Take That Turkey

It’s no secret that I struggle in the kitchen. I set off the smoke alarm every time I make French toast or pancakes. So I was probably being a little ambitious when I decided to try cooking a turkey.

Right before Christmas I saw a killer deal on turkeys at my local store. I rummaged through the pile of frozen birds and found the smallest 97-cents-per-pound one that I could see. I took it home and chucked it in my freezer.

I thawed it out a few weeks later and got ready to put it in my Crock Pot. But no matter how I arranged it, it was not going to fit. At least three inches of the bird’s backside was still sticking out the top.

Not only did the turkey not fit in my pot, I couldn’t find the giblet packet. The instructions said it would be by the gravy pouch, but they were nowhere near each other. No matter how many times I peeked inside that naked bird, I couldn’t see it.

So the giblets were still inside and I had nowhere to cook my turkey. I found a broiler pan in the drawer under my oven and decided to try to cook it on that. I was going to cook the turkey all day in my Crock Pot, but it only needed to cook a few hours in my oven. So I cleaned everything out of my fridge’s bottom shelf and stuck the pan and the bird in there to stay cool.

When it came time to throw it in the oven I didn’t have an oven bag so I poured some sautéed celery and onions on top and brushed some vegetable oil all over the turkey’s skin.

I was scared to death that we would cut it open and “poof” it would be hollow like the one on National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. So every 45 minutes I opened the oven door and brushed more oil on top.

Success! Several hours later it was done and it was juicy. My husband even found the giblet packet. It was near the turkey’s rear, not front.

Those burnt looking things on top are the onions that I used to season the bird. And no, we did not eat those.

My family had a great turkey dinner and we ate sandwiches for days.

But the best part about my turkey turning out was the fact that I was able to use the cooked meat for two other main dishes. I made Creamy Chicken (Turkey) Noodle soup and Chicken (Turkey) Enchiladas from the leftovers. Two of our family’s favorite meals! I’ve included the recipes below if you want to try them.

The turkey-cooking success was a step in the right direction. I’m not ready to cook prime rib or anything, but I am getting better. I just need to keep trying.

What have you made lately that has been delicious?

Here are the recipes for the soup and enchiladas. I got them from two of my best friends who really do know how to cook .

Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup

2 quarts water
5 chicken bouillon cubes
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 cup sour cream
3 cups cooked cubed chicken
celery and carrots (as much as you like)
1 box of mini farfale (butterfly) pasta noodles or a bag of egg noodles

Chop celery, carrots, misc. Boil vegetables with the water for the pasta noodles. Cook the noodles in the water with the vegetables as directed on their box. Then put 2 quarts of water in a different pan with bouillon cubes until cubes dissolve. Then add cream of chicken soup and sour cream. Drain the noodles and vegetables and add them too.

Chicken Enchiladas

Sour Cream
1 can Cream of Chicken Soup
Small can of chopped green chilies

Take about one cup or so of sour cream and mix it with a can of cream of chicken soup and a small can of chopped green chilies. Pour a small amount of milk in until it is creamy. Take a tortilla, line the middle with a small amount of the sauce, a handful of chicken and some cheese. Roll it into an enchilada shape then put in a baking dish. When you have used up all of the chicken, take the remaining sauce and pour it over the top of the enchiladas. Sprinkle the top with cheese.

Bake at 375 for 45-60 minutes.

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jaclyn
    Feb 03, 2012 @ 09:21:11

    Glad to hear your turkey turned out nice! Cooking just takes practice (lots of trial and error!), it sounds like you are getting there. : ) Here is a yummy recipe to go along with your turkey. My kids love it too!

    Yam Casserole

    4 ½ lbs. yams
    1 cup sugar
    ¼ cup milk
    ½ cup softened butter
    2 eggs
    1 tsp vanilla
    ¼ tsp salt

    Bake yams on cookie sheet at 400 degrees for approximately 1 hour or until tender. Cool to touch (leave in foil to help steam skins off), peel and mash. Beat in other ingredients until smooth. Put in 9 x 13 greased pan.

    2 ½ cups crushed cornflakes
    ½ cup chopped pecans
    2 TBSP brown sugar
    2 TBSP melted butter

    Sprinkle on casserole. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes.


    • Natalie
      Feb 16, 2012 @ 10:38:30

      I LOVE that you gave me a yam recipe. I have gotten them in my Bountiful Basket before and didn’t know what to do with them. I am definitely going to have to try these when I get them again! Thanks!


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