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Page Title: Preparation and Cooking of Poultry
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.  Frozen  chicken  and  turkey  giblets  are  available for  preparation  of  giblet  gravy.  Thaw  and  use  according to AFRS directions. Duck Frozen, whole roaster ducks weigh 3 to 5 pounds and require only thawing and washing before cooking. PREPARATION AND COOKING OF POULTRY Poultry  should  be  handled  with  strict  sanitary measures  during  both  cooking  and  preparation. Preparation Thaw frozen chicken, Rock Cornish hen, turkey, and duck before cooking. All poultry must be thawed at chill temperatures (36°F to 38°F). Never thaw in water. Thawed   poultry   should   never   be   refrozen. Refreezing  lowers  quality  and  promotes  bacterial growth. Use thawed poultry as soon as possible. Do not hold in refrigeration more than 24 hours. Longer holding lowers quality and risks spoilage. Whole  turkeys,  Rock  Cornish  hens,  ducks,  and chickens are wrapped in plastic bags. Remove whole poultry  from  the  shipping  containers,  but  leave  in  the plastic bag. To speed thawing, spread them out so that air can circulate. Cutup or quartered chickens should be thawed in the intermediate carton. If this carton has an overwrapping,  remove  it. Turkeys weighing more than 16 pounds require 3 to 4 days to thaw, at 36°F to 38°F. Turkeys weighing under 16 pounds require 2 to 3 days. Whole chickens and ducks require 18 to 24 hours and Rock Cornish hens need 12 to 18 hours. Clean all poultry after thawing by removing any spongy,  red  lung  tissue  inside  the  back,  loose membranes, pinfeathers, and skin defects. Wash poultry inside and out under cold, running water and drain. Refrigerate  until  needed. NOTE:  All  cutting  boards  used  for  preparing poultry  must  be  thoroughly  sanitized  after  each  use. Cooking Procedures  for  cooking  whole  turkeys,  Rock Cornish hens, chickens, and ducks are described in the AFRS. Poultry maybe cooked using either moist or dry heat.  These  methods  and  their  variations  are  explained as  follows. DRY HEAT METHODS.— Care should be taken to prevent the poultry skin from becoming too hard and dry while it is roasting. To prevent dryness, rub the skin of the chicken or turkey with salad oil or shortening. This is not necessary for duck because of its high fat content. If self-basting turkey is supplied, follow the package  instructions  for  cooking.  Place  the  poultry  in an open pan, breast side up, on a V-shaped rack if available. A low oven temperature (350°F) should be used  for  chicken  and  Rock  Cornish  hen.  Duck  and turkey are cooked at 325°F. If the bird starts browning too soon, aluminum foil may be placed over it to prevent overbrowning. The formation of a hard, dry crust can be prevented by occasionally  basting  the  bird  with  pan  drippings  during roasting. The Navy procures boneless, frozen, cooked, and uncooked  turkey  rolls.  These  rolls  consist  of  light  and dark meat. The instructions for preparing each type are included with the specific turkey roll and recipes in the AFRS. The boneless turkey roll is equal in quality and flavor to whole turkey, and it is easier and faster to prepare. It also permits accurate portion control, saves storage space, and eliminates waste. However, roast whole  turkeys  are  often  prepared  for  special  meals. As turkey is larger than most other poultry, it is more difficult   to   cook   to   the   well-done   stage   without overdoing it. Care should be taken to cook it no longer than necessary; overcooking will result in the loss of juices  and  stringy,  dry  meat.  The  use  of  a  meat thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the thigh muscle will give the internal temperature of the turkey. When  the  thermometer  registers  an  internal  temperature of 180°F to 185°F, the turkey has reached the required stage of doneness. The AFRS contains a timetable for roasting unstuffed turkeys. MOIST  HEAT  METHODS.—   In  moist  heat methods, the water should simmer rather than boil to avoid the toughening effect of high temperature on the fibers. Depending upon the cooking method used, temperatures   will   vary,   but   slow   to   moderate temperatures should be used at all times to develop maximum  flavor,  tenderness,  color,  and  juiciness. 6-12

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