Saturday, October 8, 2011

The Easiest Way to Roast Turkey

The Easiest Way To Roast Turkey
By: Chef Cristian Feher

Why do you need an excuse to eat turkey? You can have a whole roasted turkey whenever you want. No, I’m not practicing hedonism. I’m just stating a fact - a delicious, crispy, fact. We’re so used to having turkey as a celebratory holiday meal that we forget it’s also a regular every-day food.

Aside from the obvious pleasure of a roast turkey, there are many more practical reasons - it’s delicious, it’s cheaper than chicken (I picked up a 22Lb turkey in the frozen section yesterday for $0.98/Lb), and it provides you with leftovers for the next few days: Turkey noodle soup, turkey sandwiches, turkey salad, turkey stir-fry, pasta with turkey and pesto, turkey Caesar salads, did I mention turkey sandwiches?

You’ve read this far, but you’re still skeptical. If memory serves you right, turkey dinners take a long time to make. So how can that be easy? Well, yes, turkey does take some time to roast. But preparing good turkey is the easy, and with my method, you won’t have to baby-sit it throughout the cooking process. Here’s how:

Thanks to modern science and technology, there is such as thing as a plastic roasting bag. If this is new for you, hold on to your pants because the roasting bag is the greatest thing to come along for turkey since corn on the cobb.

Roasting bags are made of a special plastic that won’t burn or melt in your oven. You simply season your bird, stick it in the roasting bag, tie it up and roast. The bag holds in all the heat and moisture, making for a really juicy and tender roast turkey. The best part is, even if you over-cook it, it will still be juicy - the moisture doesn’t escape from the bag. No basting. No turning. Crispy skin. Great results. You can find these bags at most grocery stores, and they come with instructions for cooking times on the back of the box.

Thaw your turkey, rub it all over with a bunch of corn starch and adobo seasoning (or your favorite all-purpose seasoning), stuff it with a couple of peeled onions and some garlic cloves, stick it in the bag, tie it up, put in a roasting pan and cook in the oven. The instructions on the box tell you cut slits into it, but I find it better not to do that, I just let it puff up. My 22Lb turkey took 4 hours to roast to perfection and during that time I was able to surf the net, clean up the house a little, and get an oil change. No baby-sitting required.

I used the last hour before the turkey was done to make a batch of garlic mashed potatoes, chicken liver, pumpernickel and onion stuffing, gravy, and corn. But if you’re feeling lazy, just toss a couple of foil wrapped potatoes next to the turkey in the oven during the last hour and twenty minutes (to make baked potatoes) and whip together a quick green salad.

All that turkey sure made me sleepy. But I won’t have to do much cooking for the next few days. And I love leftover turkey sandwiches.

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