The Easiest Roasted Turkey + Viking Roasting Pan Giveaway

You notice I didn’t say tastiest or prettiest.   Don’t be mistaken. This is a very respectable turkey and I would be proud to serve it to friends and family. The picture above is from this exact recipe. looks good eh? My goal with this recipe is to take the stress out of preparing the main dish on Thanksgiving day.  That and actually giving back some of the oven space to you to prepare all those amazing other side dishes!

I hope your sitting down because I’m about to throw you for a loop here……

Cook the turkey frozen and carve it the day before Thanksgiving

Now if your still reading this and haven’t moved on to another more respectable food blog let me tell you why this works.

90% of the food you eat in a restaurant is prepped, partially cooked and back in the fridge at least 1 day prior. There are some exceptions to that rule but more than not there is a ton of prep that happens every day to serve the following evening.  If done correctly the food is just as fresh and flavorful if it was prepared from scratch the same day. Specifically, cooking meats 75% is considered par-cooking.  The last 25% is cooked when your order is placed. That’s what we are going to do here.

[blockquote align="none" cite="Wikipedia"]Par-cooking refers to the technique of partially cooking foods so that they can be finished later. There are two primary reasons for using this technique. First, it allows foods to be prepared ahead of time, and quickly heated prior to serving. Since the second reheat finishes the cooking process, foods are not overcooked as leftovers often are. This is a common technique in the processed food industry, and most frozen and prepared foods are par-cooked. From wikipedia. A second reason is to take advantage of different cooking techniques. For example, one method of preparing french fries involves first boiling, then frying the potatoes, so they have a crisp exterior and fluffy interior. In stir-fries or other mixed dishes, meats, root vegetables, and other foods that take a long time to cook, will be par-cooked so they finish at the same time as other foods.[/blockquote]

Turkey’s are cooked and safe to eat when the breast meat measures 165 degrees f and the thigh meat is 170-175 degrees f. For this turkey we are going to cook it just under that. You will finish it in the oven 30 minutes before you are ready to eat.

Once again this is not the juiciest turkey you ever had. For that I would thaw and brine  the turkey for 24 hours prior to cooking and then continue to follow the recipe. It is however the easiest turkey you have ever cooked and still very tasty.

Tips to cooking Thanksgiving Turkey

  1. Temperature, not time, is the ultimate decider of when the turkey is done. Invest in a decent leave in thermometer. I use this one.
  2. In my opinion the juiciest turkey is a brined turkey.  There are lots of recipes but Alton Brown has the best.
  3. Carve the turkey before taking it to the table. Nobody likes turkey juice flying in their face.
  4. Keep warm turkey or chicken stock on hand and drizzle over the sliced bird 2 seconds before taking it to the table
  5. DO NOT cook your turkey with stuffing inside. This might have worked for you in the past but you get a much tastier, and safer stuffing, if you cook it separately.

The Easiest Roasted Turkey

Cook Time: 4 hours

The Easiest Roasted Turkey

Ingredients

  • 1 frozen turkey of your size
  • 1 apple, cored and quartered
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1/2 white onion, quartered
  • 2 sprigs Rosemary
  • 1 Reynolds oven bag
  • 1 Digital oven thermometer
  • Roasting pan and rack

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 325ºf
  2. Unwrap frozen turkey and place inside oven bag and close with included zip tie.
  3. Cook for about 2-2.5 hours at which time carefully remove the pan from the oven, open the bag and take out the neck, innards bag and gravy bag (if included). You can reserve these for gravy if you like
  4. At this point put the onions, apple, cinnamon and rosemary into the cavity and season the outside if you like with your favorite seasoning blend.
  5. Before placing turkey back in oven, insert digital leave-in thermometer in thickest part of breast till you hit the breast bone and pull back 1/2".
  6. Close oven and cook till thermometer reads 160ºf. Should be another 2-2.5 hrs depending on size of turkey
  7. When you reach 160ºf remove the turkey and allow to rest for 30-45 minutes or until it is cool enough to handle. Caution: The turkey is NOT safe to eat at this point. We are par-cooking it.
  8. Remove the apples, onions and rosemary from the cavity.
  9. Carve the turkey and place into a large zip lock bag and keep in fridge.
  10. Drain the juices from the roasting pan and bag and place in fridge.
  11. At this time you can make a simple turkey stock by placing the bones into a stock pot, covering with water and adding a few chopped carrots, onions and celery. Cook on low for 2-3 hours, strain, reserve liquid and discard bones.
  12. The Big Day
  13. 30 minutes before you are ready to serve the meal and after all baking has finished in the oven. Bump the temperature up to 475ºf.
  14. Place the carved turkey on a cookie tray and pour 2-3 cups of broth over the turkey
  15. Roast on the highest rack for 15-20 minutes at 475ºf.
  16. The turkey will be cooked through at this point and the broth will help to keep it moist.
  17. Transfer to a serving platter and arrange the turkey as I have in this picture. You can always pour more hot turkey broth over it 2 seconds before taking it to the table.
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Viking Stainless Steel Roasting Pan Giveaway

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