WORD FROM THE WIFE
Annette says her family was not fond of turkey cooked their usual way but they tried this and now they look forward to it each year for the holidays. It would certainly eliminate getting up at 3 or 4 a.m. to put the turkey in the oven! Noelia is the turkey cooker in our family and everybody loves it and nobody ever complains, but I’ll let her read this and decide for herself.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Wash turkey well and remove neck and giblets. Dry turkey with paper towels and salt the cavity. Rub the outside with pure olive oil. Stick a meat thermometer into the turkey. Place the turkey, breast-side down, in the roasting pan on a rack.
Roast the turkey one hour at 350 degrees to destroy any bacteria on the surface. Then adjust the heat to 180 or 200 degrees to destroy bacteria on the surface. Then adjust the heat to 180 or 200 degrees for any size turkey. The turkey can roast in the oven on this low temperature 15-20 hours before you eat it. A good rule for timing is to allow about one hour per pound of meat.
Although the amount of cooking time seems startling at first, the meat turns out amazingly delicious, juicy and tender. It slices beautifully, and barely shrinks in size.
Once the turkey is done, it will not overcook. You can leave it for an additional 3 to 6 hours and it will not dry out. It browns beautifully and you will get wonderful drippings for gravy. Thermometer readings: Breast 170 degrees, Thigh 180 degrees.
I was a grown woman, plenty old enough to know how to cook a turkey, when I cooked my first one. (Because we always went to my mother’s/grandmother’s for Thanksgiving every year and I didn’t want to anyway, if you must know.)
While preparing this first turkey I called my mother, grandmother, and my Aunt Boopie several times to get directions. One thing that stuck in my mind was that they all said, “remove the neck, liver, giblets and anything that was inside the turkey.”
I did a bang-up job with this and I even found something else inside and, although I really had to saw on it, I removed whatever it was and proceeded to cook my turkey. Turned out that last thing was the poor turkey’s tail, although what it was doing inside that cavity I will never know.
Have you ever seen a bobtail turkey? The turkey tasted very good, as I remember, but it looked like a naked turkey on the platter. I felt like I should get some little clothes and dress him since he/she really looked embarrassed laying on that platter with no tail! I still have a mental picture of that poor turkey every time I see one.
I sincerely hope your turkey has a tail and that it tastes wonderful and that you have a wonderful holiday with your loved ones. As I remember, after all the laughing, we really enjoyed that Thanksgiving!