Holiday Trials Part Two. Today I bring you Turkey. Turkey holds such prominence on Thanksgiving Day that many of us have dubbed the day Turkey Day. The President even gets in the spirit and pardons a National Thanksgiving Turkey in honor of the day! Talk about a lucky gobbler!
For this trial, I chose the most basic turkey recipe I could find. I didn't want anything too technical, and I didn't want to spend multiple days getting the turkey ready to cook. No brining or frying for me! (Not only do those options take much longer, but they can also be very unhealthy - A.K.A. lots of added sodium if using a brine, and lots of added fat if frying.) Holidays bring with them enough butter, sweets and sodium that there is no reason to add any additional calories to the turkey than absolutely necessary.
|Recipe from Food Network|
SIMPLE ROASTED TURKEY | Prep Time: 30 min. | Total Time: 3 1/2 hours
Frozen turkey (I prefer 10-12 lb turkey for the best flavor)
Salt & Pepper
Herbs (Thyme, Sage, etc)
NOTE: Adjust ingredients to accommodate whatever size turkey you have. For more great information about choosing the perfect bird, CLICK HERE.
Step 1: After choosing a turkey, the first step is to defrost. There are a few different options for how to thaw a turkey, but in the spirit of keeping things simple, I went the 'in the fridge' route which is the safest way to defrost a turkey according to the U.S.D.A. If you plan to use this method, keep in mind it will take a few days, and adequate fridge space. On average, plan to allow 24 hours for every four to five pounds. To speed the process, you can use a cold-water bath to help thaw the turkey more quickly.
Step 2: Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Rinse the turkey inside and out with water and remove the giblets. Giblets typically include a neck, and a bag with heart, liver and gizzard. You may have to search around a little to find it. If you are the adventurous type, these morsels are all edible and 'supposedly' delicious. Pat the turkey dry with paper towels, and season inside and out with salt and pepper.
Step 3: Place the turkey breast side up in a roasting pan and add aromatics (chopped onion, apple, lemon, garlic, carrots, herbs) to the cavity. Brush turkey with melted butter and sprinkle with chopped herbs. NOTE: For added flavor, put some of the butter and herbs under the turkey skin to get the flavors closer to the meat.
Step 4: Tent with foil and roast for 2 hours (for a 10-12 lb. turkey; add an extra 15 mins. per lb. for larger birds). After 2 hours, remove the foil, baste with more butter, and crank the heat up to 425 degrees for the final hour, or until the meat at the thigh registers at 165 degrees. This will give your turkey that beautiful browned color.
Step 5 : Pour yourself a glass of wine, and find someone else to carve the turkey!
Turkey carving time!
Wine time for me!
This recipe was super simple, and didn't take a lot of time or effort, but still created a turkey that looked and tasted wonderful. In future endeavors, I will probably branch out and try something more exotic like using a brine, smoking the turkey, or testing out flavor injectors. For now, however, I plan to stick to the basics.
How do you cook your Thanksgiving turkey?