Tuesday’s Tip: Shield the Bird

As you may have noticed in my Citrus and Herb Butter Roasted Turkey recipe, I start the roasting process at a sweltering 500 degrees.  This helps sear the skin and lock in all the juices….it also makes the turkey brown at a very rapid speed.  To avoid over browning, or burning for that matter, my bird I construct a bit of armor before sliding it into the oven. The shield is only meant to cover the breast and slow down the cooking process of the breast meat so it doesn’t dry out. This gives the legs and thighs a chance to catch up with everything else.

Using heavy-duty aluminum foil (I use Reynold’s Wrap), fold up the bottom 1/4 and press flat.  Next, fold down the two top corners toward you to form a point.  And if the foil shield is too wide you can also fold in the two sides as I did in this photo.

Turkey Armor

Before you start roasting the turkey, press the foil shield around the breast of the turkey to create a custom fit.  (The point should be “pointing” the same direction as the legs.) This way you won’t be trying to make it stick when the turkey is so hot it will singe your eyelashes off.  Remove the foil, brush the surface with olive oil and set aside.  Roast your turkey for 30 minutes at 500 degrees and turn down the heat….this is when you add the shield.  (If you’re using another method of roasting, keep an eye on your turkey and when it looks like it’s getting too brown you can add the shield.) Leave the shield on until the turkey is finished cooking.

I also use a “suit of armor” for my roasted chickens too….works perfectly every time.

I have to credit Alton Brown for the genius idea.  I saw it on one of his shows years ago and have used this technique ever since!  I don’t recall the exact episode but it was definitely Alton that saved many of my roasted birds.

Note: This is not a sponsored post….I just find Reynold’s Wrap the most reliable of the brands I tried.


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