Thursday, November 24, 2011

Turkey - Mom's Tried and True Recipe

Has everyone left the in-erds in the Turkey at one time or another?  I did.  My first Turkey was cooked with bags of the Turkey In-erds still inside.  I remember my mom laughing and telling me that everyone has done it, like it was some rite of passage when you become a grown up.  (Mom memory...)  Anyhow, I always make my Turkey the way she used to.  It's wonderful every time.  How can you get sick of something that you only make once or twice a year.  Well, I have yet to get sick of it.  This will be the first time that I make stuffing (the real stuff) and stuff the bird before I cook the bird.  I have always just made stuffing from a box because I have never been really into the stuffing thing.

Speaking of Turkey In-erds and Mom memories...
My mother used to tell me (always when she was working in the kitchen and knife in hand)...
     I'll cut out your gizzard.  (silly voice, shaking knife)
I did a little web search to try and figure what where it came from.  All I can find is a book Lazy Liza Lizard by Marie Curtis Rains, 1938.  Hmmm.  Who knows.

Anyhow, back to the bird...
I bought a 18 pounder on Sunday and put it directly into the frig to thaw so it would be all ready on Thursday morning.  Can you believe that it was the smallest bird I could find?  Anyhow...

Thawing Times
8-12 lbs. - 1-2 days
12-16 lbs. - 2-3 days
16-20 lbs. - 3-4 days
20-24 lbs. - 4-5 days

Cooking Times

8-12 lbs. - 2 1/2 - 3 1/2 hours
12-16 lbs. - 3 1/2 - 4 1/2 hours
16-20 lbs. - 4 - 5 hours
20-24 lbs. - 4 1/2 - 6 hours
* add 45 minutes if you stuff the bird*

Prepping and Cooking the Bird
1.  Take out the in-erds.  Make sure to look in the top and the bottom!

2.  Clean the turkey and pat dry.

3.  Stuff with stuffing.  I really jammed it in there.  (You can skip this step but it was so easy and if you are going to make stuffing anyway then why not?)

4.  Make slits in the skin and pull the skin away for the meat.  Make four slits total all around the breast of the turkey.  Stuff butter in the slits under the skin.  I used 2 sticks of butter and really packed it in.  It looks funny but I swear that has to be the secret to success because I do not believe I have ever had a bad turkey this way.  This is the way my mother taught me and I am sticking to it.

5.  I do not use any herbs or spices.  I don't think you need them.  But if you prefer to add them this is where you would do it.

6.  Cover in foil.

7.  Bake at 325°F according to the times listed above.  I start checking one half hour before the estimated time.  I never baste the turkey either.  I'm always too busy preparing other items.  I'm sure that it would not hurt.  I just don't like taking the foil off until it is necessary.

8.  If you have a turkey with a popper and it pops...remove the foil and let the turkey brown for 20-30 minutes.  Be careful not to let it go too long so the turkey doesn't dry out.  (Since our popper didn't pop, I did let the turkey cook for an extra 1/2 hour than estimated and brought it out.  Our guessing game could have been stopped had we had a working battery in our meat thermometer but hey, we like living on the edge.  =)  Anyhow, all was good when the hub carved in and the clear juices were a flowin' and absolutely no sign of pink.)

9.  Once turkey is browned, bring it out of the oven and let it set for 15 minutes before carving.

Good Stuff!

No comments:

Post a Comment