Isn't it crisp and golden looking? I know you've just been waiting and waiting to see what my turkey looked like. This was a 22.55 lb turkey.
To give you a little perspective, I told my brother to put his hands next to the bird. Except, not that way! That makes his hands look huge and it doesn't make the turkey look very impressive! Hmph!
OK, this way, so his hands look normal and the bird looks big. And for comparison, that pot of stuffing behind the turkey is a 5-quart stock pot so you can gauge its size for yourself.
I ended up only feeding 15 people this year so I went really lazy with the turkey and the rest of the menu. And let me tell you, it was a lot less work and a lot less stressful.
I did my grocery shopping on a Tuesday since I figured the turkey needed time to defrost in the fridge. I waited until the night before to do the salt rub. And I didn't start cooking until 2 p.m. on Thanksgiving day, for dinner at 6 p.m.
I didn't stuff the turkey this year so it'd cook faster and it was done in 3.5 hours. The turkey was crisp on the outside and moist on the inside with no basting required. This was the fifth turkey I've ever cooked, and I think this method is one of the best as well as the easiest! It's an adaptation of last year's roast salted turkey, but with a much shorter brining time.
Salt Rub and Butter Turkey
1 tsp of kosher salt per lb of turkey
1 stick of unsalted butter
If you're starting with a frozen turkey, purchase it at least 2 to 3 days before you intend to cook it so that it has time to defrost in the refrigerator.
The night before you intend to cook it, wash the turkey thoroughly inside and out and let drain on a colander. Measure out 1 tsp of salt per pound of turkey. Thoroughly massage the salt all over the outside and inside of the turkey, making sure to concentrate on the breast where most of the meat is located.
Place the turkey breast-side up in a shallow bowl or pan and cover with plastic wrap.
About 4 hours before you intend to serve the turkey, take it out of the fridge, drain, and brush off any excess salt. Turn your oven to 425 degrees to pre-heat. Then cut 1 stick of butter into slices and place the slices underneath the skin, adding more on the breast and between the thighs, as well as rubbing it all over the outside of the turkey.
Place your turkey in a roasting rack or shallow pan, and cook breast-side down for about 45 minutes to 1 hour, whenever you see the bird looking very golden. Flip it over so the breast side is up, and cook at 350 degrees for another 2 1/2 to 3 hours. That's it!
Take it out and let it rest at room temperature for at least 15 minutes to redistribute the juices before carving.
I made Chicken Noodle Soup while the turkey was cooking. Lil' sis made stuffing and peeled the potatoes, my brother mashed them. Her best friend brought green bean casserole and an awesome spinach, cranberry, walnut, mushroom, parmesan, Baco Bits salad. My brother steamed some squash, asparagus, and eggplant. My oldest uncle's wife sent over her fabulous egg rolls. My youngest aunt brought over a roast duck. I made gravy from the turkey drippings. So with all the side dishes done, we dug in.
With the oven freed up, I baked a Chicken Pot Pie, Lemon Chicken and Potatoes, and Biscuits. My youngest aunt's husband liked the baked chicken so much, he even asked for the recipe. :) And my youngest aunt thought my Chanh Muoi (Vietnamese Salty Pickled Lemons) looked so pretty that she asked for a jar. Anyway, here's my plate with a little of everything.
And a picture of the chicken pot pie. I forgot to take pictures of the baked chicken and biscuits.
In exchange for making the pot pie, the oldest '88 made her famous pumpkin crunch. Think of it as pumpkin pie with a crunchy bottom crust with walnuts. I'd ask for the recipe, but then she wouldn't make it for me anymore. :P
And since the middle '87 is still studying abroad in Singapore, she asked me to save her a turkey dinner. So I washed the tray from the last of my Thanksgiving Dinner for 1 :( frozen turkey dinner experiment and saved this for her in a Ziploc baggy.
So here you go sweetie, I hope it'll taste good when you get to it in a few weeks.
Who made my salt rub and butter turkey?
Vuthy said, "The turkey came out great. Skin was crispy; flesh was juicy and moist, falling off the bone."
JS of Eating Club Vancouver said, "I stole a little piece of thigh meat while TS was carving the turkey and my eyes widened in amazement. It was freakishly delicious! So this is what turkey could taste like!" And TS said, "The turkey wasn't just "good," it was great! In fact, we didn't have any left over!"
1 year ago today, Pumpkin Penne.