First meetings – turkey in the oven

Well, I’ve been waiting for this for ages – and this year I couldn’t wait any more. I’ve always been amazed by turkeys on the table in American movies, and at this year’s Thanksgiving I just couldn’t resist.

So I bought a whole Turkey from one of the best shops where you can buy quality poultry here in Hungary – Kotkoda Baromfibolt/Kotkoda poultry shop. I bought chicken breast and wings as well, but we’ll talk about those later, when I will use them.

beer and turkey
The frightening one with a beer on the kitchen island

It wasn’t easy to take home the 8 kg turkey (plus the others) by public transport, then by train, but finally we all were in the kitchen. My dear family weren’t that satisfied with the animal on the kitchen island, almost one-third of the fridge needed to keep it fresh, and my 5-year-old daughter said that thing on the table was frightening.

Sliced and quartered – ready for the turkey

Anyway, I chose a very simple method to cook it, the cavity was stuffed with a couple of things and then roasted in the oven. But first of all I went to buy a stainless steel roasting pan with a rack, because those I have at home were not high enough to keep all those fat and juice in the pan. (Something new again!)

stuffed turkey
Turkey with vegetables in the cavity

What I used for the stuffing:

  • red onion,  quartered
  • purple onion, quartered
  • carrots, quartered and sliced
  • leek, sliced
  • garlic, sliced and whole cloves

I don’t have meat needles at home, well, not yet, and no thread either to stitch the cavity, so I used toothpicks to help me out, and that did it. When that was ready I rubbed a few drops of olive oil into the skin of the turkey, then added salt on it, while in a mortar mixed a couple of herbs and spices:

  • sage
  • marjoram
  • black pepper
  • parsley
turkey and daughter
The not-so-frightening turkey

After grinding them thoroughly I seasoned the  turkey with it and it was ready for the oven, that had been preheated to 160-165 °C. It took three and a half hours to finish the job – and in the last 30 minutes I checked the temperature of the meat with a food thermometer every ten minutes for doneness..

Every half an hour I turned the pan 90 degrees, and hoped that it would help to create an even browning on every side.

I’d say it was a good try – my Wife wanted to eat a little bit of the breast only but after tasting it she said that”s gonna be on the Christmas menu as well…

turkey in pan
After the oven

What I probably missed is cutting off all the excess fat before placing the turkey on the pan, so the juice and sauce in the pan was a bit greasy, fatty. And I could have used more seasoning, and salt as well.

turkey cut
After the first slice

And the gravy. I decided to leave that out mostly because I had forgotten to buy the giblets – or at least they weren’t there when I unpacked the bag. Then I thought that a good portion of roasted vegetables will be good enough, and they were, really, but it could have been a bit better. I definitely need a new rack for the pan, because this one is too low in the pan.

So, on one side I was satisfied with my job, because others were satisfied, but on the other side I did miss some things, so there is a lot to improve.

So it goes.


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