Remember the first time you roasted a turkey? I do, it was yesterday and to my surprise, it turned out godly. Godly I tell you – honest! Perhaps you never roasted a turkey before? Forget elaborate brining, basting, stuffing and magical incantations. Cooking a yummy turkey is as easy as 1-2-3.
Read on to see how you can cook a turkey the easy – but drool-worthy – way:
Back home, we do eat turkey but it is not a staple and we have no Thanksgiving day to make a big deal out of it. I had never attempted to make a turkey but when I moved to USA, I decide to try Ambrose’s suggestion about being in Rome. To my – foreign – eyes
three four edibles seem to embody American food the most: apple-pie, burgers, thanksgiving turkey and bacon in large quantities.
Eventually, a turkey found its way to our freezer and after a couple weeks of contemplating the issue of tackling the bird, I braced myself and defrosted it. Keep in mind, it takes days to thaw a turkey in the refrigerator, approximately 5-6 hours per pound. 3 days later, I super-cleaned my deep sink (I also super-wow-cleaned after I was done) and unpacked the turkey.
Started our brand new (and un-used) oven pre-heating in our semi-renovated kitchen and gathered my condiments:
When I look at recipes, I glance over the ingredients and if they are more than 5 or 6 I forget the whole thing. I am not very fond of cooking and I generally abide by what an ancient Greek – was he Hippocrates or Aristotle? I forget – had advised: “food should take longer to devour than to cook“. So, here you go with the short version first (clean, sprinkle and rub, roast, DONE):
Turkey, pan, oven (these are kind of essential)
Olive oil + Butter + Water
Salt + Pepper + Oregano
Garlic + 1 Onion + 1 Lemon
Optional: Thyme (or Rosemary)
Step-by-Step Instructions (short version)
1. Unpack turkey, remove giblets and neck from cavity, wash. Preheat the oven.
2. Rub with butter or/and olive oil, then rub salt+pepper+oregano- inside and around. If you have thyme, sprinkle some. Add garlic cloves (6-10) and onion wedges (1 onion) – half in cavity the rest in the pan.
3. Put turkey in your pan (ideally one with rack) and add 2 cups of water and the juice of half a lemon. Put half the lemon rind in cavity, the rest in the pan. Place in preheated oven. After half an hour, cover loosely with foil. Remove the foil, one hour before the end of your roasting. Make sure the pan doesn’t go dry by adding more cups of water during the roasting.
5. Roast at 350°F, until internal temperature (shown by the TotallyAccurateMeatThermometer you already have) reaches 165°F.
Eat and congratulate yourself for being an awesome cook. You deserve it!
Step-by-Step Instructions (long, a bit boring version)
Wash the turkey inside out, keeping splashes to a minimum so you do not cross-contaminate the surrounding surfaces. (Meh, splash around, you can always disinfect everything if you are a friend of bleach).
Remove guts, fat and anything that looks suspicious to you (the butt-end seemed to me like it had to go).
Rub the bird with olive oil or/and butter, inside and outside (will help the condiments stay put plus adds taste).
Rub salt, pepper and oregano all around the turkey, under its skin and inside the cavity. Be gentle with salt, you can always add more afterward if you wish to. Add as much pepper and oregano as needed so your raw turkey looks just like those yummy enticing pictures you see in gourmet sites.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F (175 °C).
Sprinkle some thyme or add some rosemary. Be frugal with these two as they impart an intense taste after hours of roasting. Some savvy people prefer to add them in the last hour of roasting.
Add garlic cloves to all places you find intriguing; between the legs and wings, inside the cavity and for good measure throw 3-4 in the pan.
Squeeze half a lemon into the pan, cut the left over rinds in wedges, throw some in the cavity and the rest in the pan.
Take one onion and show it you mean business by cutting it in wedges. Throw half of the onion in the cavity and the rest in the pan.
Place turkey breast side up on rack or pan and insert a meat thermometer. Roast at 350°F, until internal temperature reaches 165°F. The hours per pound of bird differ per site and per book so, expect hours and pay attention to your thermometer.
To give you a comparison time, I roasted my 11 pound poultry, on Convection Bake for 4 hours.
I run all the juices from the pan through a strainer and let me tell you it was a delectable sauce. We didn’t leave a drop! My husband said he “didn’t know turkey can taste this way”. A comment that can go either way and I would be suspicious, if he hadn’t cleaned his plate AND half of mine. All we had left for the next day, was 2 thighs.
ps. None of these turkeys was harmed in the making of this post…Though, I thought about it.
Do you have a super-easy way to roast a turkey? Tell me about it in the comments!