Even though Turkey is mostly a Thanksgiving food, I know a lot of people who also eat it for Christmas, so I thought I'd share my recipe for the perfect turkey.
I like to cook my turkey in a bag, mostly because I know it speeds up the cooking time, and when you only have one tiny oven and a ton of dishes to prepare, every minute counts. Also because it seems to lock in the moisture of whatever I decide to douse/baste my turkey with. The last few times I've made turkey, I like to get it drunk. You will need:
- 1 12 lb turkey
- 2/3 bottle of champagne (go cheap)
- 1 stick butter, cubed
- 2 apples, cored and sliced
- garlic powder
- salt & pepper
- oven roasting bag
Put the apples inside of the turkey. You can use chopped onions if you want. I usually just use whatever extra stuff I have lying around since this is more for flavor/aroma and you don't end up eating the food in the turkey cavity. I certainly don't. Sprinkle the turkey with garlic powder, salt and pepper.
Put the turkey inside one of those oven turkey bags (follow the instructions for the bag because you need to shake some flour inside so it doesn't explode) and place in a roasting pan. Pour the champagne over and around the turkey, and seal up the bag. It might make the garlic/salt/pepper step seem a little pointless, but I promise that the flavors stay with the turkey.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 2 hours. Then, remove the bag from around the turkey. I usually do this by making a few incisions with scissors, then I pull on the bag gently until it comes loose from the turkey. Bake for 1 more hour, basting every 15-20 minutes, until the internal temperature is 180 degrees. The last hour outside of the bag is to brown up the skin a bit. It might not be the prettiest turkey, but I think it is pretty delicious. Let stand for 20 minutes before carving.
I leave the carving up to John. He does a really good job, especially when he has one of those electric carvers at hand.