My Cousin inspired this post. She declared that much like artists have certain periods- flowers, women, dogs sitting around a poker table, I am currently going through my culinary Turkey Period.
Candidly, I’m doing it because of my economy, but I do love me some Turkey. I really truly believe that Adam Sandler was in my head when he wrote the Turkey song. Google it if you have been living under a rock and you don’t know what I’m talking about.
Here’s the thing. I don’t understand why people stress out so much about making Thanksgiving dinner. Roasting a turkey, in my opinion is easier than making spaghetti sauce. All you need are a few items, an oven and patience. Heck, my recipe, doesn’t even require basting.
So, my recipe for roast turkey. This is all very, very approximate. There are a ton of resources for the specifics, but I’ll give you the gist here. I don’t stuff my bird with traditional “stuffing” or “dressing.” By the by, what do you call that stuff? I’ve learned over the years it’s very regional- dressing, stuffing, potatooo, potatoh.
Roast Turkey ala Me.
- Big ass bird- thawed. If your bird is frozen, read here about the SAFEST way to thaw your bird.
- Onion- yellow or white. Peeled and quartered
- 2 or 3 carrots rough chopped
- 1-2 celery stalks. Rough chopped. Feel free to leave the tops on.
- 1 small lemon
- 1 apple chopped. Don’t bother peeling it. You won’t be eating it.
- Few cloves of garlic
- Kosher Salt
- Olive Oil
- Black Pepper
- Sprig of fresh rosemary (if you have it)
- Few pinches of dried thyme (if you have it)
Roasting Pan w/rack inside
Preheat oven to 400 Degrees
Chop all veggies
Make sure that the turkey has all of the inside stuff removed and quickly rinsed off. Pat dry with paper towel and set aside.
Take a healthy pinch of kosher salt and toss inside of bird.
Gently shove all of the veggies INSIDE the bird. Pack ’em in.
Drizzle a small amount of olive oil on the bird- massage it in. Sprinkle with more kosher salt and pepper. Place bird BREAST side down.
Repeat with the olive oil/salt/pepper treatment on the side of the bird facing up.
Toss in the oven- on the BOTTOM RACK- and let cook for 30 minutes at 400 degrees.
After the first 30, turn down oven to 35o and cook for 2-2.5 hours (depending on the weight of the bird) until the internal temp is at LEAST 160, max 180. Juices should be clear, not red.
The following is the hardest part. Seriously.
Take cooked turkey out of the oven.
Turn your broiler on to 500 F
FLIP YOUR BIRD. Yep, you might need an extra set of hands here, but you want to crisp up the bottom that has been facing downwards the entire time.
Once you flip your bird, put back in the oven for 7-10 minutes. Keep an eye on this, because it will get crispy quickly.
Pull back out.
Turn oven off.
Let rest for at least 20 minutes prior to carving.