24-2012, 07:42 PM
moejoe moejoe is offline
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I was thinking of the mayo as a suspension for spices. It's not a strong flavor, but it would presumably serve as a way to get an even coating all over the bird.
Yes, that's what I thought as well. The meat was moist and the spices stayed put, but I never had a problem with either of those things in the past. The skin wasn't crispy though, it was soft and the fat underneath was kind of blobby instead of cooking off and crisping up. Also not a lot of drippings in the pan and the meat seemed to kind of shrink up on the bone, very strange. I made a nice roast chicken yesterday to have with the leftover side dishes.
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  #43  
Old 11-25-2012, 08:01 PM
phall0106 phall0106 is offline
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Originally Posted by moejoe View Post
I did, and it wasn't great. Luckily we're having our big family meal somewhere else on Sunday so I was just making leftovers in advance. I did half of a turkey breast and it took forever to cook, plus the taste was nothing special. I've done birds with just oil, salt, and pepper that were more flavorful. Live and learn.
Ditto. After reading (parts of) this thread, I did the whole mayo coated turkey thing yesterday. Wasn't that impressed. It wasn't bad, it just wasn't "OMG, THIS IS FANTASTIC TURKEY!" Next time I do a turkey, I'll stick to the butter, salt and pepper that I usually rub on it.
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