I believe this was my first solo attempt at ‘large’ turkey baking.
Our 4-H club did a traditional Thanksgiving meal for it’s November meeting/potluck last year, and we enjoyed it so much we decided to do it again. Our family hosted this past Sunday and it’s always easier to bake the turkey in the location where it will be served. This is a 16 pounder and I stressed about it! I read through cookbooks and checked online to make sure I’d have enough time to roast it. Sunday morning, I got up at 5am to wash the bird (it’d been thawing since Tuesday) and prepare it for baking. I stuffed it with onions and celery, then basted it with butter and poultry seasoning. I even loosened up the skin around the breast and slathered some seasoned butter under the skin. That wasn’t easy!
The bird went into the oven at 6am. Before leaving for Mass, I did cover the bird in foil. I came home early from religious ed. and took it out of the oven at 11am. The pop-up was popped; I’m not sure for how long. I removed the bird from the oven and covered it in foil to rest and let the juices re-distribute. It sat until Noon. I started slicing and cutting up at that time. The meat wasn’t too hot to handle and it sliced nicely, even with my limited knowledge. At least no one complained!
Last year, I roasted a smaller bird and it fit in an oven bag. We didn’t have left-overs. I knew we’d need a larger bird this year because there were more people and the kids have grown. I had almost a gallon bag of leftovers and was thrilled. We’ve been eating turkey noodle soup, sandwiches, and turkey a la king all week.
I’d still like to try smoking a turkey on the grill…