What a Turkey!
I love to cook. In my house, this is a good thing, as Perfect Wifey, despite her expertise in all other areas, has little interest in cooking. The meals she does prepare, she does very well (her grilled cheese sandwich is absolute perfection, and I defy any Food Network Star to surpass this dish). She just has other things to do, so she doesn't care to make the effort.
I myself, have made many unique dishes for my family. Some get raves, others, like my Pancakes Stuffed with Bacon and Cheese, a.k.a. "Cheesy Baco-Jacks" (don't knock it till you've tried it!), not so much.
There is one dish I had never tried to make though: The Classic Roasted Turkey. The kind you see on tables every Thanksgiving. I was never really wild about a turkey dinner, and it seemed like such a hassle to make, so I figured, why bother? That all changed last week.
Our very generous next door neighbors gave us a 12 lb. frozen turkey for the Holidays. Why they gave us this and not something more practical, like say, Doctor Who action figures, I don't know. Maybe they weren't sure which ones we already had. Anyway, it was very nice of them.
So now we had a turkey. What to do with it?
My first inclination was to donate it to a local food bank. I wasn't sure though, whether or not they accepted frozen food. So we donated some canned goods we ourselves would never eat in a million years ("'Tis the Season", after all!) to the food bank, and decided we would make the turkey ourselves, or rather, I would make it myself. It would be our New Years Day Feast.
After scouring several cookbooks and websites, I learned one thing: Preparing a turkey is a HUGE pain in the giblets, and really messy. Plus, you have to stand over the oven basting for hours so the turkey doesn't get too "dry". I decided to take the easy way out, and use a Reynold's™ Cooking Bag. I got a great recipe from their horribly-set-up web site for a "Herb Roasted Turkey". My second great lesson is that you need a lot more ingredients for turkey than just the turkey. So off to the market I went to buy onions, celery, chicken stock, and a bunch of herbs and spices I will never have an opportunity to use again. When I returned home, I realized I had forgotten to purchase a Reynold's™ Cooking Bag, so I was off to the market again. This time, I stopped by the liquor store on the way back. I thought I might need some "liquid fortitude" to get through this thing.
After rinsing off the turkey, patting it dry and rubbing it with olive oil, I mixed up all the rest of the ingredients, put the turkey in the bag, poured my "ingredient mix" over the turkey, and sealed the bag. Then with the help of several professional weight lifters, I was able put lift the turkey, put it in the pan and shove it in the oven. Then we played the waiting game...
When the time came to remove the turkey from the oven, the house smelled fabulous, and the bird looked gorgeous. It was really tender and juicy too! Maybe too tender- the meat slid off the bones. Really! The bones slid out of the drumsticks with a gentle tug, and the rest of the bird cut like butter. It was delicious too. I never had a better tasting turkey. Kudos the the Recipe Wizards at Reynolds™.
So when will we be having turkey again?
Probably never. Yes, it was delicious, but it was too much of a hassle. Also, since the household only consists of PW and I (plus Rocco the Wonder Dog, who has eaten his fair share), we had leftovers. Quite a lot of leftovers. As delicious as the meat is, after a week of Turkey Sandwiches, Turkey Turnovers, Turkey Hot Fudge Sundaes, etc., we're done with turkey for a spell.
When all is said and done though, I am glad I started the New Year trying something new. Maybe next year, I'll make a roast beef dinner, or something.
Or maybe I'll just stick to Cheesy Baco-Jacks.