This Years Turkey Recipe

November 20th, 2007 by Jeff in Main Dishes

This years early Thanksgiving was a hit. Every year we have what we like to call “Losers Thanksgiving”. It is a tradition that started about 15 years ago when talking to my best friend. I was telling him about my Thanksgiving plans I had, where I would go back home and visit the family. All of his family had moved away, and he basically told me he was not having any Thanksgiving and was just going to work through the holiday.

Feeling bad for him, the Sunday before Thanksgiving, I decided to make a huge dinner, with duck, stuffing, cranberry, etc., and invited him over. Breaking his chops, I called it Losers Thanksgiving since nobody wanted him for the holiday. It’s a guy thing, we say such things to each other totally understanding it’s basis in humor.

Well, after a couple years of this, Losers Thanksgiving became somewhat of a tradition. Even though eventually my friend got a girlfriend (actually a few since then), he fell out of the tradition, but it lived on. It became a time for friends and select family to get together before they went to their traditional Thanksgiving. Every year, the Sunday before Thanksgiving, we invite friends, neighbors, and family we would not see for the holiday over for an easy dinner that basically was a traditional feast.

Every year I try to make the Turkey a bit different. I decided to cook the bird traditionally in the oven whereas the last couple of years we have tried frying, slow cooking, etc.. I wanted that dark flavorful skin that I always remembered when I was a kid. This recipe was just what I needed. I had heard of similar ones but could not find a real recipe on how to do it so I cobbled this together and the result was WOW.

  • 2 sticks butter, room temperature.
  • Two heads of garlic, top cut off.
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped.
  • 1 tablspoon Salt.
  • 1 teaspoon pepper.
  • Olive oil.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

In a small muffin pan, place the garlic in the pan, with the cut side up. These are entire heads of garlic, and should fit into one slot of the muffin pan. Drizzle with olive oil and cook in the oven for 35-40 minutes until the garlic is soft and starting to turn dark.

Remove the garlic from the casings and spread on to a plate, breaking it up, let cool about 10 minutes.

Add all the remaining ingredients into a bowl. Mix together until the butter is completely saturated with all the ingredients.

Prepare your Turkey as usual, removing the giblets, rinsing with water, and drying with paper towels. Sprinkle liberally with salt inside the cavity and outside.

Using a small paring knife, try to lift the skin on the breast away from the meat without cutting a hole through the skin. You want to make a rather large pocket here.

Take about 4 tablespoons of the butter mixture and put under the skin. Pushing down on the skin should spread it around underneath. Using a spatula, spread the remaining mixture all over the bird, concentrating on the top as the butter will melt and drip down.

Place the turkey in your roasting pan. I usually use some carrots and parsnips laid across the bottom of the pan so it doesn’t sit in the grease. Put about 2 – 4 cups of chicken/turkey stock in the bottom of the pan to keep it moist.

Place in the oven at 400 degrees and after 5 minutes, reduce to 350 and cook as per the directions on the Turkey package (usually around 15 minutes per pound). If you see the skin getting to dark, tent with foil. After the first two hours, baste every 20 – 30 minutes with the pan juices.

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