Monday, November 18, 2013

Thanksgiving Turkey - Caity


This will be the first year I won't be spending Thanksgiving at home in Utah and I am a little bummed. I will miss being woken up early in the morning by Molly jumping on my bed and sitting on my chest, I will miss snacking on Sugared Cranberries while my mom and Lynn repeatedly tell everyone to get out of the kitchen, I will miss my mom sneakily calling me into the kitchen to taste the crispy, salty turkey skin without my dad knowing because if he knew he would tell us how much cholesterol and sodium we are consuming. Most of all I will miss sitting down around the gigantic makeshift table(s) with the Kestle family, enjoying the fantastic food and being together with my whole family.  And of course I will miss the point where Erin feeds Molly from her fork while Molly sits at the table! 

But then I remember how lucky I am to have my Portland family and how blessed I am to have such wonderful people to celebrate with. This year, I am especially lucky because Becca is coming down from Vancouver, B.C. to celebrate the holiday with us! She will help me keep the Walsh/Kestle Thanksgiving family traditions alive like making our favorite recipes and watching Christmas Vacation after dinner is over. 

Brendan is also keeping one of his favorite family Thanksgiving traditions alive, which is a pie baking contest with his cousin Colleen. Unfortunately, Colleen will be in Utah and not able to come to our Portland Thanksgiving, so Brendan had to find a new opponent. He has officially challenged Becca. I am already looking forward to tasting the final product. 

I have only cooked three turkeys in my life and I do not claim to be an expert of any sort. Each time I cooked the turkey though, I was on the phone with a real expert, my mom. This recipe is the way she cooks our turkey for Thanksgiving and this is way I will be making it next week. My mom does not baste her turkey or stuff it (see our Thanksgiving Stuffing, which I guess is technically dressing) and it always turns out great. 

If you're looking for any additional Thanksgiving related recipes (like Fresh Cranberry Orange Relish or Orange and Herbs Turkey Brine) check out our "Thanksgiving" header under the Recipes section. Have a happy and safe Thanksgiving! 

Three years ago: Thanksgiving Stuffing

what you'll need:

1 turkey
1 lemon, quartered
peel of 1 orange
1 small bunch fresh thyme
1 small bunch fresh Italian parsley
3-4 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
1 onion, quartered
A couple pieces of celery

First, position the bottom rack in the lower third of the oven so the turkey will fit. Then preheat oven to 325 F. 

Rinse the brine from your turkey (if you brined it), pat the turkey dry with paper towels. Place the turkey breast side up in the roasting pan using a rack if you'd like. 

Remove the pop up timer from the turkey because in Cathy's words "They're useless".

Stuff the cavity with the lemon, orange peels, thyme, italian parsley, garlic cloves, celery, and onion. Tuck the wings underneath the body which feels like you're dislocating the elbows. If you would like you can tie the legs together with kitchen twine. 

If you did not brine your turkey, salt and pepper the skin. If you did brine it, you're ready to go.

Place the turkey in the oven and see the chart below for roasting times:

Unstuffed Roasting Time:
8 to 12 lbs
3 to 3-1/2  hours
12 to 14 lbs
3-1/2 to 4 hours
14 to 18 lbs
4 to 4-1/2 hours
18 to 20 lbs
4-1/2 to 4-3/4 hours
20 to 24 lbs
4-3/4 to 5-1/4 hours
24 to 30 lbs
5-1/4 to 6-1/4 hours

If the skin is browning too much or too quickly, tent with tin foil. 

The turkey is done when a thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the thigh without touching the bone reads 165 F. The juices should run clear when the thermometer is removed. 

Transfer the turkey to a platter and tent with foil. Let rest for one hour before carving. 

Three years ago: Thanksgiving Stuffing

Mom looking stylish and happy while outside grilling the 2nd turkey for our Thanksgiving 2012 celebration

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