Sunday, November 14, 2010

Brown Bag Turkey {AKA The Easiest Turkey You'll Ever Make!}

And no, it's not a pre-cooked turkey either. :)

A few years ago, I was given this recipe (hardly a recipe at all) and tried it. Much to my surprise, it was the best turkey I had ever had and was the easiest and quickest to prepare. So, if this is your first Thanksgiving making the turkey or if you've been doing it for years but are tired of basting and worried about a dried out turkey...this recipe is for YOU!

Brown Bag Turkey

1 stick butter, melted
12-24 lb turkey, defrosted completely
large clean brown paper bag (preferably one without ink or handles)
large roasting pan

Preheat oven to 375F. Coat entire inside of bag with melted butter using a pastry brush. Rinse off bird and take giblets out of cavity (Toss or use for later). Salt and pepper bird generously. Place bird inside bag (breast side up) and staple bag shut. Put bagged bird inside roasting pan. Cook in oven for 11-14 minutes per pound (roughly 3 hours). Do not let the bag touch the heating element in the oven. No need to baste or peek at bird. Check thickest part of bird with thermometer, should read 165F to be done. A lot of turkeys with the pop-up timer overcook the bird. Those timers pop up around 180-185F. 165F is the minimum internal temperature that all poultry should be cooked to.

This method will produce a juicy golden brown roasted turkey. The butter makes the skin crisp and keeps the bird moist while cooking. This differs from the plastic oven bags because those actually steam the bird while the paper bag roasts it. After turkey is done, remove from oven and let rest in bag 15 minutes (this allows the juices to redistribute throughout the bird and it won't dry out when you cut it). You can then use the drippings in the pan for gravy or check here (my blog) for a delicious Make-Ahead Turkey Gravy is awesome and creates a stress-free Thanksgiving!

**Feel free to add any herbs or seasonings to this recipe. I haven't and it comes out great! I also have not stuffed the bird while using this recipe so I do not know what the results will be.**

I just love this time of year!

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