So turns out after following close directions from my mom and gma the “bird” still ended up…up side down. BUT good news it was really good! So we decided to cook the birds down from now on, a new trick! I also went shopping at William Sonoma this past month and came across their Thanksgiving cookbook. Forget the recipes, the pictures were so beautiful I just had to make the bacon wrap green beans. I am all about visual presentation. And they happened to taste good too, so here are both recipes for your Thanksgiving dinner in the future. Be BOLD, host Thanksgiving, YOU can do it!
(By the way there are a million ways to cook a bird, who knew! This is just easy and simple and good but up to you when you host!)
-Fresh turkey (pick up 1-2 days in advance, but call and order 2 weeks in advance). Lots of deals at grocery stores but I found only the real good deals for frozen. My mother shuttered so I spent a little more for fresh, I sort of agree with her and you can skip all the “defrosting” steps that could mess you up the morning of, eek! However, my gma always does frozen and we NEVER complained, so who knows!
Size: 1 pound per person, at your party (13 people should have equaled 13 pounds but we are big eaters and LOVE leftovers so I demanded a 25 pound turkey, settled for 23 pounds and got a discount when the butcher saw my disappointed face that my first dinner would not have a 25 pounder like my mom instructed me to have….I think he felt sorry bc Jack was throwing his crackers at me)
-salt/pepper/olive oil/butter (1 stick and REAL butter)
PREP and COOK:
1-2 days before: Bring home turkey (remember, if you cook it you have to carry it!). Place in refrig. in plastic bag right side up so doesn’t leak all over (trust me).
Night before dinner: Take out to prep. Sanitize sink, like crazy sanitize. Take all bags and plastic off of bird. place bird in dry sink and take out gizzards, gross plastic bag of guts and anything else the butcher stuffed it with (try not to cry or throw up). Run water all over bird, inside and out wiping it completely down. Then take salt and wipe throughout inside and outside of bird, then rinse salt away (yes 2 step process, I don’t know my gma told me). Pat inside and outside with paper towels to dry. Place in your pan (make sure its big enough BEFORE you have a raw turkey in your hands). Cover with paper towels and stick back in fridge, say goodnight! Oh and after this is all done and your husband comes in to see if you “need any help”, roll your eyes. UGH!!
Morning of: Take out and place pan with Turkey on counter for an hour before goes in oven. 15 minutes before bird goes in (figure out when you want to serve dinner, ours was at 4pm so he went in at 10:30am) set oven at 325 degrees and prep bird. Rub salt and pepper all over bird and inside. Place bird up side down in pan, this is the trick (Martha you have nothing on this bird!). Pour olive oil all over bird (to make golden) and slice and place butter squares in any nook and cranny on the OUTside of bird (nothing should be inside except for salt and pepper). Place in oven!
Cook time: For my size: 23 pounds I cooked “fred” (we named him) for 4.5 hours and two hours in I pulled him out halfway and basted him. Its that tool your mother makes you register for when you get married (“Honey, someday you are going to host Thanksgiving and you are going to need this for the bird.” eyes rolled like “as if!”). So take juices from bottom of pan and pour all over bird. 30 minutes after, cover bird with foil (two large pieces), keeps it from burning the skin on top as it cooks till done. At that point bird should be golden! When done cooking, pull out and sit on counter, marvel in that you just did this!! ha. Place him on cutting board (right side up now, so flip, careful he is hot!). Let him cool for 30 minutes BEFORE cutting. Call your hubby or partner, dad, papa, brother, mom, sister, cousin, aunt, uncle, friend or whatever to the kitchen to cut. From there I have no idea what happened, just kidding, put on large turkey serving plate and poor a little gravy over right before you serve to your guests! Keep white and dark separate and no bones please! Don’t forget pictures!!
Green Bean Bacon Wraps
-Fresh bacon from butcher (did you know if you only need a bit its cheaper to get from him/her than a whole pack that might be wasted?). 1 strip equals two bundles. So 10 bundles you only need 5 strips!
- Fresh green beans (hand pick), 6 to a bundle. I made a bundle for each person so total of 13 bundles. More than enough bc not everyone takes one but great for leftovers, only for a day. And if you have a vegetarian in the group, keep a few off to the side and cook separately, they will appreciate it!
-Salt/pepper/olive oil/brown sugar
PREP and COOK:
Morning of: Wash and de-stem green beans and dry with paper towel. Cut bacon strips in half (you will need one for each bundle) and cook on stove till a little brown on both sides on edges. Still should be raw in middle. Place strips on plate with paper towel to soak up grease. Once cooled, wrap one strip around 6 green beans to create a bundle and place on large cookie sheet (note: won’t really be secure so place the bundle down where the ends meet together and will kinda cook together). Repeat till finish and make sure there is an inch apart from other bundles. Combine salt and pepper to taste to about 1/3 cup of olive oil and pour over all bundles on pan. Then sprinkle a bit of brown sugar over all (just to taste). Cook at 350 for 20-25 minutes and let stand for 3-5 minutes, before transferring to warm serving platter. Serve with tongs to guests.