A Food Stylist Trick for Picture-Perfect Turkey

You’re 5 minutes away from a more beautiful bird.

Published Nov. 17, 2021.

Have you ever pulled a roast turkey from the oven and admired its gorgeously browned, smooth skin, only to watch the skin wrinkle before you had a chance to show the bronzed beauty off to your guests? The culprit is steam: As the turkey roasts, steam gathers beneath its skin, inflating it away from the meat. Then, as the bird rests, the steam condenses into water, allowing the skin to collapse and wrinkle.

Never fear: Food stylist Marie Piraino has an easy fix.

Simply let the roasted bird cool long enough for the skin to fully wrinkle—about 15 minutes—then pop it into a 450-degree oven for 5 minutes. Allow the turkey to rest for an additional 30 minutes before serving.

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The heat of the oven will soften the gelatin in the skin, causing it to shrink to fit the bird, so it once again looks beautiful and perfect. It will stay that way until you’re ready to carve, so take your time: Snap a few photos, and bask in compliments from your guests.  

(You can also apply this trick to chicken. It won’t need to rest any longer after its 5-minute stint in the oven; just carve and serve.)


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