Saturday, November 26, 2011

My First Turkey

This year was the first thanksgiving in which I was actually going to have to cook, so I hunted the Internet for the single best recipe I could find and then tweaked it to our liking.  After a few days of searching, I found this amazing recipe and decided to give it a go.  The way that lady talked made it sound delicious, and my family loves honey/sweet yet savory things anyway, so why not?  I had to change it up a little, though.  I mean, how could I not change something just so I could call it my own? 

Honey roasted turkey


(I doubled the recipe because it just seemed right. I also added some herbs. I'm glad I did. Here's the already doubled measurements and what not.)

-1 whole turkey (10-12 lbs.). Mine was 14 lbs

-2 cups butter, melted.

-2 cups honey (I imagine raw honey would be amazing, but I couldn't find any.)

-1 cup dijon mustard. (we actually used 3/4 cup, and it tasted awesome.  I'm not much of a spicy person anyway)

4 tsp. salt (same as 1 tbs + 1 tsp.)

4 sprigs fresh thyme.

1 tbs parsley.

2 tbs freshly chopped ginger. (fresh really does make a difference.)

1 clove of garlic, chopped finely

2 or so tbs butter, softened  (Feel free to add some herbs in it)


Step 1:

Mix everything but the turkey and softened butter together in a mixing bowl.  Using a whisk was easiest.


Step 1.5:

If you are stuffing with veggies, like I did, prep them now.  after chopping, coat them in the honey sauce.  Set aside.  If you aren't using veggies, I trust your stuffing is ready to be stuffed into the turkey.  Otherwise, prep it.

Now would also be a good time to preheat the oven to 325 F

Step 2:

Wash turkey and remove gibblets/neck.  (Neck will be in the stomach cavity for those who don't know.)  If you plan on using those to make gravy, keep them, if not, now is the time to throw them in the trash.  Dab turkey dry because you want more of a roasting effect than a steaming one.

Step 3:

Next, rub softened butter just under the skin.  You'll want to get your hand pretty good in under there to cover as much of the turkey as you can.

Step 4:

Stuff the turkey with whatever you want to stuff it with.  When stuffing the neck cavity, be sure to cover it back up with the extra skin.  Toothpicks work well to hold the skin in place during cooking.  A few videos I watched on how to stuff a turkey also recommended putting aluminum foil over the stomach cavity, covering the stuffing. 

Step 5:

Place turkey in roasting pan.  Pour about 1/2 of honey mixture left on top of turkey.  If you want, place veggies around the turkey in the sauce on the bottom.  (We did, but I'm not sure it would work with a not disposable roasting pan.)

Step 6:

Place turkey in oven for an hour, basting every 15 minutes with some honey mixture not already in the pan.  After the hour, it should look something like this:

Step 7:

Cover turkey with foil for remainder of cooking time.  Cook for another 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 hours, or until inner thigh area reaches 180 F.  Be sure to baste regularly. (every thirty minutes should do)  Every time I basted, I used the honey mix I didn't pour in the pan. 

Upon completion, the turkey should make you DROOL!  The smell is awesome, aeromatic, and your house will make the neighbor's jealous.  Of course, now all you have to do is let it sit for about ten to twenty minutes and then carve away!

Even my kids loved the juicy sweetness of this turkey! 

All the best and happy cooking!

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