Saturday, November 16, 2013

Mastering The Two Hour Turkey

I struggle with big beasts.  Foremost my lack of patience at cooking anything for 6-7 hours, or even 4 for that matter, always leaves me with an under-cooked bird.  This can not be said of the chicken.  Chicken does not daunt me in the same way, as well... It only takes an hour! My patience can handle this! Many Thanksgivings have gone by that we have microwaved the sliced turkey to make sure it is thoroughly cooked.  And frankly I find that most turkey cooked all day is darn dry!

No MORE! If I can cook a perfect chicken, I can cook a perfect turkey! Enter the electronic meat thermometer. Declare the turkey shall be done right, without flaw,  moist, delicious and EVERY TIME!

The Perfect, Juicy Two Hour Turkey

  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large bunch fresh thyme
  • 2 lemon, halved
  • 2 head garlic, cut in half crosswise
  • 4-6 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, melted
  • 1 large yellow onion, cut in 1/4ths
  • 18-22 lb Turkey (anything less you are spending on bones) 
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F, preheated for around 30-45 minutes prior to putting turkey in oven.
Remove the giblets. Rinse the turkey inside and out. Remove any excess fat and leftover pin feathers and pat the outside dry. Liberally salt and pepper the inside of the turkey. Stuff the cavity with the bunch of thyme, both halves of lemon, and all the garlic. Brush the outside of the turkey with the butter or olive oil and sprinkle again with salt and pepper. I prefer to rub 2 tsp unmelted butter under the skin as well, makes amazing skin.  Prepare oven bag with one tablespoons flour shaking all over bag. Insert electronic thermostat, into deepest part of breast if you have one.  
Circled is proper thermometer placement
Where to Place the Thermometer in a turkey- Right above the leg is the deepest part of the breast. So on the side of the bird.  Without running to bone as deep as you can .

Place turkey in oven bag and cut 6 air slits on top. Roast the turkey for 2 hours or until thermometer reads 170°F, the juices will run clear when you cut between a leg and thigh. Remove and let rest on counter covered for 20 minutes as juices will draw back into the meat. 

This turned out excellent! I'm so happy I tried it and made it work! Simplifies the complications of the turkey dominating the oven all day! 

Make Ahead and Serve Directions- The turkey can be made a day ahead and refrigerated before reheating, or it can be carved 10 minutes after resting.
If you decide to roast and carve the turkey ahead of time, or if you want to freeze a portion of the turkey for another occasion, place the carved turkey in a shallow baking dish, cover it with broth, then wrap with foil or place the dish in a plastic bag; refrigerate for up to 2 days or freeze for up to 1 month.When you are ready to serve, defrost, if necessary, in the refrigerator, then bake in a 350°F. oven for 30 to 45 or until heated completely through (or heat in the microwave).

Moist Juicy Turkey!

Equally as delicious Alton Brown (Good Eats) Brined Turkey. Though more complex the flavor is one that is worth a little extra effort if you can afford it!

Where to Find Organic or Heirloom Turkeys
Diestel Turkey- Sonoma Valley, Ca
Can also be found at PCC

Marys Turkeys -Local Store Finder

Eat Wild-

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