Friday, November 28, 2014

How I Cooked the 43 Pound Turkey

The turkey was a success. The hard part of cooking the turkey was finally deciding on the exact method.  I looked at cooking it overnight at 250 degrees, but then I read it wasn't a good idea if the turkey was over 20 pounds. So I ended up with the tried and true 325 degrees method, with a twist.
But first the turkey was brined overnight in a citrus/cider brine.
We woke up at 5AM on Thanksgiving morning and brought the turkey inside (it was too heavy for even my husband to carry in by himself.) I rinsed the brine off the turkey and got it ready in the pan while the oven preheated. My roasting pan was almost big enough. Cheap disposable aluminum trays made extended sides to catch the drippings and keep the drippings from getting onto the bottom of the oven. The oven was just big enough.

The turkey went into a 450 degree oven for 30 minutes then 5 1/2 hours at 325 degrees. I checked his temperature at noon and he was more than done! That's only 6 hours to cook a 43 pound turkey. He probably would have been fine with even less time. He was a bit overcooked, but he still was delicious.
We had 13 people for Thanksgiving dinner, gave away quite a bit of turkey as leftovers and still got a big mixing bowl and a small bowl filled with meat today

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