Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving Day

I don't know what this post will turn out to be by the end of the day, but I thought I would give it a go. I will update this throughout the day with more current info and pictures. If I were to wait until tonight this post would never happen because I will be exhausted and won't have time.

My alarm went off at 6:30 am to start getting things ready. I preheated the oven and took the turkey out of the fridge. Remove the giblets and neck from the turkey. Empty the contents of the bag into a pan and remove the kidneys. Cover with cold water and set aside. I don't know about you, but I can't help but think funny thoughts when I see these in the pan....carry on.

One of the most important things you can do with your turkey is to rinse it really well with cold water. Don't forget to rinse the cavity as well. Once that is done, place it in your roasting pan and pat it dry with paper towels. Now you can tip it on its side and salt and pepper the inside cavity.

Now you can tip it on its side and salt and pepper the inside cavity.

There is a lot of controversy about cooking the turkey with the stuffing in it or not. I used to always cook my turkey with stuffing, but for the last two years I haven't. Instead of cooking the stuffing in the bird I stuff the cavity with onions, celery, carrots, garlic cloves, rosemary and sage. It really gives the turkey a lot of flavor!!!!!

Anything that won't fit in the cavity goes in the bottom of the roasting pan along with three sage leaves, a sprig of rosemary and some chicken stock. I don't measure any of these things, I just pour the stock in until I have about 1 - 1 1/2 inches of stock in the bottom of the pan.

The next thing I do is to separate the skin from the turkey breast.

Very gently push your fingers between the skin and the breast and push your hand under the skin. Be very careful to not rip the skin.

Once you have a nice pocket, place 6 tablespoons of butter under the skin.

In a shallow dish melt another 6 tablespoons of butter in the microwave. Brush the entire turkey with the butter.

Just when you think there is already plenty of butter on the turkey, pour the rest straight over it!! Today is not the day to count calories!

Now give your turkey a nice massage to thank it for all of its deliciousness.

You can love turkey...just don't love your turkey.

Now salt and pepper the turkey up really well. There will be no magic pilgrims in your oven to season the turkey for you, so this is your chance.

This beautiful bird is now ready for the oven.

(please excuse the messy hair and shirt with the skeletons! It was early! lol)

The only thing left to do is to give it a nice aluminum foil tent. This is another thing that is a matter of opinion. I know there are a lot of people who start cooking at a high temp without foil to brown and then turn the heat way down and continue to cook at a lower temp. I don't do it that way. I cook my turkey @ 325 degrees the whole way. Tent with foil and do not mess with it for any reason until about 1 hour before dinner. That chicken stock in the bottom of the pan will keep it moist and the foil will trap it in there. At around the one hour mark (maybe 40 minutes depending on how the bird looks) I remove the foil and cook uncovered for the remainder of cooking time to allow the turkey to brown.

Part 2

Okay - the rest of this will be mostly photos because there was too much craziness to really document much else! I will include links to recipes where I can!

I hope you all enjoyed your Thanksgiving!

Spicy Sausage Stuffing

Green Bean Casserole

Glazed Pearl Onions

Turnips & Carrots

No recipe. Boil turnips and carrots together until tender. Mash together with butter, salt and pepper.

Sweet Potatoes

No recipe. Peel potaotes. Boil until tender. Mash with butter, salt & pepper.

Take a break with a glass of wine and enjoy staring at your beautiful turkey while it rests for 20 minutes.


Julie Julie Bo Boolie said...

I really enjoyed this post! I've never cooked a turkey and probably never will but this was a really fun post! Nice looking bird :)

Sandra said...

I wish you and your family great Thanksgiving!

Monica said...

How big a turkey are you making? It looks delicious! Although I like having Thanksgiving in October, I am wishing it was also today! :)

Farrah said...

Thanks, Julie!!!

Thank you, Sandra! Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family as well :)

Monica - it is a 25 pound turkey. There doesn't need to be a reason to make a big ol' bird in my house. I have an extra in the freezer for a rainy day!

Tes said...

Happy Thanksgiving! I know that turkey tasted yummy :)

amy said...

I never thought to stuff it with the veggies and the spices. Cool idea! And the stock at the bottom sounds like a great idea too. Thanks for the tips. I will try them next time.

Sandra said...

Fantastic dinner...great photos!

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