I'm not here to argue philosophy with you today I'm here to tell you how wonderful our two real turkeys were this year. Yes two. No we are not suddenly rich, both were given to us. No, not rich in money, just rich with kind neighbors (yeah, some of them are and sometimes even the crazy ones are nice).
The night before Thanksgiving we saw a new way to cook turkey on the local news. Poppy and I were tempted. We did have an extra turkey and all the ingredients so the next day we went for it. Two delicious and different turkeys. Both recipes use a stick of butter, so don't think your bird will be healthy. It's a freaking holiday! Enjoy life!
Don't know what we will do next year. I think we might get 2 small birds and cook the 2 ways again. More drumsticks all around!
Here are our recipes for those of you who cook turkey for other holidays, and to keep for next Thanksgiving.
Our Traditional Turkey Style
Not my mothers recipe, one we saw on Food channel years ago and fell in love with. Use your own stuffing or for a faster bird leave empty.
1 stick softened butter
Wash and dry thawed or fresh turkey. Stuff if you're using stuffing. Above the neck cavity, slide your very clean hands under the skin loosening it without tearing. It will separate pretty easily from the meat of the breast. Just do it to the breast area. Take handfuls of the soft butter and smoosh it under the skin. Yes that's a professional term ;)
Take the last bit of butter and slather the top. Salt, pepper and garlic powder the bird and rub it everywhere. Make sure you have one of those pop up timer cause they are the BEST way to tell if a turkey is done. Pop in the oven at 350 deg F in a roaster on a rack and do not touch it. Do not baste it, do not move it until that little timer pops up. The skin crisps and holds in the moisture so you don't have to baste and the fat drips off into the roasting pan. Great for yummy gravy.
Dying for bird two? It's a great one too.
Fruit Stuffed Turkey in a Brown Paper Bag
one stick butter
one large orange
one large lemon
one large onion
2 stalks celery cut up
one brown paper grocery bag
Because you have to put the turkey in a bag, I'm not sure this is suitable for a turkey over 20 lbs.
Cut the fruit and onion into eights and put in a large bowl. Cut the celery into 2 or 3 inch sections and place in bowl. Toss till evenly mixed and put this mixture in the turkey cavities at both ends. If there is not enough you can add a bit more of whatever you have. Rub down the bird with oil. I used safflower, but you could use anything you like, just remember this will be a citrus flavored bird.
Take the stick of butter and coat the inside of the paper bag. Yes really. All over the inside till it's all used up.
Place the stuffed bird in the bag and roll up the ends to seal in. You can staple shut, but we have a lot of straight pins so I used that. Place in roasting pan in a 350 degree F oven and cook for about 15 minutes per pound. I did this and it was perfect, It had a timer and it had popped when the time was over. Open the bag and you will have a beautifully brown citrus scented bird. Pull it out and let it rest FOR AT LEAST AN HOUR. If you cut it too soon all that yummy moisture will be gone.
This bird kept the heat in much longer. I had to let it cool down a bit more than an hour, but it was unbelievably moist and delicious. The smell of the citrus was soo wonderful too. I just can't decide which I loved better.
Have fun with your cooking, and don't get stuck in a rut. If you're game to try something new, you don't have to give up the old. After all, the birds cost the same per pound if you have one or two of them.