Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The Most Delicious Turkey Ever!

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Have you ever worked from the early morning hours, into the afternoon, preparing a Thanksgiving dinner only to suffer through dry, tough, turkey? Rest easy, friends. Those days are behind you.

My mother in law found this method of doing Thanksgiving turkey in her local newspaper a couple of years ago, and it was the best turkey any of us could remember having. It wasn't like any turkey I had tried before. It was moist and tender and flavorful. I have been doing it this way ever since. In fact, we like it so much that we now have roasted turkey several times a year.

The best part of this method is the 1-2 hour cooking time. That's right! Only an hour for smaller birds! No more setting your alarm clock to get up in time to get the bird in the oven.

What gives it the moisture that is missing from most of the Thanksgiving turkeys I have had in the past is 2 fold. First, it is soaked overnight in a brine, and second, it is roasted over a pan of water. Those two things in combination with the high heat and short cooking time will produce a bird you will be proud of.

Here you go, girls. I promise you won't go wrong with this recipe.

Roasted Turkey

  1. Soak the bird for 6-8 hours (Overnight is fine.) in an ice chest of water with 2 cups of salt, 1 cup of brown sugar, and plenty of ice. Make sure the birds is submerged.
  2. Pre-heat oven to 500 degrees.
  3. Rinse turkey and put on a rack in roasting pan.
  4. Stuff turkey with half an onion, some garlic cloves, and half an apple.
  5. Rub outside with butter. Sprinkle salt and pepper inside and out.
  6. Add one inch of water to bottom of pan.
  7. Roast for approximately 1-2 hrs. at 500 degrees (depending on the size of the bird).
  8. Cover turkey lightly with a foil tent if it becomes too brown.
  9. Check water and add more if needed.
  10. Remove when internal temperature reaches 161 degrees or when popper comes up.
  11. Be careful when you take it out. Remember, there is water in the bottom of the pan.
Mmmmmmmm...... I can almost taste it now!

Go to Rocks in my Dryer for more great tips.


Corrie said...

Sounds delicious!

Lori - The Simple Life at Home said...

Wow! I think I'll try this recipe this year. I love the short cooking time. Thanks for sharing!

Mommy Cracked said...

That sounds super easy and yummy! I have never cooked a bird before, but now I am tempted!

Infinity Goods said...

One hour! WOW! I can confirm brine is great and will make your bird moist.
Never used water in the roasting pan.

Does it steam your turkey?? I'd really like to know.

Thank you for this new method. I just have to try it this year. One hour will give us such freedom!

Stephanie @ ATime4Everything.com said...

I will have to try this with my own turkey. My mom is cooking ours and well...you know how that goes! She will do it her way! :)

~*~ Jennifer ~*~ said...

HEY -- no bag?? I hate the bag...

Hmm... I think I'll try this!

THANKS for sharing!!

Thehotrod5 said...

Wow that sounds gret! Kyle cooks our turkey only he deep fries it. It too only takes about an hour and comes out sooooooooooo juicy and moist.

Thanks for the recipe!


Melanie said...

I have tried the cold oven method, but not this. Thanks for the idea!

GiBee said...

Does the salty brine cure the meat enough that it doesn't need a longer cooking time?

Myfriendconnie@SmockityFrocks said...

Infinity Goods, I'm not sure how or why. I just know it works. The outside is a nice crusty brown and the inside is moist and tasty.

Gibee, No, the high temp. is what makes for a short cooking time. The internal temp. of the turkey still needs to reach "done".

Melkhi said...

When I cook chickens at a high temperature, they taste so good, but get the inside of the oven very messy. Is that the case with roasting the turkey this way?


Myfriendconnie@SmockityFrocks said...

Melkhi, I used the convection setting and it did make my oven a mess. When I mentioned it to my mother in law, she said hers didn't do that. Maybe it was the fan on the convection setting that blows the drippings around?

Melkhi said...

Thanks! Well I guess it is worth the mess if it tastes that good. :)

Nikki said...

So, is the turkey completely thawed before this process?

Does size of turkey affect cooking time? Our turkey is 17 lbs. this year.

Do you have any ideas for the best defrosting method? We're always shocked that it's not completely defrosted Thanksgiving morning.

How confident are you that if I follow your instructions that I too will have a successful bird? I have company this year and as a general rule don't make things different or new for company. I always try them out first. Could I try this on a chicken?

Myfriendconnie@SmockityFrocks said...

Nikki, THE PRESSURE - I CAN'T TAKE IT!!!!!! Just kidding! I do start with a thawed turkey. The one we're using for Thanksgiving is in the fridge right now. I can't remember the size we use, but it's always a big'un. I just keep checking the internal temp. after an hour until it reaches 161. My mother-in-law tried it on 16 people for the first time on Thanksgiving Day a couple of years ago and it went off without a hitch. I have done it with chicken. It gets done a lot quicker. Can't remember the timing on it, but if you're nervous about it, you might want to try that first and check the internal temp. often.

rachel said...

This sounds so good I'm sure I'll try it sometime. But I'd better not try it for a Holiday, I'm not sure what my dad would do to me if anything was different from "whats its always been!"

Nikki said...

I'm so excited to try this. I have a whole chicken in the fridge that I'm going to try it for tomorrow.

About your thawing turkey, is it in its original wrapper in your fridge? How long have you had it in there? Do you have it in a brown paper bag or anything like that?

We usually thaw our turkey in the fridge the recommended 3-4 days before Thanksgiving. And then inevitably Thanksgiving morning, it's still frozen. So then we have to do the waterbath defrosting and push back the dinner a couple hours.

Myfriendconnie@SmockityFrocks said...

Nikki, My husband brought home the turkey yesterday and we'll keep it in the fridge until the evening before Thanksgiving. That night, we'll do the brining in the ice chest. We have had the rock solid frozen turkey before, too, so now we just leave it in the fridge, in it's original wrapper, for the week preceeding the big day. Let me know how yours turns out. (I'm still waiting to see the Princess Party pictures, too!)

Myfriendconnie@SmockityFrocks said...

DOH! I just ruined my genius reading level with that stray apostrophe up there. I meant "its", not "it's".

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