Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Herb Roasted Turkey

So I know the Holidays are over, but I've had this 20 lbs turkey sitting in my freezer since last month and I thought it was about time that I cooked it. Plus with all this meal prepping that Jack and I have been doing, what better to meal prep with than a huge turkey.  For those of you wondering how long it takes to thaw a turkey in the refrigerator, 4-5 days in the fridge. 

One thing I want to tell you about removing the meat from the turkey is:
1. Don't be gentle with it, get in there and remove the meat!
2. If you're eating healthy, toss the skin and fat away as your removing the meat.
3. Have fun and be aware you're probably going to get a little dirty during this process.

I am a little detailed when I remove the meat, so I even weighed the white and dark meat to see what we had to work with. Please keep in mind we only had 1 breast eaten prior to weighing the meat and I was still able to get 4.5 lbs of white meat and 2.1lbs of dark meat.

Turkey is super easy to make and if you haven't made one before, I suggest trying to cook one. It's great tasting and you can make so many things with the leftovers....

Ingredients:
1 whole turkey 
1 yellow onion, quartered
4 celery stalks, roughly chopped
2 bay leaves 
2 sprigs thyme & 1 tbs. minced
1 sprig rosemary. & 1 tbs. minced
2 lemons quartered


Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place turkey in a large roasting pan. Run the outside of turkey with the minced herbs and place remaining ingredients inside the turkey carcass. 

Bake the turkey for 3-4 hours until a meat thermometer reads 180 degrees when inserted into he thickest part of the turkey thigh.


For those of you who use chicken broth for cooking, here's a super easy way to make it and, you can make it low sodium by not adding salt.

When you clean the turkey, there will be a neck and some gizzards on the inside of the turkey. I saved the neck and threw everything else away from the inside of the turkey. 

In a large pot, place the turkey neck, 4 chopped carrots, 4 chopped celery stalks, 1 onion quarterd and herbs of your choice (I used rosemary, thyme, oregano, and parsley). Fill the pot with water and cook over medium heat for approximately 30-40 minutes. Strain liquid and there you have stock.... Easy right?