When I wrote “I’ll be Home for Christmas” for the boxed set LOVE, CHRISTMAS, I envisioned a soldier trying to get back home to enjoy a Christmas meal with his family. Things happen along the way to delay him, and make him wonder if he will get back in time. This was my initial idea when I put him in a rowboat in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea. Toss in (literally) a romantic interest, and I was on my way.
One of the things Lee Trahern and Sofia Morgan enjoyed was a turkey dinner. I’m giving you my recipe for slow-cooked turkey, which is a way I’ve fixed turkey for at least forty years. I do it for many reasons, but one is that it is sooooo easy. The original recipe was in an Adele Davis book. This is how a whole pig is cooked in Hawaii at luaus, when they roast it in the fire.
If turkey is frozen, remove plastic wrapping, slather it in vegetable oil, set it into a roast pan, and follow roasting instructions. If fresh, wash it clean, dry, slather in vegetable oil and set it into a roasting pan and roast. The advantage of using a frozen turkey is that ALL the moisture stays in the meat. A cheap frozen turkey comes out just as good as an expensive fresh one.
- Put oil over the entire turkey.
- Put turkey into a roast pan with tray, so that air will circulate around the turkey.
- Cook turkey at 300 degrees for one hour. This is so that all bacteria is killed before you start slow roasting.
- Turn the oven down to 175 degrees. Let it cook for 18 to 24 hours. That’s right. All night. I start a 22 pound frozen turkey around 3 in the afternoon and cook it all night and have it ready around noon to three the next day. It depends upon the size of the turkey and if it is frozen or fresh. The neat thing is that if someone is late getting to your dinner, you can leave the turkey in the oven for a few more hours and all it does is get more tender.
- How do you tell if your turkey is done? Take hold of the drumstick and “shake hands” with it. If it is stiff and resists, cook longer. Don’t poke it with a fork.
- If you want stuffing, make a stovetop stuffing and pour some of the turkey juice into it as you cook it.
- If you cooked it frozen, don’t eat the skin, since you had no chance to really clean it. Just peel it away and put that moist, juicy meat on a platter for all to enjoy.
You can slow roast all types of meat. Always cook it first for 300 degrees for one hour. Then look at a meat table, see what temperature you want your meat to be when you are done, and set the temperature there. If roasting beef, you may want it rare, at 140 degrees. Just remember to give it a long time to cook, and don’t worry about cooking it too long. If you are going to be out most of the day, you can slow cook your meat, then turn the temperature up if you need to to finish it off.
What do you do with all that free time while the turkey is roasting itself? Well, grab a copy of LOVE, CHRISTMAS and sit back and enjoy reading. It is a USA Today best seller, and the price is still fantastic for 20 all-new novellas.