Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Turkey time and coming soon...Holiday goodies!

Well, it's four days after Turkey day and I'm still obscenely full! It was awesome, an entire, uninterrupted day of cooking followed by a lovely evening (and following day) of eating, drinking and good folks. I tried a new turkey recipe this year and I've gotta say it was my favorite turkey (recipe below) I've ever made and it was SO easy, no basting, no burning, no nothing. It was one of those things where you did a minimal amount of prep work and shoved it in the oven and then just forgot about it.

The skin on this bird tasted heavenly! I guess that's what covering it in butter will do!

This year I definitely overcompensated for the lack of leftovers last year and bought a bird that was so big, each person had THREE pounds allotted to them!!! Yep, I said three. Needless to say, there were lots of leftovers, which I've been savoring in a number of tasty ways. One of my favorites has been the turkey quesadilla - as simple as spreading some grated cheese on a corn (or flour) tortilla, placing a few pieces of turkey on top, sprinkling that with a little dried oregano and a little more cheese, another tortilla and then a quick shot in the pan on both sides. So yummy, especially with a little salsa and sour cream.

This is only a third of our turkey - no joke! So moist!

Another good (and healthy) way to use up some of those leftovers is in a nice salad. A few mixed greens, some choice pieces of turkey, a bit of goat cheese and some almonds and dried cranberries keep the dream that is Thanksgiving alive (all week long since it's what I've been having for lunch).

One of the best thing about Thanksgiving is the leftovers! This salad is so good...

Alright, stay tuned throughout December for a month full of homemade gifts that you can use to stuff stockings or your family's mouths. This year I'm going to be making homemade granola, lemon curd, and many other fun things...


Perfect Roast Turkey

1 Whole Turkey (any weight works with this recipe really)
1 stick salted butter, softened
2 Tbsp rosemary, finely minced
2 lemons, cut in half
4 rosemary sprigs
3 tablespoons salt (preferably kosher) plus more for seasoning
pepper to taste

- Move the oven rack to the lowest level and set the oven to 325 degrees
- Remove the neck and giblets from the turkey, rinse it off and pat it dry with paper towels.
- Melt the stick of butter and the minced rosemary together.
- Using your hands, gently separate the skin of the turkey from the meat. Using your fingers, spread 2/3 of the rosemary butter under the skin of the bird.
- salt and pepper the cavity of the bird and place the lemon halves and rosemary sprigs inside.
- Place the bird in a roasting pan and brush the skin with the remaining 1/3 of the herb butter.

- rain the bird with salt (roughly three tablespoons) and tent with tinfoil
- Cook a 10-12 lb bird for about 2 hours at 325 degrees and add 15 minutes per lb for a larger bird (i.e. 4 hours for a 20 lb bird)
- At this point, crank the oven heat up to 425 degrees remove the foil and cook for another hour.
- The bird is ready when the juices run clear and the thickest part of the breast reads at 180 degrees.
- Let sit for at least 15 minutes before carving.

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