Hello again….I have been enjoying so pampering from my brother Sean and my Dad over the last few days and then finally it was my turn to pamper them by making a yummy Easter dinner. And what could be better than a 21# turkey with all the fixings. The best thing about making a turkey is it is like using the crock pot….you set it and forget it.
Lets start by prepping the turkey. Well I like to use a bag to make my turkey. Why? Because I have to many things going on in my day that I don’t have the time to remember to baste the darn thing every 20 minutes….nor do I have the patience. So if you use the a bag you just put it in for 15 to 20 minutes per pound @ 325’F. But first you have to get it ready. So you need to preheat your oven to 325’F. Then take your bag and add like 1 tablespoon of flour and shake it all around inside the bag. Why do you do this….to help the bag not stick to the skin of the turkey. Then you put the turkey in the bag (be sure to take the leg and neck out of the one end and the gizzards, etc out of the other end). Then you will tie the bag in a knot and with a pairing knife make about 4 or 5 little slits on the top of the bag so the bag can breathe….not at the bottom cause you don’t want to lose the juices. then put it in the oven and forget it.
One hour before your turkey is up you should start prepping your fixings. I would start with the mashed potatoes. You need to peel and chop and put them in water (they need to be in water immediately after chopping or they turn brown and then they taste yucky). Then take about 6 cloves of garlic and add it to the pot. You want your water to just hit the top of the the highest potato……Then bring it to a boil and lower the heat so that it does not flow over.
Now prep your stuffing. I cheated cause why not and it turned out amazing. I bought the cornbread stuffing in the box at the grocery store and fixed it up a little. I started by adding one tablespoon of olive oil to a pan and added in chopped onions, sliced baby bella mushrooms and celery and sauté it for about 10 minutes till all the juices were released from the mushrooms. Then I added in some sherry to get all the yummies off the bottom of the pan. Then I followed the instructions on the box so I used 2 boxes and added in the water and brought it to a boil…..then turned off the heat and mixed in the cornbread mix. Set it aside. You can put it in the oven to keep it hot or leave it on the back of the stove and it will stay warm.
Now in a medium sauce pot you need to melt one stick or 1/2 cup of butter over medium heat and add in 3/4 cup of flour….stirring constantly until the mixture starts to turn a medium brown color (tan) ….. you are now making a roux for your gravy….while that is cooking continue working on the
Now your cranberries need some attention…well right now they are not in season… So you should just get the whole berries in a jar and open then up and put them in a bowl….(super easy huh).
Now to your green beans. In a wok (or sauté pan if you don’t have a wok) add one tablespoon of olive oil…..heat….then add your green beans. Season with teaspoon salt, pepper, soy sauce, garlic powder and a little honey. Cook for about 8 minutes…. stirring every 2 minutes for even cooking. Turn off and set aside.
By now your turkey should be done (check the temp in the leg (thickest part) it should read 165 if it does then you should remove in from the oven). Cover it with a foil hat and finish your mashed potatoes.
Your potatoes should be done. Strain them and put them in a large bowl that has 1 stick of room temperature butter at the bottom so that when you stick the HOT potatoes in it will start to melt the butte. Then add in your salt, pepper and start with 1 cup of milk (or if you are lactose intolerant like my niece use soy or almond milk and the lactose free butter) and start to mash. I like to use an electric hand blender because It is faster and makes the potatoes more fluffy….but feel free to use the old-fashioned potato masher. My hint to you is not to be afraid of adding milk……the more you add the more fluffy it will be….but remember you can not take it out so add it gradually.
Now finish your gravy by add 1 cup at a tip of the juice from the turkey. Each time you add it to your roux you need to bring it to a low simmer because it thickens at a boil/simmer. If it is too thick you need to add more….now start adding like 1/2 cup at a time….so it doesn’t get to thin. Once you get it to the right consistency like pancake batter. Add some salt and pepper and you are good to go.
Finish by carving your turkey and then you are ready to enjoy your feast.
Ingredient list (8 adults and 7 kids)
21 # turkey
1 large plastic turkey cooking bag
1 tablespoon flour for turkey 3/4 cup for gravy
2 each 15 ounce cans of whole berry cranberries
1/2 cup or 1 stick of butter for gravy and 1/2 cup or 1 stick butter for mashed potatoes
1-3 cups of reduced fat milk for the mashed potatoes
1 tablespoon of salt for mashed potatoes
2 teaspoons of black pepper for mashed potatoes
1/2 teaspoon salt for the gravy
1/2 teaspoon of black pepper for the gravy
6-7 cups of haricot vert (green beans) or 2 large bags from costco
1 tablespoon olive oil for the green beans
1/4 teaspoon salt for the green beans
1/2 teaspoon of black pepper for the green beans
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder for the green beans
1 tablespoon of soy sauce for the green beans
1 tablespoon of honey for the green beans
2 boxes of cornbread stuffing
3 cups of water for cornbread stuffing
1 cup chopped white onion for the stuffing
1.5 cups slice baby bella mushrooms for the stuffing
1 cup chopped celery for the stuffing
1/2 cup sherry for the stuffing
1 tablespoon of olive oil for the stuffing