In the hit movie Julie and Julia, Julie tackles her biggest cooking obstacle when she debones and prepares a full duck. I don’t know that I’ll ever cook a whole duck, but a turkey seems to be a close second. I know they are common and in theory pretty simple once they are in the oven. But how disappointed would people be if the main dish of your dinner, the turkey, totally sucked? It’s not really something I want to risk.
As we didn’t host Thanksgiving this year, there weren’t many leftovers. My dad didn’t get to have his turkey and cranberry sandwich and I didn’t get to eat an absurd amount of stuffing. So we decided to have Thanksgiving part two for New Years Eve. We had turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes, broccoli, cranberries, gravy and two types of cookies. In addition to making both types of cookies, I decided it was time for me to learn how to cook a turkey with my mom’s supervision.
We tried a new way to prepare it and it was delicious!
First we pulled out all of the gizzards and such. We boiled them with an onion for several hours to make stock for the gravy. (Yes it’s disgusting).
You also have to remove the neck, wash it off and pat the whole turkey dry.
Then I melted a half stick of butter and mixed in some rosemary and thyme. Next I flipped over the bird, so the breast was facing upward. I had to separate the skin from the breast so I used my hands and gently slid underneath the skin all the way to the other side. This required some finger wriggling and a little bit of maneuvering. Then my mom held the bird at a 45 degree angle with the opening in the skin facing up. I poured the melted butter into the little pouches that had formed on top of the breast. Then I put my hand into the pouches and made sugar the butter mix was all spread around. We then inserted a meat thermometer into a thigh and put the turkey in the oven. We cooked it for 25 minutes at 450 I think, then reduced the heat to 225 and cooked for about 20 minutes per pound (I think we added a little time or heat because of the high altitude).
While the turkey was cooking, we also made the stuffing. We melted some butter and cooked the onion and celery.
Then we added the parsley and apples and cooked for a few minutes.
Finally we added an egg, dried cranberries, the bread and the poultry seasoning mix that comes in the bag from our specialty grocery store, but you could do any mix of spices really.
We cooked the stuffing for a few minutes and then put it in an oven-safe dish. When the turkey was about 45 minutes from done, we added the stuffing to the oven (but not the inside of the turkey and I get nervous about that) and baked.
Unfortunately, by the time these were both done, I was starving and it smelled amazing and I simply forgot to take a final picture. But I must say, I was quite pleased with how it turned out!
Are there any meals you are afraid to tackle?