When I asked the Farming Hubby what he wanted for our Christmas dinner, his immediate response was "TURKEY! Duh!" haha! I of course laughed at him, and wrote down my new idea for roasting a turkey! ;-) I was so nervous, yet excited about making this turkey. I mean if it flopped then we have no main course with our meal, and I just hate touching uncooked bird. Yuck! But when I was shopping, and got the very last turkey breast in the entire store I decided right then and there that I'd been blessed (yes I consider food to be a blessing!) and that turkey was going to be the best darn turkey we'd ever had! And I will admit it was pretty awesome, using a Roaster instead of the oven was wonderful! Not only did the Turkey cook much faster, so I didn't have to get up at the rooster crows, but it was moist and had a beautifully browned skin of it... So yum! Plus then I had the oven to heat up my sides so that everything went on the table at roughly the same time! Now you all know I love my crock pots to an almost worrying level, (did I mention I got 2 new crock pots for Chrismtas?!?! Yay me!) and a roaster is essentially a giant crock pot. So it's no wonder I loved using it, but I would strongly encourage anyone who needs to cook a giant turkey, or a small turkey, or even feed a large group to get one of these roasters. They are a wonderful asset for feeding a large group of people! (Oh and I promise this is the last holiday recipe recap. Next up is Turkey Noodle Soup with Homemade Noodles!!) Oh and one last tip, this recipe is for an 8.5 lbs. Turkey Breast, but would work for a whole bird as well, just up the quantities by probably double.
8.5 lbs. Turkey Breast
1 Navel Orange, cut in half
1 Lemon, cut in half
1 Stick of Unsalted Butter, softened
2-3 Cloves of Garlic, minced
1 - 1 1/2 Teaspoons Poultry Seasoning
A dash of freshly ground Black Pepper
3 Cups Turkey or Chicken Stock
Make sure your Turkey is completely defrosted. *this requires planning ahead as it can take up to 24 hours to defrost, or in my case 4 days... long story* Take out the gravy packet, and and giblets if there are any and discard, or set aside. Rinse off the turkey, and the cavity and pat dry with paper towels. Pre-heat your roaster to 350 degrees. Mix together the softened butter, garlic, poultry seasoning and pepper with a fork, squeeze in about 1 Tablespoon of lemon juice, and mix well. Using your hands, gently separate the skin from the turkey, essentially creating a pocket between the skin and the meat. Still using your hand spread a few Tablespoons of the butter mixture under the skin and on the meat, as evenly as possible. Once you take your hands out, you can use the skin to help spread it around underneath by giving it a gentle "massage". Now spread a couple tablespoons of the butter mixture on top of the skin as well. Once done wash and dry your hands. Then place your orange and lemon halves inside the cavity (this helps add some flavor and moisture to the turkey). Pour the stock in the bottom of your roaster, under the roasting rack and place your prepared turkey on the rack. Put lid on, and cook for about 1 hour. After that hour check your bird, it should be starting to brown and moist. Using a basting brush, brush the remaining butter mixture on the outside of the bird, replace lid and cook for another hour. After that hour check the bird again, at this point it may be done *reminder this is for using an 8.5 lbs turkey breast and a roaster* using a meat thermometer check the temperature in the meatiest part of the turkey, this being a breast you check the breast meat *in a regular turkey it would be the thigh*, if it registers 165-170 degrees your turkey is done and should be taken out. If not let it cook a little longer checking it every 10-15 minutes. Once done place on a good cutting board and let rest, covered with foil for about 15-20 minutes. This allows the juices to redistribute and makes for a nice and moist turkey. *You can reserve the drippings to make gravy * After it rests you can slice it (or make your man slice it for you!) I recommend using an electric knife if you have one, makes really easy work of it. Serve warm!
This truly was the moistest turkey I think I've ever had. It was so wonderful to smell our turkey cooking as we opened presents on Christmas morning, and it makes wonderful leftovers! One thing I want to tell you is if you use the drippings from a turkey breast instead of a whole turkey to make gravy, it will be lighter in color because there's no dark meat fat in the pan. It's still delicious and tastes the same, just is a different color. I have used this turkey since to make soup and sandwich's and we've loved all of it! 5 stars.