We never had Turkey Dinner at Christmas when I was a kid,
simply because we just couldn't seem to cook one properly
- It wasnt that my parents were not good cooks, its
that for one reason or another, the turkey would just not
cooperate. It was either tough, underdone, overcooked or
dry or any combination of the above. As a result, the Long
household had to settle for ham as our Yuletide main meal.
So when I grew up and had to fend for myself in the kitchen,
I determined that I would break the curse and cook a bird
that was just right. Over the next several years I tried
all the options in search of a juicy, tender, colourful
and tasty turkey experience. In the end I believe I have
succeeded so I offer you the following recipe to ensure
that your family and guests can always enjoy turkey at Christmas.
Get a nice looking bird, it doesnt matter what kind
Grade A, B or C frozen or fresh, It just has to look the
Rinse it in water and sprinkle all over with poultry seasoning.
Stuff with a mixture of cut up bread, fried in a wok with finely
chopped celery, onions, and anything else you have kicking
around (walnuts, mushrooms, giblets, sausage etc.) and again
lots of poultry seasoning.
Place in roasting pan using a turkey lifter (a grill with
handles that goes under the bird) This is important because
the bird will be so tender it will fall apart when you try
to lift it out without one.
Smear a 1/4 cup of butter over the breast and cover loosely
with a foil tent shiny side out. Cook at 450 degrees
an hour then reduce the heat to 375 for about 20 min a
pound - remove tent for last 20 minutes until the bird
Remember to rotate and baste the bird often using one of
those giant eyedropper looking things and poke a hole in
the skin just above the drumstick and squirt the juices
here are the real important bonus tips: Turkeys cook
best if theres lots of activity in the kitchen with
everyone trying to tell you better ways to cook it and different
ways to tell if its done.
Some want to use bags, Dutch ovens, thermometers, pop up
devices and more. The real way to know its ready is
the leg. It should move freely but if your not sure, give
the leg a little twist and if you think it will pull right
off, Its done!!
Take the bird out and let it stand 15 minutes and let the
juices drain then remove it for carving. There should be
lots of juice left to make a nice gravy . . . gravy?. .
. oh thats another story.
- Merry Christmas and bon appetite