Saturday, November 27, 2010

The Day of the Turkey

The Man received a turkey from his employer for Thanksgiving.  Since Mom already had a turkey for yesterday, I decided to roast The Man's bird today and freeze it.  Our little freezer just isn't big enough for a whole frozen turkey, so by cooking it and then portioning it out, we can eat on it little by little throughout the next few months.

I've cooked turkeys before, always in an oven bag in a big roasting pan.  However, I don't actually own a big roasting pan.  Mom assured me a large cookie sheet would work fine for my 14-pounder, but I had my doubts.  I thawed the turkey from Thursday night until Saturday morning in the refrigerator, and then I took it out this morning and did a water bath in my sink, changing the water and turning the bird every twenty minutes or so.  Once I got the neck loose (ugh!) and the giblet bag out, I threw the turkey in the floured oven bag, poked some holes, threw it all on the cookie sheet, and tossed it in the oven for three hours.

Just a note: the oven bags sort of melt onto the cookie sheets.  Yeah.  BUT! After the turkey cooks completely and the juices spill out of the bag, the plastic bags will peel up if you're careful.  I thought my cookie sheet was ruined, but after a little baking soda scrub, it's good as new!

Three hours later, the turkey was roasted golden brown and the red thermometer spring had popped up, so I gave it another fifteen minutes and then pulled it out.  Well, first I burned myself twice and splashed hot juices on my hand and some of the oven door before I had to yell for The Man to come rescue the turkey from the oven for me.  He says that means he cooked the turkey today since he had to do the last part of it.  Bah.

I let the bird sit and then took it out of the bag, peeled all the skin off (yuck!), and then dissected it once it had cooled a smidge.  I got six quart-sized freezer bags full of turkey, evenly splitting the white and dark meat into each bag since we both like some of each when we eat.  The bags have just enough turkey for a pot of soup or a substantial serving of meat as part of a meal.  The juices are all cooling in the fridge in a covered mason jar so they can be skimmed, thinned, and then frozen as stock.

Meanwhile, I attempted to make myself a pair of pajama pants.  That was a complete failure.  I also did two more loads of laundry, set up the Christmas tree, and cleaned the kitchen (six times).

A lot of work to cook a bird, but it sure will taste good with cornbread and broccoli tonight! :)

1 comment:

MissKris said...

My daughter-in-law roasts the best turkeys we've ever eaten. Her mother is from Germany and Casey roasts it the German way. No stuffing in the bird...they put whole unpeeled oranges inside the cavity. I don't know how it works but the meat ends up being so moist and juicy, even the breast meat. I roast mine the same way now. It's delicious!!!