Monday, November 12, 2012

Cooking the Perfect Turkey~Every time!

Ladybird Ln Turkey Month
Welcome to our virtual Thanksgiving Dinner! I have teamed up with several other fine bloggers to bring to you Thanksgiving dinner. Naturally, they asked me to bring the turkey! At the bottom of this post, you will find recipes and projects to help you with all of your Thanksgiving Needs!

Cooking the perfect turkey is not hard... really and truly it is not! It is kind of like cooking a big baked potato... it takes a little prep work but then you throw it in the oven and forget about it!
 

There is nothing better then moist tender turkey meat!  As a turkey farmer, I will tell you to buy a quality turkey... say one from Norbest.  You can be assured a Norbest turkey was either raised on our family farm, or one of our neighbors, another family farm that is part of the Coop we belong too!

 Don't we make frozen meat look good, I bet you didn't know I was a model, haha!


There are a few items I INSIST you have if you are going to make the perfect thanksgiving turkey

A quality turkey NORBEST (wink wink)! (see above), 
Turkey oven bag such as Reynolds, 
Meat thermometer. 
These items are not expensive, and will make a world of difference! 
I season my turkey with:
2 TBS flour
Butter (about 1/4-1/2 cup)
2 TBS garlic freshly minced
2 sprigs fresh Rosemary
1 onion coarsely chopped (optional)
Celery coarsely chopped (optional)


 I think it goes without saying when you are working with poultry or any types of meat make sure your kitchen is clean and sanitized!  I usually always prep my turkey at night, when the kids are in bed.  You can do ALL OF THE PREP work ahead of time, so you do not need to worry about contaminating the other food you are working on for your feast!
  1. Remove the necks and giblets from your turkey, they will be found in both the top and bottom cavity. Thoroughly rinse your turkey.  Pat dry with a paper towel.
  2. Make a paste out of your butter and seasonings.  
  3. Work the paste onto the skin of your bird, you can also put some underneat the skin, to make it extra yummy!
  4. Place your chopped onions and celery in the cavity of your bird, this gives it more flavor.  I say it is optional but my mother in law swears by it!
Sprinkle your turkey with flour. Place additional flour in your cooking bag, and shake until the flour thoroughly coats the bag. Carefully place your turkey in your cooking bag, follow the cooking instruction on your  bags.  Slit the bags in a few places to allow some steam to escape.  The cooking bag in my book is essential, this helps the turkey retains it moisture throughout the cooking process. Follow the cooking times directed on the TURKEY OVEN BAGS.  Using a bag reduces the amount of cook time.

NOTE: You can do all of this prep work the day before.  Keep the turkey in the bag (as seen in the picture above) in the refrigerator until you are ready to cook it.  This will relieve stress, reduce the risk of food contamination, and save you from having extra helpers (aka my kids) around!

Now your turkey thermometer will be important.  At the minimum suggested cook time (on Reynolds Bag directions), check the temperature of your turkey.  When the temperature reaches between 175-180 degrees F take the turkey out.  Let the turkey sit at a minimum of 20 minutes, this will allow the juices to redistribute, and the turkey will continue to cook internally for the last 5-10 degrees.  A fully cooked turkey needs to reach 180 degrees F.  Using a meat thermometer is the best way to insure that you will have a moist done turkey!

A beautiful thanksgiving turkey! Now you are ready to carve it!
To carve the turkey place your cutting board in a cooking sheet, have another cookie sheet handy to put the meet in while you are cutting it.  Start by cutting off the drumsticks with a deboning knife.  Next cut the thighs.  I use an electric knife to cut the pieces into slices.


Now for my best trick, spoon some of the extra turkey juices over your platter of cut turkey.  You will  undoubtedly have the juiciest turkey on the block!
 Roasted turkey a wonderful family tradition!

Check out the other courses at our virtual Thanksgiving Table today - some awesome blogs have every course covered!

Leaf Placecard Tutorial at One Artsy Mama

Cheeseball Appetizer at Create.Craft.Love (left)
and Hot Cheese Dip and Cracker Tray at Jessie Street Designs (right)

Tips For Cooking a Perfect Turkey at Ladybird Ln. (right)
and Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes at Artsy Fartsy Mama (left)

Save oven space with Repeat Crafter Me's Crock Pot Green Bean Casserole (left)
Cranberry Marshmallow Salad at Happy Hour Projects (center)
Cheddar Tea Biscuits at Becoming Martha (right)

Classic Warm Apple Crisp at Chase the Star (left)
Seven Alive's Favorite Pumpkin Pie (right)

Turkey Cookies at Bear Rabbit Bear Crafts (left)
Pilgrim Hat Cookies at Wait Til Your Father Gets Home (right)

I hope you enjoyed this recipe round up, and you check out my friends' favorites today too!  What's your favorite Thanksgiving recipe?

I LINK to these parties!
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10 comments:

  1. I love that you are a turkey farmer, Carlee! It just makes this post that much better! That turkey looks amazing! It has that picture perfect brown skin and looks so juicy! Does Norbest sell in the Midwest? ;)

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  2. Okay I knew that you raised Norbest turkeys (we don't have them here in West Michigan). But I had NO idea your family was on the label!! I love that!!

    Awesome tips... thank you and your turkey looks amazing!!

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  3. I have never made a turkey before...very intimidated (perhaps its the neck and giblets...), anyway, I really would like to try this!!

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  4. Yumm! You make turkey look tasty! My favorite part is that your picture is on it...lol! I'm so excited to be "celebrating" with you today, friend!!

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  5. I am always so intimidated by making turkey (of course I only attempt it on big occasions which makes it scarier). I have never tried the cooking bag - definitely for Christmas. :)

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  6. I tried cooking a turkey once and got totally freaked by the neck and giblets. It all went down hill from there. But this is an awesome tutorial and I might be willing to give it another try! I for sure will keep my eye out for Norbest! That is so awesome that you are on the label!

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  7. This turkey looks amazing! And the fact that you are a turkey farmer tells me it's got to be the best!!

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  8. That IS a great trick to make a super juicy turkey! Thanks for sharing!! Looks delicious! Pinning:)
    Barbara at Chase the Star

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  9. I remember looking through all the turkeys at the grocery store last year trying to find your picture. That turkey looks delicious.

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  10. Your mother-in-law is right / I do the same

    HOWEVER I learned a trick one year

    One year I cooked the turkey upside down by accident...AND it was the best. I do it every year now. Cook it upside down until almost the end..it is moister that way

    Try it you'll like it! :)

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