Wow, I had no idea it would take me until Monday to get the recipes for Thanksgiving #2, although I should have expected it since most of Saturday was spent preparing the meal, then most of yesterday was spent at my mom's hanging out with my brother since it was his last day here.
Anyway, I'd only ever cooked a whole turkey once before, but I didn't want to use that same recipe. In case you're interested in it, it was from the magazine Real Simple, Roast Turkey with Sage and Orange Gravy. My friend Benah made it one time for the Supper Club we used to do every month, and it was awesome. But, you have to spread Boursin under the skin of the turkey, and Jen is having a hard time with dairy while she's pregnant, so I wanted something different. I turned to RecipeZaar.com because that's just where I go when I need to find a recipe. I looked at a ton of the turkey recipes on there and thought this one sounded simple and easy...totally what I wanted in a turkey! Kittencal is the name of the person that submitted the recipe; I have several of her recipes bookmarked to try, and they all sound fantastic.
Kittencal's Perfect Roasted Whole Turkey
RecipeZaar.com Recipe #199612
1 (18 lb) whole turkey
1/3 cup melted butter, cooled (can use margarine)
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon white salt (or use as much salt as desired)
fresh ground black pepper (lots of pepper!)
2 quarts chicken stock (might use less)
8 cups favorite prepared stuffing (optional)
Set oven to 325 degrees F, convection oven heat set to 320 degrees F. Set oven rack to lowest position.
Remove the giblets and neck from the cavity. Rinse the turkey well with cold water inside and out then pat dry with a paper towel. Place the turkey on a rack on a roasting pan.
In a small bowl mix together the melted butter with oil (add in 1 teaspoon garlic powder with the oil/butter mixture if you are a garlic-lover). If you are stuffing the bird, fill the inside cavity loosley with prepared stuffing (if you are not using stuffing then tie the legs together with cotton butchers twine).
Using clean hands rub the outside of the turkey with the oil/butter/garlic mixture. Season the turkey all over with salt and lots fresh ground black pepper.
If you are NOT stuffing the bird place breast-side down on the rack, if stuffing leave breast-side up. Place/tent a large piece of heavy foil over the turkey. Place the pan in the oven, then pour about 4-5 cups chicken broth in the pan. Keep basting the turkey about every 30-40 minutes with the pan juices on the bottom of the pan (removing the foil and re-tenting every time you baste). If you see the juices starting to evaporate then add in more broth to the pan about 2 cups at a time.
After about 2-1/2 hours of cooking time remove the foil. Keep roasting (325 degrees F) until the internal thermometer reads 180 degrees F (80 degrees C). The total cooking time for this 18-pound stuffed bird should be about 4 hours. Transfer the cooked turkey to a large serving platter, cover loosley with foil and let rest 30 minutes before carving (DO NOT slice the turkey before 30 minutes or all juices will flow out of the bird!).
**NOTE** cooking times for whole turkeys cooked at 325 degrees are as follows.
- For an 8-12 pound turkey, roast for 2-3/4 to 3 hours.
- For a 12-14 pound turkey, roast for 3 to 3-3/4 hours.
- For a 14-18 pound turkey, roast for 3-3/4 to 4-1/4 hours.
- For an 18-20 pound turkey, roast for 4-1/2 to 4-3/4 hours.
See? Totally simple! I wasn't really sure how it was going to work getting the bird out of the roasting pan and then flipping it over, but Jen came up with the brilliant idea of using a big fork and the honing blade for my knives. Smart cookie that one!! The only bummer was that the skin on the breast side of the turkey wasn't all golden and shiny and crispy like the side that had cooked facing up, but the breast meat was really juicy and good.
Actually the cooking time worked out perfectly. The turkey I had was 17 pounds, so I left it in there just a little over four hours, then took it out and let it set the recommended 30 minutes, which was great because most of the sides I needed to throw in the oven needed 30 minutes of bake time! I love when meals come together like that--especially big ones like this!
When the need arises for me to cook another turkey this is definitely the way I'm going to do it! Oh, and I did use the garlic powder in the butter/oil mixture. It smelled awesome, and I'm generally not a turkey skin eater, but I did have a bit, and it was quite tasty!