Wednesday, November 16, 2011
This year we're staying home for Thanksgiving and I'm roasting a turkey for my family. To be honest, up until this year I've never roasted a turkey all by myself before. I'm very comfortable roasting a chicken, so I was determined that I could roast a turkey and have the skin crispy and brown and the meat juicy just like my roasted chicken. I did a lot of research on the best way to roast a turkey and with all I've learned, have come up with the right way to do it. This turkey is amazing! The skin *does* crisp and brown, and the turkey meat *is* super moist. The breast is so moist that it doesn't even need gravy - Richard and I were blown away. (If you click on the picture of the sliced turkey breast above, you can actually see how moist it is.) I am definitely comfortable now roasting a turkey and am looking forward to having my family over for Thanksgiving supper.
Roasted Turkey Recipe
For the Turkey:
1 whole fresh or frozen turkey
Salt and pepper
Oven-proof meat thermometer
For every 2 cups of Gravy:
2 cups chicken broth
2 heaping tbsp flour
2 tbsp drippings from the bottom of the roasting pan
Salt and pepper to taste
If you buy a frozen turkey, buy it 5 to 7 days before you want to roast it, and thaw it out in your refrigerator. Plan on 1.5 to 2 lbs per person. Calculate roasting time at 15 minutes per pound at 325 degrees, or 335 degrees if you will be opening your oven a few times or more for side dishes. Also, plan on having 15 minutes before you plan to serve the turkey for the turkey to rest after being taken out of the oven, and another 10 minutes or so to carve it before bringing it to the table.
Example: A 12.59 lb turkey will feed 6 to 8 people, and you would roast it for 12.59 x 15 = 188.85 minutes or 3 hours 10 minutes (just round the 8.85 minutes up to 10). If you want to eat at 4:00 p.m., you would put it in the oven at 12:25 p.m., cover it loosly with foil at 2:35 p.m., take it out of the oven to rest at 3:35 p.m., and carve it at 3:50 p.m.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees or 335 degrees. Put the oven rack on the lowest part of the oven.
Spray the rack of a Rectangular Nonstick Roasting Pan with Rack with non-stick cooking spray. Rinse the turkey with water and remove the bag with the giblets and gizards, and the neck from the inside of the bird (the neck is really big), rinsing out the cavity with water, too. Drain the water from the turkey, pat it dry with paper towels, and place it on the roasting rack, breast side up. Fold the first joint of each wing down under the turkey like this:
Drizzle olive oil over the turkey. Remove your rings and use your hands and rub the olive oil all over the turkey breast, wings, and legs. Wash your hands, then salt and pepper the turkey all over. Insert a meat thermometer in the meatiest part of the thigh (don't touch a bone) like this:
For the best results, don't stuff the turkey (cook your stuffing in a pan on the side) and don't baste the turkey.
1 hour before the turkey is done (or 2/3 into the roasting time), lightly cover the breast with a large loose piece of foil to prevent the breast from overcooking. The turkey should be nice and brown by now.
When the time is up, check the meat thermometer. The turkey is done when the thermometer is 180 degrees in the meatiest part of the thigh, and when you make a slit in the skin with a knife in the crease where one of the legs attaches to the body the juices run clear. Remove the turkey from the oven and the rack onto a carving board or into a large pan and let it stand for 15 minutes before carving.
While the turkey is resting, add the flour to the chicken broth and use a small whisk to mix it thoroughly with no lumps. Take 2 tbsp of the drippings from the roasting pan and put them in a medium pot over High heat. Pour the chicken broth into the pot and use a spoon to mix it with the drippings. Stir constantly while the gravy comes to a boil. When it boils, continue to stir it and reduce the heat to Medium while the gravy thickens up. Salt and pepper to taste. When the gravy is done, turn the heat to Low until you're ready to serve it.