Roasted Turkey


Though roasting a turkey is the tradition of Thanksgiving, this baked bird also makes a great dinner feast year round, and leaves loads of leftovers for lunches and other dishes like turkey pot pie.  It's a great lean meat option and can make family dinner delicious.

For my first home cooked thanksgiving, I took a massive turkey, brined it overnight, then roasted it in an oven bag.  This past year, my sister in law took on the baking and asked if I was interested in assisting.  Cooking is of course my favorite hobby, and so when invited to help I pounced on the opportunity.



We did the cooking a little different this year, skipping out on the brining but still going for maximum flavor.  I brought some oven bags over after last year's success (seriously, when you can cut cooking time down by over an hour it is worth it) and got to picking out some seasoning.

After removing the neck and gravy from the turkey, I rinsed it thoroughly and rubbed salt and pepper inside.  I then added in some oranges and lemons, stabbing a few holes in them so they would infuse into the turkey.  On the outside, I massaged a mixture of trusted ingredients: olive oil, sage, thyme, a garlic and rosemary mix, crushed red pepper, salt and pepper into the skin.  I also cut some slits in the skin and inserted some garlic butter.  Then, I placed the turkey inside an oven bag to cook.  One of the things I noticed last year was that the moisture stayed in so well, so I was glad to use these again on a turkey that hadn't been marinated.




We sealed the turkey in an oven bag and placed it with a pan.  No mess!


It only took an hour and a half and look at that!  Perfectly cooked turkey.  Another advantage to the bags is that the heat is held in better than foil.


As hoped, the moisture stayed in very well.  The brine was certainly the most moisture-friendly method, but it is significantly more time and work. In a pinch (or lack of refrigerator space), you can still make a delicious turkey.  One of the things I got tired of when I was younger was the flavor of a bland turkey.  Don't get me wrong, I still love turkey that isn't seasoned much, but with a little more effort it can go from good to great.  This recipe was basic and the turkey was excellent. I especially liked the garlic flavor, courtesy of the garlic butter we added in, and the citrus hints in the meat. Overall, this bird was well seasoned and tasted delicious.   Oh, and do I need to mention that it takes more time to make a frozen, pre-made lasagna in the oven? There's no need to wait for Thanksgiving on this feast!

Roasted Turkey Recipe

Ingredients:

1 10 pound turkey
2 teaspoons sage
1 1/2 teaspoons ground thyme
2 teaspoons garlic rosemary mix
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons pepper
2 tablespoons garlic butter

Instructions:

Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Salt and pepper inside of turkey.  Rub outside with olive oil.  Cut slits in turkey skin and rub butter underneath.  Rub dry rub on.  Add to turkey bag. Cook 1 1/2-2 hours.

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