Fool-Proof Recipe for Incredibly Juicy, Delicious Turkey

Fool-Proof Recipe for Incredibly Juicy, Delicious Turkey

What's the biggest complaint about turkey dinners (besides the somnific quality of the tryptophan contained in the main course)? Dry, bland meat. There is nothing worse than eating dry turkey. Unless, of course, the gravy that accompanies it is bland. Ok ok, there are lots of things that are worse. But as far as traditional Thanksgiving and Christmas meals go, serving up a dry bird with bland gravy is practically a cardinal sin.

Originally posted at: http://fourunder4plustwo.blogspot.com

What's the biggest complaint about turkey dinners (besides the somnific quality of the tryptophan contained in the main course)? Dry, bland meat. There is nothing worse than eating dry turkey. Unless, of course, the gravy that accompanies it is bland. Ok ok, there are lots of things that are worse. But as far as traditional Thanksgiving and Christmas meals go, serving up a dry bird with bland gravy is practically a cardinal sin.

*I* have perfected (with a tiny bit of help from my brother, who is an amazing chef), a fool-proof recipe for a delicious, juicy turkey and mouth-watering gravy that will leave your critics guests coming back for seconds and thirds and asking for *your* recipe. And I'm going to share it with you, because I'm in a generous mood. It's not supposed to be a competition, people- we can all host an equally awesome holiday supper.

Turkey


I know I'm not usually a food blogger, but I have a confession to make: I am a closet foodie. As I was going over my plans for next weekend's meal earlier today, I was reminded of many a holiday turkey-gone-wrong that I've suffered through and wanted to spare you all that same fate. Plus, if you recall, I fancy myself a decent cook. So, without further ado, THE ULTIMATE HOLIDAY TURKEY RECIPE:

1. Butter your roasting pan, place the turkey inside the pan as you would normally. (I don't cook my stuffing inside the turkey, but if you prefer to do so then you will need to adjust the temperature for safety reasons. Nothing else should be affected.)

2. Melt between 1/2 cup and 1 cup butter (partially, until easily stirred but not fully a liquid), depending on the size of your turkey. To this, add sage, marjoram, and savoury, in equal proportions. These spices all have strong flavours, so it's always safer to start with less and then add later, as required. I usually cook a turkey that's about 25 lbs, and I use approximately 1 1/2 tsp of each. Mix well and use to coat skin of turkey.

3. Make 2 deep incisions in the turkey, right where the legs join the body, underneath the breast (one incision on each side).

4. Begin cooking the turkey at 300 degrees farenheit, for the first hour or so. After that, lower the temperature to 250 degrees. You will need to adjust the time for cooking based on the lower temperature (calculated by pound, depending on the size of the bird). It adds about an hour to the cook time for a 25 lb turkey.

5. Every half hour, pull out the turkey briefly and use a baster to inject the juices from the roasting pan into the deep incisions you made on each side of the bird. Do so several times per side, in rapid succession, until there's no more room and the juices flow out of the incisions. Also baste the entire surface of the bird. Return the turkey to the oven.

6. Once the turkey has reached an internal temperature of 165 degrees (insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh, being careful not to touch any bone), remove it from the oven. Baste inside the incisions and all over the surface of the turkey yet again, then remove it from the roasting pan to cool a few minutes before carving.

7. While the turkey is 'resting', make your gravy. Use a gravy separator (or just scoop off fat if you don't have one) to remove the bulk of the fat from the juices of the turkey mixed with the butter and spices that have pooled in the bottom of the roasting pan. Add some bisto (not too much as you don't want a sludgy gravy- besides, the flavour is already there, you just want to thicken it a tiny bit) and stir. Bring to a boil, then pour through a strainer into a gravy bowl.

8. As an alternative, you can 'tent' the turkey with tinfoil for the first hour or two of cook time. This also helps keep the bird from drying out, but I find it an unnecessary step as long as basting is done every half hour, and one is sure to baste inside those incisions. This will ensure that that breast meat, which is so often overcooked and dried out, remains plump and juicy.

*As a bonus, for those of you who REALLY want to impress, you can follow these instructions and cook the turkey the day before, de-bone it completely, then reheat the meat in a roasting pan with your gravy the next day. It is AMAZING...and so much less clean-up the day of, as well!

Don't you dare throw out even one drop of that precious gravy, because later this week I am going to post an amazing recipe for turkey-pot-pie, made from leftover turkey, that is incredibly simple and yet always a huge crowd-pleaser.

Image Credit: tuchodi on Flickr, used under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0) license.

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