The Turkey – Thanksgiving (part 1 of 4)

Good morning, happy blog readers!

Today I’m writing part 1 in our Thanksgiving dinner experience. (Part 2 will be vegetables and gravy, Part 3 will be the biscuits, and Part 4 will be dessert).

Firstly, I would like to strongly suggest that you throw the bird’s “package” (if it came in one of those shrink-wrap bags) when it says how long you should let it sit in your fridge and then out in the open, completely out the window. Because let me tell you something… they’re wrong. We had the turkey in our fridge for 15 hours (more than their recommended 8) and then on our counter for several more (again, longer than their recommended amount), and I tell you something, it was still a frozen block of ice when we tried to work with it. We were running out of time, so we ended up sticking it in the microwave on the “defrost” setting for over half an hour. And it was still frozen. We couldn’t even get the giblets out of it. Hubby ended up sticking the whole bird in the sink under running hot water to get the thing to thaw enough for him to take the giblets out. It was ridiculous.

On that note, I would highly recommend that you ensure that your turkey is thawing properly or acquire a fresh one. Next year I think we’ll go with fresh.

Anyway, when it came to preparing the turkey, we followed this video. This is what we did:

First we prepared the ingredients in the rub:

– 1 cup butter
– 1 lemon
– 2 – 3 cloves garlic
– Salt
– Pepper
– Olive oil
– Parsley, freshly chopped
– Bacon fat (refrigerated)

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The steps:

1. Put the butter into a bowl (ours was fresh out of the fridge, which made this process so much more challenging; the butter wouldn’t mix properly with the other ingredients an was rather chunky. I would suggest using softened butter.)

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2. Add salt, pepper, drizzle of olive oil, and minced garlic.

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3. Squeeze the juice from one lemon into the mixture. *note: I made the mistake of not removing the seeds… do not make my mistake. It took far too long to dig beneath the butter chunks to find all the seeds.

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4. This is where we added our bacon fat. This is completely non-obligatory. We like to add it because it adds flavour and salt to the bird. Plus it makes the most delicious gravy! We scooped out a spoonful and added it to the butter.

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5. Add in parsley (I forgot to take a photo – sorry!) and mix it all together with your hands.

6. Carefully fit your fingers beneath the skin of the turkey (but not too much), gently creating a space there.

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7. Grab handfuls of the butter mixture (up until about half of it is gone) and put beneath turkey’s skin, spreading it as far as it can go.

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8. Cover the turkey’s skin with the remainder of the butter mixture. (Again, this would be much easier if the butter had been softened.)

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9. Lightly drizzle olive oil on top (to keep butter from burning) and put it in the oven! We had ours in at 350 degrees F for four-five hours. Keep an eye on it and keep basting! We set a timer for every half an hour for basting. (The butter mixture melts and creates the juices at the bottom of the turkey pan.)

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*Note: We used a turkey thermometer to make sure that all the meat had been cooked properly.

Voila! Our turkey!

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Final thought: Because of the butter mixture and our consistent basting, the turkey turned out moist and flavourful. Seriously. Amazing! The lemon, garlic, and parsley added so much to the flavour and scent of the turkey, one could eat it without the need for gravy. Mmm… I might just have some left-overs for breakfast…

Tune in for the next part where I talk about our veggies, mashed potatoes, and gravy!

Have a great one! Thank you for reading!

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