Uh-Oh: You Overcooked the Thanksgiving Turkey. Here’s What to Do.
(Psst: The secret is extra gravy.)
Dried-out turkey can happen to the most experienced Thanksgiving cook. It’s not even necessarily your fault—turkeys are so darn huge that they take forever to roast. By the time the dark meat reaches that crucial 180˚F, you may have overcooked the breast meat. Which is why we have that magical elixir called gravy.
Gravy isn’t just for serving at the table. You can also use it “rehydrate” the turkey before you serve it. Ina Garten has a genius method for plating sliced turkey on top of a layer of gravy—it’s a make-ahead tip, but it also happens to be a great solution for overcooked turkey. (I am sure Ina never overcooked anything a day in her life.) Before you carve the bird, ladle a ¼-inch of hot gravy onto a serving platter, then arrange the carved turkey on top of the gravy and drizzle evenly with extra gravy. You may have to thin the gravy a little bit with chicken or turkey stock to make it the right consistency for drizzling. Serve the carved plated turkey the table with extra—you guessed it—gravy.
In addition to gravy, you can also brush the carved turkey with a little warmed chicken stock or broth to add moisture. Melted unsalted butter will also do the trick, but don’t overdo it—a little bit goes a long way. Unlike gravy.
Speaking of gravy, this is not the time to use the jarred stuff. Take an extra 10 to 15 minutes and make it from scratch. It’s easier than you think. You want gravy that is so silky smooth, so luscious, and so savory that no one will even notice that the turkey is bone-dry.