Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Recipe: Thanksgiving Turkey

Thanksgiving Turkey
(in oven cooking bag)

This is not a traditional way of cooking thanksgiving turkey. My Pangga and I decided to use herbs that we both liked. We used a large heat tempered plastic cooking bag especially designed for oven temperatures. Bags can be bought in the paper goods section of most grocery stores. The instructions for use are printed on the box. The turkey is steamed and won’t brown as much compared to a turkey roasted out in the open. But it will retain most of the bird’s moisture and come out juicier (in my opinion).


1 (12 to 14 pound) turkey , thawed
salt or garlic salt
½ tbsp. black pepper, ground
1 medium onion, quartered
5 stalks spring onion or scallions
2 tbsp. of chopped garlic
½ tbsp. herbs: thyme, sage, dill weed
2 tbsp. chives and capers
2 tbsp. olive or vegetable oil

a.Preheat the oven to 350°F.

b.Rinse the outside and cavity of the bird under cold, running water. Remove turkey parts from neck and breast cavity and reserve for other uses, if desired.

c.Dry bird well, with paper towels.

d.Prepare oven-cooking bag. To prevent bursting, a tablespoon of dry flour is shaken around to coat the empty bag.

e.Mix all spices and herbs: salt, black pepper, chopped garlic, thyme, sage, dill weed. Add the olive oil.

f.Rub the whole bird with the mixture, also inside breast cavity.

g.Stuff breast cavity with scallions, quartered onion, chives and capers. Add 2 bay leaves and lemon grass if desired.

h.Put turkey inside bag and close with nylon tie. Tuck ends of bag in pan.

i.Cut six ½ inch slits in the bag to allow steam to escape.

j.The pan holding the turkey in the bag must be large enough so the bag does not hang over the sides. Allow ample space for the bag to expand during cooking.

k.Roast until meat thermometer reads 180°F and juices run clear. It is inserted into one of the inner thigh areas near the breast, making certain the tip of the thermometer is not touching bone.

l.Approximate roasting times:

12 to 16 pounds 2 ½ to 3 hours
16 to 20 pounds 3 to 3 ½ hours
20 to 24 pounds 3 ½ to 4 hours

m.Add 1/2 hour for stuffed turkey.

n.Remove turkey from the oven and set aside for 15 minutes before carving.

o.If turkey sticks to bag, gently loosen bag from turkey before opening oven bag.


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