Tuesday, December 6, 2011

World's simplest (and world's best) roasted turkey

Up until Nov 29th of this year (several days after Thanksgiving), I thought I hated turkey.
I pick at it and push it around my plate at Thanksgiving dinners.
I avoid it at pot lucks.
The closest I ever came to eating turkey is eating Oscar Mayer turkey deli meat, and that doesn't even taste like meat (more like sodium and ambiguous meat paste mashed together into a thin disk).

After I learned that you can make turkey meat floss out of  leftover turkey meat (more about that in the next post), I decided to go out and buy a frozen turkey on clearance.
Ralphs came through and had turkeys on sale at 44 cents per pound.  I grabbed the last 14 pound turkey (the rest were all 20+ pounds).

I quickly scanned the web to see the easiest, simplest way to roast a turkey.  All that I cared for was a fully cooked turkey that I could shred and make into dried turkey meat floss.  I came across this recipe on the Food Network website:  http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/worlds-simplest-thanksgiving-turkey-recipe2/index.html

This recipe looked very simple, straight forward, and had plenty of postive reviews.  I was very surprised by the number of positive reviews considering that this recipe did not require any brining (which seems to be every one's "trick" to making a "juicy" thanksgiving turkey.  I would like to know their definition of juicy...).  The recipe appeared to be just like roasted chicken recipe.   

I made a some minor alterations to the recipe and did the following steps:
  1. Rinse and dry the turkey with paper towels.  Remove the giblets
  2. Cut up 1 onion and placed it in the cavity
  3. Salt & Pepper the interior and exterior of the bird
  4. Drizzle olive oil on the breast.
  5. Place the bird on a roasting rack and tent the bird with foil.  (I admit, I had no idea what to do with the wings.  I just let them all hang out ... lol).
  6. Place the bird into a preheated oven for 2.5 hours at 325 degrees.
  7. Remove the foil, and bake for another hour at 425 degrees.  (Notice that I did not baste!  Did you know that basting does not really help a turkey stay moist, and it actually dries it out?)
The bird came out beautiful.
As I was de-boning the turkey (and saved the bones to make turkey soup later), I tasted a piece of the turkey, and HOLY COW, it was delicious.
It did not have that awful turkey after taste, the meat was not hard and stringy, and the meat was oh-so moist.  It melted like butter in my mouth.
I called Jeff over to try some, and he agreed, that it was some damn good turkey.

We both agreed that this turkey is better than other turkeys that we have had, and I now have to retract my statement (that I hate turkey).
Here is my new statement:  I like eating turkey when it is done well.

Not only was this turkey moist and tasty, but it was REALLY EASY to make.
I did not prep and brine the day before.
I did not slave over the oven all day long, watching the bird and basting.

(the funny thing is, I actually did not hear the timer go off, so the turkey roasted for longer than intended.  yet it still came out good! imagine how much better it would have been if I actually heard the kitchen timer?)

In the end, I decided to save some meat turkey for eating, before making the leftovers into turkey meat floss. 

I know that there are lot of people that are stuck in their own ways and think that their turkey recipe is the "tried and true" method.  But the next time you see people drown your turkey in gravy, maybe it's time to try something different and see how that turns out.
Won't know 'til you try!

1 comment:

yao said...

i've had juicy turkey before!