Roasted Turkey – Karen’s Favorite
For Thanksgiving, Christmas, or Easter this roasted turkey is by far the best turkey I’ve EVER eaten. Yes, there are a few extra steps but it’s so worth the trouble. It can be cooked, deboned, sliced, and frozen before the big day. Now, how’s that for those of us who have NoTime2Cook. That’s me when entertaining 10+ people at our little cabin in the woods on Thanksgiving day. Besides, the cabin kitchen is so small, my sister and I learned years ago to cook ahead and freeze what we can. This turkey froze beautifully and tasted like it had just come out of the oven that morning.
My sister, Kay, brought the ham. (It was perfect! She bought a Cook’s precooked spiral sliced ham that she deboned, separated the slices, and brought them ready for heating. We don’t care for the glaze.) I brought the roasted turkey–sliced and thawed. We stacked all the meat in an aluminum pan with a lid and heated in a 350 oven for about an hour. We could have also arranged the meat on a platter and heated in the microwave. I also took my “family favorite” potatoes frozen and Mama’s dressing–sorry, cant share that recipe as it’s the one you’ll find in Kroger or can purchase on our online store. Even the Pumpkin Pie and Pecan Pie were cooked ahead and frozen.
Our before-hand prep, a beautiful table, hungry folks, and our young people cleaning up the kitchen made for a most relaxing and enjoyable Thanksgiving day. Now on to Christmas!!
4 days for thaw and brine + 30 mins for prep + 30 mins to carve & slice
- 1-10# Turkey
- 2 T Kosher salt
- Black pepper
- Olive Oil
- 1 onion, quartered
- 2 ribs of celery, cut up
- 1 cup fresh parsley
- 1 orange, quartered
- 1 lemon, quartered
- 5 slices hickory smoked bacon
- Tony Chachere’s Injectable Butter Marinade
- 2 cups chicken or turkey stock
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- Thaw and wash: If turkey is frozen, leave wrapper in place, set in shallow pan, and refrigerate for 2 days. If fresh turkey, skip this step. When turkey is thawed, wash thoroughly and pat skin dry with paper towels. Set aside neck and giblets to make chicken stock.
- Dry brine: Place turkey in turkey roaster or pan that will fit in refrigerator. Using your hands, work the skin away from the breast, drumsticks, and thighs. Rub 2 1/2 T of Kosher salt in between skin and meat and inside cavity of turkey. Cover and place in fridge for 2 days. Remove cover for last 24 hours of brine allowing skin to dry out.
- Cook prep: Remove brined turkey from fridge and drain liquid from bottom of pan or roaster. Rub turkey surface with olive oil and sprinkle generously with black pepper. Stuff cavity with onion quarters, celery, orange quarters, lemon quarters, and fresh parsley. Lay bacon over breast. Baste with two syringes full of Tony’s Butter Injectable Butter Marinade. (You will not need the needle that is included in the marinade since you are basting and not injecting) Add 2 cups of chicken broth to bottom of roaster.
- Baking: Place turkey uncovered in a 300 degree oven for 3 1/2 – 4 hours basting with Tony’s Butter Marinade every 30 minutes. Remove bacon and discard for last 30 minutes of cook time so breast can brown. Turkey is done when internal meat thermometer registers 180 degrees in thigh and 160 degrees in breast. Turkey will continue to cook another 5 degrees after it is removed from oven.
- Carve & slice: Allow to sit for 30 minutes when turkey can be handled for deboning, carving, and/or slicing.
- Serving: Serve immediately, or freeze in ziploc bags to serve at a later time.
- Carcass & juice: Carcass can be frozen to boil later for soup. Juices can be made into gravy or frozen with carcass.
- Chicken stock: Cover neck and giblets with water. Add a teaspoon of Chicken Base or 1/2 t. salt to water. Simmer for an hour. Strain broth in colander, allow to cool, and refrigerate until ready to prep turkey for cooking. Debone neck, chop up giblets, and refrigerate if planning to make giblet gravy after turkey is cooked. Otherwise, discard.