How to make it

  • These directions are for a 12 -14 pound turkey in a 15-quart stockpot. A larger turkey will need a correspondingly larger stockpot, vice-versa for smaller birds. What is needed is stockpot large enough to ensure the bird is submerged, with a snug fit to minimize the amount of water needed.
  • Use cotton butcher string to secure the turkey to a trivet, and to form lifting handles to remove the turkey after it is cooked.
  • Place the turkey in the stockpot. Measure water by the quart into the stockpot until the turkey is covered by about an inch; then remove the turkey.
  • Heat the water only to the point just before it boils, a cooking thermometer will be needed to monitor the temperature.
  • While the water is heating, prepare the spices and vegetables, adjust the amounts according to how much water is in the stockpot. Add the ingredients to the water. Heat to 210 degrees (F).
  • Carefully lower the turkey into the hot water, place a cover on the stockpot. Monitoring the cooking temperature will be easier if a cooking thermometer can arranged to be in the water at all times. Medium heat will be needed for the first 30 to 40 minutes while the turkey heats up. By the end of the second hour the heat will probably be on low.
  • Do not allow a full boil; boiling water is to poaching what smoking oil is to deep frying - too hot.
  • Begin checking the meat temperature after about two hours. Be sure to reach the recommended internal temperature for poultry.
  • Remove the turkey, set on a carving plate and let cool a few minutes, then carve for serving.
  • Strain the stock through a sieve, discard the vegetables - they will be a soggy mess. The stock can be used for gravy base, soup, or frozen for later use.

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