It has been quite a month. I went on a trip with my mother on the river boat Odyssey through Austria and Germany. We had a truly wonderful time. (I will devote an entire blog to the trip soon). As a result, I of course cleared out the fridge before I left with no plans for cooking, instead planning on having a small Thanksgiving dinner with friends.
Well my dear friend came down with a cold, so I decided to cook a little dinner for myself. I got the last slot on Tuesday for a 7:00 pm Safeway delivery. Since I don't own a car, Safeway delivery is a very convenient way to shop and usually orders are accurate and complete. Well not this time. In addition to no vegetables, lemons, nuts, milk and pancetta, the turkey was m.i.a. So off to the store on Wednesday. By the way I did get my delivery fee credited with no hassle.
I kept it simple. Cream of broccoli soup, roast turkey with a wild rice side dish with pancetta, a mixed green salad with dried cranberries and balsamic vinaigrette and a crisp chardonnay. I skipped dessert. I had enough Bavarian cream and apple strudel recently to last awhile.
Everyone has their favorite way to cook turkey and I have mine. Cover with soft butter and rub with salt and pepper. Heat oven to 450 degrees, place bird breast side down on rack in roasting pan (keeps breast meat moist as juices from leg run into it). After 15 minutes, turn down heat to 350 degrees. Turkey is now sealed. Baste with hot chicken stock every 20-30 minutes.
Know your approximate cooking time—rule of thumb is 20 minutes for every pound. Turn the turkey breast side up during the last hour to evenly brown and check the meat thermometer.
When it reaches 170 degrees, remove the bird even if it is under time—the thermometer rules.
Tent the bird and let it rest 20 minutes before cutting. Perfect every time.
By the way, this is for an unstuffed bird. I don't like moist stuffing and this is where cooking times can vary. Cook your stuffing in a casserole next to the bird the last 45 minutes.
The crispy top and tender middle is worth it.