4am on black Friday, and my first thought as I was kicked in the gut by my 10 month old was, surely food poisoning would have hit by now? In which case, oh my God, maybe I managed not to kill everyone with my turkey. Just maybe I pulled it off......
I can't tell you how fantastic all your turkey tips were. I can't believe chole found the exact Bon Appetit article I'd been searching so fruitlessly for - thankyou! Wading through all the suggestions of roasting the bird at a high temperature early vs browning at the end, vs cooking upside down right from the start vs flipping the bird as it rests at the end, well, to quote my Aunty, I was 'in a tailspin of indecision'. So I'll tell you what swayed me. I'll admit I was very tempted to take Fluffy's advice and just buy a pre-cooked bird, but in the end I was too heavily invested in the challenge. I wasn't going to take a beating from the only land animal with a wattle more impressive than mine. I was going to cook the hell out of a turkey!! Round three!
In the end I abandoned my old method, tempted by a promise left in my comments:
Now that's a culinary phrase that appeals.
I invested in a Reynolds cooking bag, and as had been promised by Carrie and Anonymous (love her) the bird was simple, juicy, flavourful and edible.
Lord have mercy.
Now I'm not entirely sure why cooking a turkey in a condom works wonders, or even how food-safe it is but by jove that was one tasty bird. I'm sure the polyethylene or similar inorganic compound added a certain je ne sais quoi that my earlier herb rub was unable to reproduce -, it even browned nicely in there. Well, it looked lovely and brown until I cut in to the bag, dislodging the tablespoon of flour I'd put in there to keep the bag from popping and watched it cascade whitely all over the breast. My lovely browned bird was suddenly covered with mildew. Apparently there's foolproof, and then there's me. Anyway, I dusted off the flour and my Dad set to carving. I know I should have taken a photo, but by the time I remembered the carcass had been picked clean and was carried off by Beth to make soup. Perhaps I should suggest to her she makes the soup in a bag? Hmm, a whole new world of cookery just opened up...
Here's a photo I did remember to take:
My two little turkeys.
Oh, and before I forget, I also bought an oven thermometer, wisely suggested by Julie. And wouldn't you know it, I discovered that yes, my oven thermostat must be way off base because the 'oven ready' light comes on a good 100º before the required temperature is actually reached. I'm starting to think that all those fucked up cupcakes, birthday cakes, appetizers, and well, quite frankly food may not have been entirely my fault. I'm not quite ready to quit the dizzying heights of medical office managership for culinary school, but I am confident the meals round here may improve as a result.
I would also like to say a huge thanks to Chilly for supplying the bird, to my Mum and Dad for peeling a hundred thousand potatoes, cleaning the bathrooms (really, above and beyond), watching the girls, and to LK for doing a sterling job of keeping everyone the hell out of the kitchen so I could frenzy-cook in peace.
Now I'm off to make a cup of tea. In a plastic bag.