My Very First Roasted Turkey!

Yes, believe it or not, but I have successfully avoided making a turkey for the last 30+ years (my whole adult life).

Honestly, I have always wanted to make a turkey, but have never had the opportunity.  I usually visit family for the holidays; and am relegated to su chef status.  Therefore, I do a lot of prep, veggies and dessert dishes, but never the main “protein” portion of the meal(s).

That said, I picked up a frozen turkey a while back, and it has been happily sitting in my sub-zero freezer just waiting for me to get up the courage to make it.

TODAY WAS THE DAY!  Never mind that I have to figure out what to do with all that turkey meat; but I really wanted to give this poultry a try.  I must say, it certainly looked wonderful when I pulled it out of the oven.


I also used a very old (and in perfect condition, since I don’t recall the last time I used it) roasting pan, black, speckled, with large lid/top.  Everything I have read about making a turkey on the web says you should use a short sided roasting pan, don’t cover it (except maybe with some foil), put it on a fancy dancy roasting rack, blah, blah, blah.

Well, I am here to tell you – DON’T THROW OUT YOUR GRANDMOTHER’S ROASTING PAN!  This turkey turned out great!  Look at that beautiful golden color!

I didn’t have a roasting rack, so I just wadded up some foil into about 8 different balls and strategically placed them in the bottom of the pan – so there!  No fuss, no muss – they get thrown out and I don’t have to try to clean them either – HA!  🙂

As for the turkey – I took my lead from a friend who said she makes some of the best turkeys.  Stuffed some celery, 1/2 onion cut into quarters (brown skin left on), a handful or so of baby carrots I had in the freezer, and a clove of garlic.  I didn’t have any fresh rosemary, so I took about a teaspoon of dried stuff and stuck that in the cavity as well.  I took a stick of butter, cut into about 4 pieces (using my hands), flattened with my hands and put them under the skin, on top of the breast meat.  Then I took some olive oil and drizzled it on the outside of the bird, then smeared it all over.   Put about 1/2 cup of water in the bottom of the pan (why?  I don’t really know, it just sounded like a good idea), put the roaster top on, and popped the bird in my oven set at 350*.

I also read that you should baste the bird every 1/2 hour.  Well… I forgot that part – OPS!

While the bird was roasting, I took the neck and innards and made some turkey stock with it; throwing it in a pot of water with onion, carrots, celery, a bit of rosemary, sage and thyme, along with a little salt and pepper.  A little taste test revealed a very nice stock to use for gravies, etc.  The neck meat and innards will be a wonderful treat for my dogs.

Fourish hours later – checked the temperature of the bird – 200* breast, 200* thigh, and the bird was done!

I let the bird sit, in the pan, covered for 1/2 hour after taking it out of the oven.   I was rather worried that the breast meat would be woefully dry, since I forgot to baste… Well,  it was not only moist, it fell apart when I was cutting it, it was so tender!  The legs and wings came off the bird easy as can be with the meat slipping of the bones as well.

I would have to gage this little roasting “experiment” a resounding SUCCESS!

Now to figure out what to do with all that turkey meat!  Any suggestions?

Turkey pot pie,
Turkey Salad… I am open to suggestions.  🙂


4 responses

  1. you JUST made it this past wkend….congratulations; really no different that roasting a chicken (ok, a little larger and I roast my chickens upright). Turkey and noodles is another option for leftovers or turkey tacos.

What are you having for dinner?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s