Wednesday, November 23, 2011

No Fail Thanksgiving Turkey!

Best Thanksgiving Turkey EVER!!!

I have heard some horror stories from my girlfriends, aunt's grandma's and my own ma on the cooking debacle known as “the 1st thanksgiving turkey I ever made” story.  However, mine came out PERFECT – and I have a dead oven to thank for it!  

We had just moved into the house we live in now and I was bound and determined to host Thanksgiving that year – my first.  For my family and Darren's all together.  And about five days before Thanksgiving – our oven that came with the house DIED!  I about had a coronary.

So off to Sears we go.  I love Sears because they have supplied my family with great appliances for three generations, their stuff lasts AND they are girl friendly.   Our normal sales guy was off this day and this older lady who was probably about my grandma's age was working.  She helped me find the oven we needed AND supplied me with a no fail Thanksgiving Turkey recipe!  

She and I talked for a while and I explained I was going to host my first Thanksgiving and she asked me how I was going to cook my turkey.  I said well, with the stuffing inside of course!  She paused, looked at me and asked (as many southerners do from time to time), “Sweetheart, where are you from?”  NEW YORK!  I said.  She says to me, “You yankees always complain your turkeys are dry yet you continue to stick the DRESSING inside the turkey.”  Then she took me to school in the southern way of cooking a Turkey.  

Apparently, you don't stuff the turkey...  WHAT?!  Yes – for nearly 30years my family had been doing it WRONG!  I of course passed this info to my mother who argued with me.  Then we both decided – it's my first turkey – so no one expects it to be good.  So if we screw it up – as long as no one ends up at the ER we are good.

It was THE BEST turkey we all had ever tasted – except of course a fried turkey but that's a whole other bird!

Here is my recipe for you!

  • 1 whole fresh frozen Turkey (calculate your pounds by thinking how many guests you are having and then divide by 2.  Like, you're having 16 people for Thanksgiving – you will need an 8-10lb turkey.  And remember to get a little extra in case extra people show up and for sandwiches and turkey pot pie in the days after Thanksgiving).
  • 4-5 granny smith apples, peeled, cored & sliced into chunks
  • 3 large carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 3 sticks of butter – room temp so it's soft (YES REAL BUTTER – you can use light butter but the package should say BUTTER)
  • 2T lemon juice
  • 2t thyme

Ok – thaw out your turkey in the fridge.  The bigger the turkey the more time you will need to thaw – I have a 15lb one this year and I am taking it out of the freezer on the Sunday before.  Do not believe the package that 48hrs if enough time.  They lie.

Preheat your oven according to the package.

Once thawed remove all packaging, and put Tom in the sink start rinsing and get all the sides out – this is gross so you may want to get your mom or your man to do this if you are weak of heart.  Some people cook these up for the dog – I throw them away b/c they are gross.  Rinse everything and put Tom in the pan you're going to cook him in, breast side up.

In a large mixing bowl put the carrots, apples and cut up 1 & ½ sticks of butter up in chunks.  At the lemon juice & 1t of thyme – mix it all together so it is tossed nicely.  Then take a large spoon and spoon the mixture into both ends of Tom.  To have him full of apples, carrots and butter.  Once full – close him up but tucking his legs around the opening or using some cooking spears – metal is best.

Then salt & pepper him on the outside and sprinkle the other teaspoon of thyme all over him.  Then grab the other stick and a half of butter and massage it into him all over until he is well covered.  Then cover him and put him in the oven.  

Now read the package and do the math to figure out how long to cook him b/c it's based on his weight.  You will based him every 30mins.  Cook him covered for half the time and uncovered for the other half  that way he stays moist.

And you will have a GORGEOUS looking, finger likin', buttery turkey!

Dressing is now made by Darren's mom – in another house so I am not tempted to stick it inside of the turkey and she makes it the best.  So win win.  :)

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