I surprised hubby with one of his favorite foods for Valentine's Day -- a turkey, of course! He loves when I make turkey (I think it was a deciding factor before he proposed to me), so I knew it would be a great Valentine surprise for him.
I took pictures as I was preparing it and maybe they'll help someone on their next turkey-making mission.
Warning! If you are offended by images of raw meat, please do not view the remainder of this thread.
First, the basic bird. This fellow here is a 24-pound Butterball birdie.
Next to it you'll see my herb dressing, which will be used in the following steps. It's been rinsed inside & out and patted dry with paper towels (be sure to remove any bags inside -- CHECK in the neck, too!
The herb concoction is very random measurements of:
For the best (and most disgusting part) of preparing the bird, separate the skin from the breast so that you can moisten and season under
the skin. This step makes it SO delicious and ridiculously moist.
Make sure you take any rings off your fingers!
No... really, other than obvious reasons, they will tear the skin of the bird, which you want to avoid if at all possible. Move your hand around as much as possible to create space for the dressing.
I couldn't photograph this step with one hand, but you'll get the idea. Lift the skin and using a baster or ladle, apply generous amounts of the dressing.
Apply the dressing all over the outside of the bird as well.
Massage the dressing into the bird. It looks ridiculous, but it will press some of the herbs into the skin.
For this step, many people will use stock or water. I prefer to use more of the wine that was used in the dressing. Pour a little in the bird...
And a little around the bird
Don't forget to tuck your legs before baking!
Cover it loosely with foil and bake per "package instructions/pounds." Bake...bake...bake... I'll usually baste one or two times during the cooking period. During the last 30 minutes, I remove the foil so that the skin can golden.
Remove from oven and let REST! It needs to rest. Leave it alone.
30 - 45 minutes of resting later...