Monday, February 04, 2013

Roast Turkey

I always keep a stocked freezer filled with meats, veggies, breads, jams, and pesto.  I stock up on veggies, jam, fish, and pesto in the summer months when I can get the freshest in-season ingredients and work my way through them as needed.  At points through the year I will get a shipment of lamb, venison, or beef from family or friends and work through those as well.  After Thanksgiving I always buy a couple of turkeys and add them to the stockpile to make sure we have enough variety to keep things interesting.  I took one out the other day to roast it and it fed us for nearly an entire week.

Day One: Turkey, stuffing, brussel sprouts, mashed potatoes, and gravy
Day Two: Turkey Pot Pies
Day Three: Turkey Quesadillas
Day Four: Turkey a la King
Day Five: Turkey Sandwiches
Day Six:  Minestrone Soup with Turkey Broth

That's a lot of turkey, but since we ate it prepared in so many ways we hardly noticed we were eating the same protein day after day. ( Hint: Turkey meat can be stored in portions in the freezer and defrosted as needed.)

Roast Turkey
loosely based on "Accidental Turkey" from Ina Garten's new cookbook Foolproof

12-14 pound  turkey
kosher salt
1 large yellow onion, quartered
1 lemon, quartered
8 sprigs fresh thyme
1/2 stick butter, melted
black pepper

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.  Sprinkle the turkey all over, inside and out, with salt and pepper.  Place the the onion, lemon, and thyme in the cavity of the turkey  Brush the outside of the turkey with the melted butter and place in a large roasting pan with a rack.  Place the turkey in the hot oven and roast for 45 minutes.  Lower the temperature to 325 degrees and roast for 1 1/2 to 2 more hours, or until internal temperature reaches between 170 and 180 degrees.  Remove from oven and tent with foil for 20-30 minutes before serving.

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