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Are there any cooks out tthere?

cycler1729 | Posted in Gather For A Chat on

Hi –

I think that I might’ve done something dumb.  A while ago I bought a frozen turkey breast (big) and let it defrost in the refrigerator overnight but it didn’t really defrost and there wasn’t time to cook it still frozen so I put it back in the freezer.

That was about 2 months ago.

So – is it still usable?  Did the defrosting and re-freezing possibly cause it to be inedible?  I’m not worried health-wise because it was never out of a refrigerated place but I know when you defrost and re-freeze food sometimes it gets a bad texture.

Thanks!

Susan

 

Replies

  1. Josefly | | #1

    I'm afraid to re-freeze partially thawed poultry, or any meat, really, because of possible bacterial growth. But did you notice that at the top of the page you can find "Other Discussions:..." and CooksTalk is the discussion group for Fine Cooking Magazine. You don't even have to log off of the Gatherings site to get there. I'll bet you can find some expert advice there. Not that there aren't also some expert cooks here, too, judging by the fabulous recipes being discussed here.

    1. cycler1729 | | #2

      Thanks - after I posted I realized that I was probably too hasty to dismiss bacteria concerns.

      I didn't notice that link at the top - I will definitely ask there!

  2. User avater
    CostumerVal | | #3

    I think your fine.  The bacteria is killed at 140*.  That's why you cook poultry to 150 at least.  Furthermore, the danger comes when the inside of the bird doesn't come up to temperature due to stuffing or insufficient cooking time.  The interior of your bird remained frozen.  He'll take about 3 days to fully defrost.  Bacteria are most active above 40* and below that 140* mark.  So you are right to defrost him in the refridgerator.

    You may want to brine him overnight in a salt bath with some herbs.  Recipe's all over the web.  Use a cooking thermometer, and check the breast meat first, it cooks faster.  When it reaches 140, put on an aluminum tent over the breast, leaving the thighs exposed and reset your thermometer in the dark meat.  This will reflect some heat from the breast to avoid over cooking, which makes for dry tasteless meat.  Keep the big guy in the oven until the dark meat reaches 150* minimum, and let him rest on top of the stove for at least 10 min.  The temp will continue to rise another 5 degrees at least and you don't want to cut the meat to soon or the juice runs out instead of staying in the meat.  Make sure your thermometer is not touching bone.  You'll get a hot reading and your meat wont be safely cooked.  Cooks Illustrated test kitchen is a good resource for technical info.  I'm not exactly sure about the temps they use,  I've seen as high as 165*.  I do know that my MIL cooked hers once to 205* and boy was it nasty!

  3. Pattiann42 | | #4

    As long as you kept it refrigerated it is OK. 

    No solace......but we have no idea how many times meat is frozen, partially thawed then sold frozen to customers at the local grocery.

  4. Tatsy | | #5

    One Thanksgiving the turkey got thawed way before I expected it to, and it was nearly completely thawed (but still cool to the touch) when we got to our son and daughter-in-law's house four hours away. Just to be on the safe side, we rinsed it inside and out with cold water, then rubbed it inside and out with gin. It was perfectly safe and served a dozen people. To this day, my daughter-in-law makes sure she has gin on hand for Thanksgiving--but we usually drink Chablis.

    1. Pattiann42 | | #6

      This reminds me of a story I read long ago when Elizabeth Taylor was still making movies and on location in Russia.  Her maid bought a chicken that was "green" and according to the article washed it in vinegar to make it eatable.  Way too gross for me.  It's a wonder the poor woman lived through that, but then again, maybe she didn't actually eat the chicken............maybe there is another wine/gin factor........ forget the bird and bring on the booze!

      1. Tatsy | | #7

        I don't know about green chicken, but I got the tip off a cooking show where the chef put a tablespoon of vodka in a bowl of soup before serving it.  The heat of the soup evaporated the alcohol, but the alcohol set the flavors in the soup. I tried it. He was right. Much, much more flavorful.

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