Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Hello Mr. Turkey, How Are You?


My three and a half year old came home singing "Hello Mr. Turkey, how are you?" last year, and the song is back and better than ever this year.  I will spare you all the lyrics, but trust me once you start singing it, it will stay with you and repeat in a loop in your head for what seems like forever.  And while I find it kind of disturbing to talk to the turkey I am about to eat, I am still singing it and humming it all day.  I actually caught myself humming it as I picked out my turkey yesterday!

But the song got me thinking that maybe I should try something new this year with my turkey.  So here is how I think its gonna go down:  http://www.howtocookathanksgivingturkey.com/.  On the one hand this guy takes his turkey so seriously that he got the url "http://www.howtocookathanksgivingturkey.com/"  on the other hand I feel like this is a huge gamble.

The recipe kind of scares me (a) because its always scary to make a new recipe when you are having guests, (b) how bad would it be if the turkey was inedible (on Thanksgiving!), and (c) its a slow and low cook method (which has worked for me in the past for meat but I have yet to try on poultry).  (Also, I will have to swap out the butter for margarine which might be a gamble).  Nevertheless, I am getting good vibes about this one and I think the turkey gods are with me here.

Wish me luck....pictures to follow tomorrow.

P.S. I always think of this scene every time I make turkey!

THE VERDICT:  
So lets just say that the low and slow method of cooking turkey might have worked for me, had I put my turkey in the oven on Wednesday morning not Thursday.  I lowered the temperature per the recipe at 11:43 exactly, I know this because I took this picture so I would remember the time.

I look pretty damn serious in the reflection...this is Thanksgiving people! There are no second chances.
According to the plan, at 20 minutes per pound of turkey, this should have brought me to a perfect doneness by 3:43.  Just enough time to allow the turkey to cool and carve for around 5:00 and giving me about 30 minutes wiggle room. 




Well, when I checked in on my bird at around 3, nothing...no seriously, it was barely cooked.  It almost looked exactly as it did when I put it in.  I did use margarine instead of butter, which may have had an effect on the crispiness of the skin but not the cook time.  I could see that if I had the time this might be the way to go, but 12 adults and 5 children and no turkey makes for a pretty bad dinner.  I immediately cranked the oven to 350 and hoped for the best.  It took until about 5, but once I got a good internal temperature on my meat thermometer.



I took it out and carved away, not easy on a still hot bird, but I had little choice.  Tasted great but probably would have liked to leave it in a little longer (maybe I'm just used to drier turkey?).  All in all the turkey was great, but my nerves were shot.  I will definitely try this method again on a smaller bird when timing is not as important.

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