Defeat Garden

Turkey

Posted on: February 6, 2011

I posted about the Cajun seasoning I made for the turkey, so I thought it might be a good idea to show how the turkey turned out!

Make sure your turkey is thawed!  I take mine out of the freezer on Tuesday and stick it in the refrigerator that evening to cook it on Saturday or Sunday.  My turkey was about 12-13 pounds.  When it’s thawed, drain and dry the turkey.  It’s easier to handle that way, trust me!

I made the turkey almost the exact way that I made the chicken, but cooked longer.  First, I chopped up:

a few carrots

some celery

an onion

garlic

and mixed them all together for the stuffing.  One day I’m going to make a real stuffing instead of just vegetables.  Really, I am.  Just not this time.

Then, I mixed the butter.  First you have to make sure it’s soft enough to do this with a fork:

Then you mix whatever seasonings/herbs you will be using into the butter.  I used Cajun seasoning because I wanted a kick to it.

Here’s where you can really experiment, though!  You can use almost ANY type of seasoning and they will all taste wonderful.  (Well, maybe not all of them – you might not want to mix, say, rosemary and cayenne…that could be a little weird!)

Mix your seasonings into the butter until it looks like so:

Then I rub this wonderful butter into the skin (give the turkey a massage) and leave some under the skin on top of the breast.

My kids normally love to help me with this part, but they were doing something with the man this day and didn’t want anything to do with it.

The girl loves to stick her hand inside the turkey – she thinks it’s gross but always wants to help with that!  I always act like the weird mom I am and pretend to make the turkey eat her hand.  One day she’ll hate me for that, but for now, she thinks it’s funny!  (actually, I hope one day she’ll do that with her kids – the cooking and the being weird with them!)

Once you’ve got the butter all over your turkey, stick the veggies (or stuffing) into the cavity, and leave whatever else you have left all over the bottom of the roasting pan.  I also chopped up a few potatoes and stuck them around the turkey, too.

For my liquid, I use about 1/2 a cup to a cup of white wine, and I also used some chicken stock (because last time I didn’t have enough liquid to baste, and I was sad ;).

I got this ready in the morning and stuck it in the fridge for a few hours because we were going to have it for supper.

I left the man instructions on how long/the temperature to cook it at because I had to take the kids into town for eye appointments.

The girl got glasses, and she looks beautiful, doesn’t she?

I had him cook the bird for an hour at 250, then increase the heat to 300 for an hour, 350 for an hour, and 400 for the last hour (or half hour, depending on the size of your turkey).

For the first hour, don’t do anything, just let it sit.

After that, you will want to baste the bird every half hour.  I have always just cooked it breast side up, but next time (which will be before spring – I still have one turkey in my freezer!) I’m going to cook it breast side down for the first two hours, and then flip it.

Both kids really love to baste the turkey, too.  It’s so much fun to play with the baster, they’d do it for hours if they could!

I also attempted a gravy this time.  To be honest, it wasn’t very good.  I’ve never made gravy before, and I put way too much flour in it!  Hopefully I’ll know better for next time!

But, the basics were all there.  Just take your basting liquid and heat it to boiling in a separate pan.  Whisk some flour into the liquid until it thickens.

Just not until it’s so thick it’s basically a paste!

I love turkey because we all get involved in it in some way or other.  The man’s contribution (other than eating it – which he’s also very good at!) is carving the turkey.  I’m glad, because I don’t like carving them!

(Yup, that’s my messy kitchen.  But really, is it a real kitchen if it’s not messy?)

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4 Responses to "Turkey"

Now I’m hungry. Zoe looks fantastic. How many guesses do I need to figure out who ate the turkey neck?

I love how Zoe looks! But then, she’s always gorgeous in my opinion 🙂 I can’t imagine how you would know that Derek ate the neck…but I did make him wait and eat it as leftovers this time. I also cooked him the gizzards and heart, but he didn’t want the liver this time.

I’m laughing about the above exchange about the neck! I grew up thinking that my grandma was sometimes mean because she never let my dad eat it. Little did I know that he had no intention.

Tammy – my son probably thought I was mean, too! It’s a standing joke in our family about the neck – and if we’d let him (like Grandpa did one Thanksgiving), he’d eat a whole drumstick, too!

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