turkey

This is probably going to seem like a lame-ass post to most women and some men but here goes...

I've never made a whole turkey. The picture to the left is one I bought last year on sale and it's been sitting in my freezer for a long, long, long time. Since Thanksgiving is coming up here in the States and the consequent sales on Turkey, I decided it was time to roast the one from last year.

Since I've never done this before I've been consulting web sites as well as cookbooks so I don't screw it up.




Now I'm not going to do anything fancy--no marinade, not even basting for me.

And the roasting thing seems pretty damn simple. Just turn the oven on to 325f and leave it in there for 3.5 hours.

So I took the turkey (13.85 pounds, by the way) out of the freezer after work yesterday and it's been thawing ever since.








Tomorrow I'll put it in this roasting pan and hope for the best. Even though it seems simple, the idea of nearly 14 pounds of meat being cooked at once boggles my mind. That's enough to keep me fed for nearly a week!

And if this goes well, I have plenty of room in the freezer for two more, maybe 3, once turkey goes onto those really great sales the week before Thanksgiving. As I recall, I paid either$0.19 or $0.29 a pound for this bird. Under $5 in any case.

Feel free to give suggestions. It's my first time, y'know?

UPDATE: It's early Sunday afternoon now and the turkey is still too frozen to be roasted. Alas, I'll wait until tomorrow after work to do this. Since it appears that it'll be roasting for about 4 hours--it'll be a late dinner. For now, since I had the oven preheated and all, I'll just have a frozen pizza. Spinich and mushrooms. Yum.

Comments

utenzi said…
Did you notice the expiration date on the eggs? September 22nd! One of these days I'm going to die of food poisoning!
Tammy said…
Ok, turkey is reasonably easy to cook....but first...does the turkey itself have an expiration date!??!

Michele sent me!
phoenix said…
I don't think that 3.5 hours is going to be long enough for a 14 lb bird LOL You need 4.5 hours at least.

10 - 12lb turkey 3¾ - 4 hours
12 - 14lb turkey 4 - 4¼ hours
14 - 16lb turkey 4¼ - 4½ hours
16 - 18lb turkey 4½ - 4¾ hours
18 - 20lb turkey 4¾ - 5 hours

- Start bird off at 400 degrees Fahrenheit (see temperature conversions) for 20 minutes then at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for the rest of the cooking time.
- Baste regularly.
- If breast and/or legs brown too quickly cover loosely with foil.
- To test to see if the turkey is cooked plunge a knife between the body and one of the legs.
- The juices should run clear with no hint of pink.


Good luck and hugsssssss
utenzi said…
Tammy, there's a suggested sell by date but no expiration date. And yes, the sell by date was a little while ago. :-)

Phoenix, thanks for the advice. Yours is a lot more complete than what I saw on the website. I don't think I need quite that much cooking time though since I'm not going to have the turkey loaded with anything inside. I'm thinking of having a foil cover tenting over the entire turkey. I'll probably just refrigerate the legs to give to my girlfriend's dogs since I don't like dark meat on turkey.
YellowRose said…
I have no tips to give....I'm needing them! After 22 years of marriage this is the first Thanksgiving I actually am hosting the dinner! I'm sorta, kinda, maybe, I'll let you know, looking forward to it! ;)

Michele sent me!
sophie said…
I'm with Tammy. I don't thing turkeys should stay in the freezer for a year before cooking and consuming. I haven't ever cooked one myself--let us know how it goes....I hope their is no food poisoning involved.
queenofsass said…
A turkey virgin...I remember my first time a couple of years ago. Roasting a turkey is fairly easy. I like to buy the fresh poultry herb pack in the fresh veggie section of store. I tuck the herbs underneath the skin & in the cavity. I rub some olive oil on the outside & sprinkle with a bit of salt & pepper...your turkey will be juicy & flavorful. Good luck!
Blond Girl said…
If the turkey has remained solidly frozen the entire time, you're probably safe. I think a $7.00 investment for an instant read thermometer would be a good idea. I can't remember the final temp you want the bird to reach, but you can look that up on the net (I suggest BHG.com or America's Test Kitchen). You roast it until it's about 10 degrees less than the final temp. Pull it out, tent it and let it sit for 15 minutes. This firms up the meat, pulls the juices in so it tastes good and keeps it from drying out and finishes bringing it up to final temp.

