Starting with Chicken and Quail:
They are both light meats that need to be marinated and then foil wrapped to bake.
Chicken done in 30-45 min
Quail done in 20-30 min
(under 10 lbs)
Marinades: Cranberry or orange sauces give a sweet and sour tang. Another simple option is italian dressing. The dressing keeps the meat tender and adds all the classic herbs for marination. The marinades' recipe links can be found in previous posts.
Foil wrapping the poultry, or the bake dish entirely, keeps in the moisture that poultry tends to lose while cooking. The meat will cook in its own juices and the marinade that was applied.
Turkey, is too large to foil wrap as it would take forever to cook all the way through. Instead, use a great marinade and baste the exposed meat regularly. Tip: Cut slits just under the skin and shove
herbs inside. Rosemary, basil, garlic and onion slices are best.
Stuff the turkey cavity from the rear. Store bought turkeys will come cleaned out and may have the neck, heart, liver and gizzard. Keep these for cooking the gravy later. Stuffing recipe is a previous post.
The turkey is done when the inside meat is over 180F and the skin is golden to amber brown.
Up to 10 lb, usually 2-3 hours at 300F
10-15 lbs, usually 3-4 hours at 300F
15+ lbs, usually 4-6 hours at 325F
Duck is in it's own category, although it is cooked similar to a whole chicken, because of it's fatty nature. Duck needs to be marinated (both fruit and savory flavors work well) and then cooked
on a rack to allow the fat to run off.
Duck is a tricky meat because it can dry out and get tough if not monitored. Our recommendation? Cook on a rack in a baking dish with foil covering just the top. This will keep the juices in, but
allow the extra fat to run into the dish.
Duck done in 40-50 min.
Pork and whole hams:
Pork is best done in an oven or slow cooker. Since it is technically a light meat, but definitely not poultry, sugary marinades are best (i.e. honey ham, pineapple ham, pralined ham)
Rub the ham down with your chosen marinade and then set to cook in a bake dish or slow cooker. 1/3 of the way through the cook time, turn the ham over so that both sides are tender and juicy. Leave the ham on the same side for the remainder of the cook time to get a nice crispy crust on top.
Our favorite ham recipe is coke and mustard marinade cooked in a slow cooker for at least 45 min, best when left in for hours. Rub the ham with the mustard, place in the slow cooker and pour coke over the top. Simple. Full recipe can be found in a previous post.
Pork is generally done when the interior temperature reaches 180F. Additionally, a ham should be cooked until the top "crust" gets nice and crispy.
Whole hams done in 2-2.5 hours (10lb)