BUSO performs Shostakovich and Beethoven at Symphony Hall on November 20,
8 p.m.

Vol. IV No. 14   ·   17 November 2000   

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The word on the bird

Noel Cullen, national president of the American Culinary Federation and associate professor at MET’s School of Hospitality Administration, believes there’s no stronger correlation between food and celebration in the United States than that of Thanksgiving and its traditional turkey. He offers the following turkey tips for a safe and tasty holiday meal.

  Professor Noel Cullen has accumulated more than 45 major international awards for his culinary art, including seven Olympic gold medals. He teaches culinary arts, food and beverage management, and human resources management at SHA and may be the only chef in the world to have both a doctoral degree and certified master chef status.

• Fresh turkey is very perishable. Use the turkey within two days of purchase or freeze immediately. Refrigerating a fresh turkey does not kill off organisms that cause food spoilage; it only slows their growth. If the turkey is packaged, there shouldn’t be any accumulated liquid in the tray or bag.

• Bacteria on raw turkey can contaminate other food it comes in contact with, so thoroughly wash hands, cutting boards, and any utensils used during preparation in hot, soapy water before handling other foods.

• To prevent bacterial growth, don’t stuff the turkey until just before roasting. Stuff the bird only three-quarters full to allow for expansion during cooking.

• Salt the turkey after cooking. Salt draws out the natural juices from the meat while cooking and will make it dry.

• Boneless turkey cooks in one-third to one-half the time of bone-in birds. White meat cooks faster than dark meat, so if you’re cooking turkey parts rather than a whole bird, start cooking the dark meat pieces (thighs, drumsticks), and then add the white meat portions (breasts) a few minutes later.

• As a general rule, the turkey is done when the juices run clear and the meat near the bone at the thickest part of the bird is no longer pink. Drumsticks should twist easily in their sockets. Large turkeys can be tested with an instant-read thermometer, which should register at least 170-degrees F when inserted into the thickest part of a thigh.


17 November 2000
Boston University
Office of University Relations