Oh, and I don't use olive oil. The herbs under the skin are great, but then rub that baby all over, inside and out, with real butter - as least a half a pound. Be generous! Then sprinkle it all over, inside and out, with salt (kosher salt is preferred but not neccesary). You won't need to do as much basting and the drippings will make the best darn gravy you've ever had in your life. Do not, under ANY circumstances use margerine! Turkey roasting police will burst through your door and arrest you.

Enjoy.

Oh, and Michelle sent me!
Blond Girl said…
Oh, and I'll be back to see how it all went!
utenzi said…
I'm not worried about the turkey having bacterial contamination since it's been frozen the entire time. Bacteria aren't killed by freezing but they grow very slow, essentially not reproducing the entire time. And since it's vacuum packed, there's not likely to be any freezer burn. But you never know...

Chris and Blond Girl, thanks for your suggestions. I have a lot of olive oil on hand and a couple of pounds of butter (I make honey butter a lot so there's always lots of butter on hand even tho I prefer the taste of margarine) and the kosher salt. I'll probably go with the butter over the olive oil since it'll probably stick better. I have an oven thermometer as well as one for meat so I should be okay in that regard.
jane said…
I've never roasted a turkey myself either. But are you sure it's okay after being in the freezer for a year? That would be my only concern.

Michele sent me :)
Mrs. Fun said…
I've never cooked a turkey before either. good Luck on your journey.
I may have to cook Thanksgiving dinner this year and I am thinkig ordering sounds like a great idea.

Here via Michele tonight :)
Hi.. My mother was one of the great cooks of the world, and I have used this recipe myself, it works beautifully!

Start oven at 500 degrees, for one half hour to forty minutes.
Finish at 325 @ 20 min. per pound, whatever the poundage is---this was her rule of thumb.

I would worry about the
l-o-n-g time your turkey has been in the freezer. Personally, I wouldn't take any chances...a year seems too long to me, but...you know, better safe than sorry.

Hope this is helpful, and if not, my heart is in the right place.
I'll be back to find out how it went! Much Much Good Luck!
I just read all the other comments..sorry if there "too many cooks"...do whateveerr sounds best to you...I would add, do use butter and salt(kosher if available), too!
I do know that when the bird is finished off at 325, no basting was needed...
Now that I've confused you even more...Go With God!
utenzi said…
I think I might try that. I like the idea of the hard heat at the beginning but the 20 minutes per pound must be wrong. I don't have a very big bird and it'd be in the oven for almost 5 hours. I'll give this some more thought... LOL
Teresa said…
Hmmmm.... a frozen turkey should be fine , even after a year. I'm more concerned that it won't be thawed for tomorrow's cooking. I've always allowed 3 to 4 days for it, but even partially frozen should work okay, so long as you can remove the giblets. And yeah... remember to remove the giblet packet (check both the neck and butt ends to be certain.. sometimes they divide it and put something in each hole) General rule of thumb for cooking times is 15 minutes a lb for over 15 lbs and 20 minutes a lb for under 15 lbs. I can't remember the temperature specifications offhand, but if you think it's done (loose legs are are a clue) you can cut off an extremity and see if the juices are red to be sure. LOL.

Turkeys tend to be juicier if you cook them breast side down. If you need the browned skin over the breast (usually just for presentation) you are supposed to flip it back over for the final hour. After browning has set in it's a good idea to cover the legs and wings. And by all means, baste the poor guy (or girl as it's probably a hen). Even once an hour is better than not at all, though some swear you should do it every 30 minutes.

