You may be thinking to yourself that this is way too late to be posting about Turkey...not so my friend. In fact, in my book, this is the perfect time to be posting about Turkey. I am the proud owner of 5 Fresh and Delicious Jennie-O Turkeys ranging in weight from 10 to 16 pounds and I didn't spend over $5.00 on each turkey.
See, I look at Black Friday differently than most girls. While they are busy trying to get into Macy's, Kohl's, or Target at an insane hour, I am trying to resist going into the grocery stores until they put the fresh turkeys on sale. The frozen turkeys they will let sit around until after Christmas (they are already frozen, why would they need to rush them out the door?), but the fresh turkeys (which the FDA or some other arbitrary regulation organization has mandated must stay above freezing temperatures) have a finite shelf life and thus need to be sold out the doors. So on Black Friday I went out and bought a lovely 16 pounder (her name was Shelly), brought her home, and got ready to roast.
I love turkey and I never seem to have enough leftovers to enjoy my extra sides and to make all of those wonderful turkey dishes that people talk about getting tired of. So I make an extra turkey for exactly that purpose.
I decided to cook Shelly on Sunday when Matt and Mac were resting...here is my method (which worked well for a neutral Turkey who was going to mainly be used in dishes). I think I have posted this before...but I am too tired to look!
Get out roasting pan, turn on over to 400 degrees. Take Shelly out of bag and rinse her off, removing gravy packet (I discarded) and leaving the neck in... While Shelly is draining from her bath, place a rough chopped onion, 4 or 5 whole carrots, and 4 or 5 whole stalks of celery in the bottom of the pan. Pat Shelly dry and place her on top of the veggies. Massage with oil and butter, sprinkle with seasonings of your choice (this time I used salt, pepper, and poultry seasoning). Throw in a beer or two. Roast in the oven for an hour, reduce heat to 325 and finish cooking until Shelly is about 160 degrees (just shy of 4 hours)...remember about carry over cooking. If Shelly was going to be used for eating alone I would have placed her breast down for that first hour, then flipped her over for the remaining part to help all the juices run into the white meat.
Shelly has since been turned into dinner with leftover sides, three turkey potpies (shredded meat, a bag of frozen mixed veggies, cream of chicken soup, and a pie crust) for the freezer, two two-person portions for the freezer, and boiled into a turkey base for soup also for the freezer.
Why the other turkeys you ask? I was at Kroger today and the turkeys kept looking at me like puppies asking me to take them home...so I took three home...then went back for something I forgot and picked up one more...
Three (Randolph, Lorenzo, and Ling-Ling) are in the deep freeze for later use.
Dmitri is in the fridge waiting to join a comrade in the smoker a friend is firing up this weekend...can anyone say smoked turkey quesadillas?!?!?