It’s a cold day out there today…. and I can’t help but think of the thousands of shoppers out there, some even camping out, at 3:00am, at the door of the store they want to get one of those crazy-good bargains like a smart TV for $200 (or whatever, I’m not really up on the latest in TV’s the technology is changing so quickly!).
I’m too broke to do any of that, and I don’t really have the patience to hang out waiting for a store to open for me sprint to whatever display & snag the latest greatest thing. I have to admire those that can do it, though, especially in our climate!
No, today I’m trying to get the oomphs up to clean my kitchen from yesterday. I had no energy left to do anything by the time we ate our turkey dinner & watched a few episodes of House together (my almost-16-year-old daughter & myself).
I was pretty proud of myself — and impressed with my toaster oven, lol — for getting that turkey cooked! It was soooo good! I’m going to roast the rest of it later today.
I also wanted to share a little tip … cranberry sauce. DO you like the jelly only or are you a “whole berry” kind of person?
I only started liking cranberry sauce on my turkey in the last 5 years or so. (I know, right? I never used to like it, I would have a spoonful to eat after everything else, but something to do with turning 40, all of a sudden I got it on a few food things, like apple pie & ice cream or cranberry sauce on the same forkful as the turkey.)
One year when my daughter was small, I got bags of fresh cranberries right after Thanksgiving for 14¢ per bag! Too good of a deal to pass up — they were usually $3 per bag!
It was kinda like the “challenge accepted” on How I Met Your Mother.
I decided I was going to make cranberry sauce for Christmas. I probably should have done it in jars, but I’m kinda scared I’ll do it wrong & kill us all with botulism or something, so I tend to freeze things instead.
Anyway … I made cranberry sauce that year, just by cooking the berries with white sugar, & letting it reduce, then putting it in freezer jars & freezing it. It was awesome! Very tasty indeed!
Anyway, I try to buy that kind of stuff off-season, or just-after season because, like the fresh berries, it’s usually cheaper. A couple of years ago, though, I realized I bought the jelly kind, and that just won’t do in my household, but it was too late to go back to the store, except ….
I realized I had the huge Costco bag of Craisins on my pantry shelf that I had bought for a salad recipe. I put about 1 cup of them into a glass measuring cup then dumped boiling water on top & let them sit like that for an hour or so. Then I drained them & added them to the jelly & mixed them up really well.
OMG it was amazing. Better than the regular kind of cranberry sauce. Since then I always add some un-dried* Craisins.
(* for lack of a better word)
This past summer I went to the local no-frills type of giant supermarket for something & they had a huge pallet of canned cranberry sauce sitting right at the entrance — for 24¢ per can! Granted it was no-name brand, but still, it’s usually a good $2 each. So I bought 10 cans, because it’s not like it’s going to go bad (I don’t care it something has a best before date on the top of the can, it’s a NON-perishable, as long as the integrity of the can isn’t compromised, it’s fine for years). I just couldn’t resist that good of a deal. If I wasn’t having to haul everything myself (I don’t drive) I would have ought more.
And, as usual, I did the Craisin thing. It just adds another layer of flavour to the cranberries & really brings out the turkey-ness of the turkey. Yesterday, I had a can of whole berry and some of the no berry so mixed them together & added the craisins. YUM!
As for the turkey itself …. I roast it with a shit-ton of real butter shoved in all over the place, lots of poultry seasoning (like, a half-bag if it, nothing bring out the flavour of turkey like sage-ey poultry seasoning) AND I usually roast it breast-side down, so all the juices are running into the white meat instead of out of it — it makes is so juicy that people are fighting over white meat at my house.
Word of caution, though — because heat rises, it usually rises up into that thickest part of the turkey to get it cooked. Well, upside-down it’s rising up & away from the breast meat, so it takes longer to cook it, especially if you stuff your turkey. (I usually do stuff mine, but I couldn’t this year because of needing to make it as short as possible to fit in my toaster oven.) It probably isn’t helpful because turkeys have a big range of size, but I usually have to add at least 2 hours, and baste the thigh & breast part a lot to make sure the hot juices are getting there (I usually make a couple of stab holes in the thickest parts then shove the baster right in the hole to get the hot juices in to cook it).
I’ve also cooked them with stuffing separate, instead placing some fresh poultry herbs & sliced lemon inside the turkey — and butter, of course, can’t forget the butter. Roasting it that way works, too, and helps reduce the cooking time because when you baste it, you can just baste to the inside of the turkey to get it cooking from that side, too.
I have never tried brining, I’d love to try that some time, too, but I don’t have anything big enough to hold a turkey in brine that could also fit in the fridge (generally it’s too cold here in December to put something outside, it would just freeze).
I know I don’t have any readers right now, but in the event you’re travelling around blogs & stumble upon my little place here, I have to ask a question:
Do you do something different or oddball with your roast turkey to make it delicious or extra-juicy, never dry or tough? Even if it’s a super secret tip, I’d love to hear it!
Happy Boxing Day!