How I Cooked my First Turkey
Let me start by saying I am very aware that Thanksgiving has past so all of the talk of turkey should be over however being that Thanksgiving is over, turkey prices are falling. Which is why my hubby just couldn't help himself and came home with a turkey last week.
How in the world was I going to pull this off? I prepped, I bought the throw away roasting pan with the handles, I bought all the sides we would need; partially because you can't have turkey without them and partially because I figured it would give us something to eat if I set fire to the bird. We'll get back to the sides later as I believe I'm about to start a debate. Anyway, back to the bird.
Our turkey was purchased refrigerated not frozen so we kept it in the fridge for the few days leading up to the BIG day. Then, there I was with the packaged turkey on my cutting board on my counter, naive in what I was about to do. I took a scissors to the packaging and before I could say "I've made a terrible mistake" juices from said package came spewing out onto my cutting board. WAS THAT BLOOD? I thought but also said aloud to no one. I quickly picked the turkey up and brought it over to the sink where I peeled down the rest of the packing and now I was starring at a practically naked bird that was sitting in it's own "juices".
Now I needed to pick up this raw turkey and bring it back over to my cutting board for more prep work. All I had to do was pick up the raw turkey and bring it to the cutting board. Pick up the raw turkey, and bring it to the cutting board. This took me about 10 minutes give or take as I would go to reach for the raw bird and ultimately gross myself out and scream in both fear and frustration. It was a good thing only the dog and baby were home to hear me. Finally I sucked it up and picked up the raw turkey and placed it back on the cutting board. If only this meant the hard part was over.
Next, I would need to remove the neck and the giblets. Yum. The neck was easy enough to find but again something about reaching into this bird and pulling out more bird was messing with my confidence. But I did it. Then I had to turn the bird around and get the bag of giblets. Whoever decided to shove a bag of turkey parts up a turkey butt is seriously disturbed. This was one a level that I had yet to reach. But I did it.
Youtube videos that I watched told me to do my best to separate the skin from the breast but not break the skin. So basically since you've already shoved your hand up both ends of this turkey why not shove your hand under the skin too for good kicks? But I did it. Then I had to flex the wings back to ensure they didn't cook too fast. This took a few tries. The wings kept snapping back at me. I felt better about myself when I noticed the woman in the Youtube video I was watching had the same issues.
Lastly I would need to butter it, salt it, pepper it and get it in the oven. After that, it was in God's hands. I did all I could. Whatever happened, happened.
What happened next was wonderful! Once the popup thermometer popped we pulled out the turkey from the oven and it was cooked! I know that is what is supposed to happen but I'll be honest I was pretty shocked.
It looked like a cooked turkey that I had seen many times on Thanksgiving prepared by people who are better than me (my mom, my aunt, my cousin). Once the hubby started cutting into it the inside was cooked as well and even better? It tasted like turkey!
The sides I prepared with garlic mashed potatoes (from a box, don't get crazy now), canned corn, cranberry sauce AND apple sauce. Hubby thought putting out apple sauce was the strangest thing but my mother always put out applesauce with turkey dinner. Also, between the "jellied" cranberry sauce or the "whole" cranberry sauce, hubby selected the the jelly cranberry style for this meal.
All in all I'm still a little shaken from the experience and I understand why people only do this once a year but I think I would cook a turkey again.
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