Be Gentle, it’s my First Time

In my pantry today:

  • 1 5-6lb turkey, giblets removed
  • 4 m-l cloves garlic
  • 1 small sweet yellow onion
  • 1/3 c olive oil
  • 2 c stock/broth
  • 1/3 c sea salt
  • 1 tbsp turmeric
  • 2 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp celery seed
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

turkeyThe whole “polar vortex” thing, though significantly less pronounced in the southeast, is frigid enough to close schools and dissuade many civil workers from appearing at their jobs. It is, therefore, the perfect night to roast an entire animal!

Well, and there was a turkey in the freezer.

Meat is admittedly not one of my favorite food items anymore (try telling pre-30 me that), but I can’t claim innocence on roasting birds. Chickens until now, but tonight is my first whole turkey and I’m already making leftover plans.

I’m going to proceed from here as though you have never before dressed fowl.

Get your bird naked as a jay and remove everything from it’s cavity. Rinse it under cold water inside and out and put it breasts-down in on a rack inside a baking pan.

Chop your garlic coarsely, turn your onion into small chunks. Set aside. Gather and put into a bowl all remaining spices, then pour in the oil and stir everything into a paste. You should have ample cavity access from this angle, so start massaging the spice-paste in there before filling it with all the onion and a bit of garlic. When adequately coated/stuffed (don’t cook your birds with actual stuffing inside them, I feel needs to be said), ever so carefully flip the bird.

Using a knife, stab through the skin and work your fingers up under there. Rolf that carcass with flavor. Shove garlic in every created underskin entrance. Once all the mix is gone from your bowl, pour broth below the rack in your pan and put in an oven preheated to 450°. In twenty minutes, reduce the temperature to 325° and continue waiting, basting every [20m for the first 80m / every 10m after that] until the timer that came in your bird pops up or meat thermometer reads 165°. Even though my kitchen currently lacks the twine commonly used to truss the bird, I still came out juicy and delicious at 5 spoons free-birding it — there will be recipes galore once the novelty of eating off the bone wears. Well, “galore” might be a little strong since it’s just a 6lb bird, but still… nom.

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