Good luck!
FattyPants said…
I roast mine at 450 for the first 20 minutes and then turn it down to 325. Helps keep it moist.
zazzafooky said…
Holy criminey, I didn't know a turkey would last a year! I wish I could help but I'm completly inept in the kitchen. Good luck and gobble gobble ;-)
mar said…
Should I bring the wine? Michele sent me this morning (and I am already thinking about booze *blushes*).Have a nice sunday.
Dak-Ind said…
hello, michelle sent me.
mar said…
Oh, I know why! alcohol will take care of germs and bacteria. So make sure you have plenty of wine with your dinner :D. It's all for healthy reasons...
rashbre said…
I wouldn't have enough room in the freezer to keep a turkey there for a whole year. It would take up too much room. In UK we have a star system about how long things can be kept once frozen, I think the longest is three stars but I can't remember how long that is. Stuff doesnt tend to hang around that long.

There's a type of pre-constructed frozen turkey in UK called 'butterball' or something which generally takes the anguish out of figuring out how to make it cook well and generally taste succulent. It may be cheating, but that the foundation I'd use for a good roast turkey.

I'll look forward to hearing the next chapter of this one!

rashbre
craziequeen said…
I have never 'made' a turkey either - although I have cooked one :-)

All I can say is - good luck!

Looking forward to nice piccies of browned crispy turkey with all the trimmings :-)

Here from you know where!

cq
Aginoth said…
cover it in streaky bacon rashers and then pour honey over it before roasting...mmmmmmmm
poopie said…
I think you oughta baste it with some melted butter. That makes it yummmmmmmmmmmy.
lucylocket said…
I agree with Teresa. The most important thing when turkey roasting is removing the giblets package. After roasting my first turkey many, many years ago, I discovered I had neglected this step. It was utterly disgusting!
utenzi said…
I'll most definitely remove the gibbies. Thanks for reminding me. It's just after noon here and I hope to have that beast in the oven by 1pm so I'm going to have very cold hands pretty soon from mucking around in that bird's insides.
Carmi said…
There's nothing lame about taking on a challenging cooking task. I wish I had the guts!
Michelle said…
Make sure you cook it real slowly and definately baste it, otherwise it will taste like shoe leather!
yummmmmmmmmmm mushrooms and spinich :)
1) Your doggie is adorable! (I love to paint pet portraits, besides play with dogs...and yes, I'm a grown woman.)

2) I think there's instructions right on the turkey? I can't remember because my husband has taken over the turkey making and I make the rest....

3) Love spinach & mushrooms- YUM!
4) Enjoy a varied blog- I'm officially a new groupie here- read several interesting posts and LOL at your sidebar poll! :D
colleen said…
Just put it in the oven and wait till it smells really good...that means it's done! Michele sent me today.
zandperl said…
Thanks for visiting my site!

I'm also cooking a turkey for the first time this year. We used to have big family things on my mother's side, at my grandmother's house, but since she went to a nursing home a couple years ago we haven't. So I decided I'd give it a whirl myself. My mom's family makes a rice-based stuffing (rather than traditional American bread-based stuffing) since they're Chinese. My other half of me is Jewish, so the Kosher salt sounds good too. :)
Marie said…
I wish that I had caught this post earlier. And I hope that you did remember to follow the directions on the package and take our the gizzard, neck, liver and heart and feed it to your dog and cat--
A whole year is an extreme amount of time to freeze a turkey. Hope it is not too dry. No matter, just a little bit of mashies and gravy will cover up a multitude of sins.
Blond Girl said…
OK, you're going to laugh at me, but here goes; I promised you I would be back to find out how it went and I am! I had to go to your archives to find this post and then I read every darn comment hoping you'd tell how it went. I am assuming fine since you kept posting (no food poisoning due to the year long haitus in the freezer) and since I saw two birds for recent roasting and consumption, I'll assume you enjoyed the results, but I would love to know how it went! Did you use the butter and Kosher salt? Did you baste? I know, I know, I'm silly, but at least 5 times this month, when I'm nowhere near the computer, I've thought of you and wondered "hmm... how did Utenzi's bird turn out, anyway?"

Oh, and to my 24 hour meme, I am NOT cruel! :-) Your comment did make me laugh, however!

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