Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving Day - the turkey

Turkey is not a carb. It's a protein. But, I've been asked "how do you fix your turkey?" So, allow me for one day to divert from carbohydrates to an American roast turkey dinner.

We start with one 20-pound turkey. I'm sorry, maybe you wanted something less, but when you consider how incredibly cheap turkey is, how can you consider anything less than 20  pounds? You can use the leftovers in so many (wonderful) ways, and I promise that I'll share some recipes with you next week. And turkey meat freezes beautifully.

What you will need
20 pound turkey
roasting pan WITH lid
roasting pan rack

You will need a covered roasting pan to make this work. Don't do the foil disposable pan. Don't do the open pan. You MUST have a roasting pan with a cover.

Remove the wrapping, the plastic leg ties, the neck and whatever other goodies might be hiding in a bag inside. Rinse your turkey well and then pat dry.

Place the turkey upside-down in the pan on the roasting rack. Most recipes say "breast up". I always roast "breast down" so that the juices trickle down to keep the breast meat moist.

Preheat oven to 500 degrees F. Place the upside-down turkey (uncovered at this point) in the oven and roast for 30 minutes. This will destroy any bacteria lingering on the outside of the turkey.

After 30 minutes, place the lid on the turkey and lower the temperature to 275 degrees F. Roast for 4 hours.

At this point, your turkey will be done--moist, succulent, tender, and most of all--SAFE!

Allow it to sit for at least 30 minutes, and then carve and serve. Or, do as I do--cook your turkey one day before you plan to serve it. Allowing it to rest even more than 30 minutes makes carving super easy, and you can reserve the drippings, refrigerate overnight, and skim the fat from the top to make a healthier gravy.

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