So with Mama Witch, Witchie Hubs and I having to work on the true Thanksgiving, we decided to go ahead and have turkey day last night. And MAN was it a trip LOL.
Ever since I moved out of my mom’s house, met hubs and had a family of my own I have never had the urge to cook a Thanksgiving dinner myself. Between all the families we had four different Thanksgivings to do before my mother-in-law passed away. That and I don’t really care for turkey.
I know, I know. Some of you probably gasped in absolute disgust. But honestly, I don’t like turkey. If I eat it, it’s the dark meat like a leg or perhaps the neck. LOVE turkey neck. Why don’t they serve that at fairs? So… If I don’t like it, why would I ever cook one? Yup. 32 years old. Been married for 10 1/2 years to a husband that absolutely ADORES turkey in any way, shape or form. Never. Cooked. A. Turkey.
Interesting. So I bought one.
And I thawed it out in cold water for a day, then thawed it the rest of the way in the fridge.
Then I had to cut it open. I usually have a very strong stomach. Nothing ever really bothers me. But man, that blood pouring out of the bag was my undoing. Then I had to pick it up and rinse it out really good, and it undone me even more. I kept “Ewwwww”ing and blech. The feeling of poultry skin is NASTY lol.
Once you get it out and rinse it REALLY good, pull the neck out and rinse it if you’re going to put it back in the turkey, which I did. Cause I like to eat the neck. Cause I’m weird. Then you have to pull out this plastic thingy in the middle which is REALLY hard to do and I almost flung the turkey across the room when it finally came loose.
After you rinse it, make sure you pat it dry. Really good. Inside and out. Then you separate the skin from the turkey… Which is disgusting. It feels…. Wrong….
And while you’re pulling the skin off, don’t forget to get the front part of the tata. There’s a little flappy of skin that you have to lift up and then you find this nice, disgusting package of giblets that you need to remove. That was such an unwelcome surprise LOL. I thought the bag I pulled out when I cleaned out the turkey was the giblets. NOPE. That’s them… BLECH.
Then you need to play with your turkey. Make it feel welcome, needed, joyful. Get it up by the wings and dance it around the pan singing “Hello my baby, hello my honey!” ala Spaceballs. This step you can’t leave out.
Then act like your head is attached to the turkeys neck. It will bring you closer to your food.
After you’re done playing, stuff the celery, carrots and onions or anything else you’d like to stuff in the cavity… Man that didn’t sound right… And stuff it in there.
Whilst doing this, you must expound and explain what you’re doing in a Julia Child accent and also you must hoot and holler whilst doing so. It sounds magical. Trust me.
Then you have all your stuff in the cavity… Looks a little better.
Now comes the fun part. Take your rings off or you’ll loose them in your turkey. Grab some butter, I’d say you’d want to do cold butter, because I let mine sit out and soften and it was EVERYWHERE except where I wanted it to be. Scoot this up under the skin, all the way to the front. Then cover the top of zee turkey in zee butter liberally. Coat that sucker like you were puttin’ sunblock on an albino.
Yup. It’ll look like this. Paula Deen’d be proud.
So…. We figured something out… If you want to cook a turkey in a couple hours, don’t put it in a roasting oven thingy. It won’t cook it as quick as a regular oven. So we had our turkey in here for a good three hours before we decided to throw it in the oven and cook it the rest of the way that way. Oh, and also, we put it in an oven bag, which really helps keep all the juices in and stuff.
While you’re waiting, you can make some green bean casserole and let it sit for awhile. Two cans green beans, 1 can cream of mushroom soup, 1/4 c milk, a teaspoon of soy sauce, a dash of pepper and half a can of french fried onions. Mix all that up in an oven proof bowl and cover with more french fried onions. Cook for 25 minutes (or until golden on top and bubbly on the sides) at 350. And voila. Best green bean casserole EVAR.
The finished product. So freaking good, creamy and YUMMY!! I even got my non-green anything eater husband to eat a spoonful!
You can also get your yams ready. Or sweet potatoes, whichever you want to call them. I use Bruce’s yams, they’re canned and they are SO good. Drain them good, throw in to a dish. Cut off two or three tablespoons of butter or margarine and sprinkle generously with brown sugar. Cook same time and temp as green bean casserole. When done, let cool a little bit, then cover in marshmallows, put back in the oven and let the marshmallows brown up some. You can also use the broiler, but keep a very close eye on them.
The finished product before applying marshmallows.
Remember to keep an eye on the turkey. If you notice, the little popper thingy popped out on ours. I let it cook for a good thirty minutes after that just to make sure that it was all the way done. To be even doubly sure, stick a meat thermometer in the meatiest part of the turkey, nowhere near bone and test the heat.
Enjoy the crisp, golden skin and delicious smells as it sits and rests for a good 15-30 minutes to retain the juices (and keep you from getting worms- as the mom in Christmas Story tells the Old Man repeatedly).
Be careful when you go to transfer it to your serving tray (or in our case cookie sheet) because you’ll more than likely loose the wings and a leg or two LOL. That was a bit of a shocker.
We used an electric knife to cut ours after it rested. Ok. Well, Mama Witch used the electric knife, I’m not allowed to. Something about not trusting me or something…. *grumbles* We got a fair amount of meat for dinner (including a leg and the neck for me!) and Mr. Witchie-Poo got to have enough breast left over for turkey and soy sauce for the next couple of mornings. Don’t ask, it’s gross LOL.
Check out that spread… Green bean casserole, cranberry sauce, rolls, yams and stuffing. YUM!
Don’t leave out the corn and the homemade mashed potatoes, which we hardly ever get to have due to the extreme amount of work that goes into them.
My happy plate for a very happy belly!
I was so pleased that my first foray into the world of turkakanis turned out so awesomely. It makes me happy to know that if I ever had to, I could definitely turn out an awesome, crispy, juicy turkey. Glad you guys stuck with me this long lol have a great Thanksgiving and keep an eye out for more recipes AND nail art tutorials that I’ll be pumping out in the next few days. Including a recipe/tutorial for my mom’s Oh So Special Pie!